Almost Impossible To Sell A Pre_loaded Linux Desktop Computer

From: Josh (josh_m_andersen_at_yahoo.com)
Date: 08/22/05


Date: 22 Aug 2005 13:26:07 -0700

This past summer holiday I work at small computer store who sell custom
built computer system. We also sell refurbished units that we purchase
at auction and liquidation sales. We are a Microsoft partner and thus
we are able to legally install Windows on these machines although we
must wipe any version of Windows that might be on our refurb units and
install our own.
We have built up a good reputation in the community, which is a poor
section, for offering decent computers at very low prices to people who
could not afford to buy a computer otherwise.
Of course we also sell to businesses as well, but only desktop systems
not servers.

Last year the shops partners decided to try and sell Linux based
systems (Suse and Mandriva) both on our new units and more so on our
refurb. units.

The idea was to save the customer even more money by not installing
Windows and also to save the shop technical support issues by not
having to deal with Windows virus and adware programs. All our systems
come with a 1 year warranty which includes software as well.

To say the Linux experiment was a disaster is an understatement.
We found out rather quickly that people are just not interested in
Linux.
It's that simple.
Talk to them, explain to them the advantages of Linux, the security,
the cost savings the immunity to virus and the stability and you will
be met with a blank stare and a question like:
Can I use iTunes /Quicken / Microsoft Office ---add application here-

The other problem is the person upgrading from an older machine that
has a lot of software as well as a printer scanner or other hardware.
When we inform them that most if not all of their software will not
work with Linux, but Linux does have replacements, they are just not
interested because they have an investment already and don't wish to
switch.

It's even worse for hardware, especially printers, many of which are
windows only.

While we have sold a few Linux systems, almost every single one of them
has been returned to the shop and usually by very angry customers who
for some reason think we clipped them.

We regularly entertain representitives from hardware software companies
that also sell to our competition and they forewarnwed us about Linux
being the kiss of death as far as trying to sell a preloaded boxen with
Linux.

We sure found that out the hard way and the shop no longer offers
Linux.
I am back at university but I plan on keeping in touch with the shop to
see if anything in the market changes.

I really doubt it though because Linux is just not wanted by users.

Please excuse my English
                         Josh Andersen