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*nix Thread, Linux Netbooks in Technical; I'm looking for a cheap-and-cheerful netbook, no bells or whistles needed, just something to drive a PowerPoint show on a ...
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    enjay's Avatar
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    Linux Netbooks

    I'm looking for a cheap-and-cheerful netbook, no bells or whistles needed, just something to drive a PowerPoint show on a plasma screen. I was therefore thinking I'd save a few pennies and get a Linux one rather than Windows, however I'm struggling to find any. One of my suppliers says you can't get them any more as there were problems with Linux-based ones. Is that true, and if so, what are the problems? Linux ones are still available second-user on Amazon Marketplace and the like, but I'm guessing these are best avoided if there are problems...

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    Higher than normal return rates (due to consumers expecting an OS exactly like Windows) and weak demand are the only "problems" with Linux netbooks/notebooks. The reason why you don't see many these days is because retailers and OEMs can't make a profit on them, so have stopped selling them.

    You would probably be better off buying a Windows netbook, wiping it and then installing your Linux distro of choice.

    Microsoft is quite confident of its leadership status on the Netbook front, boasting earlier this year of 96 percent attach rate for Windows and making other, more recent claims of return rates on Linux netbooks that are "like four or five times higher" than their Windows equivalents. Dell's Senior Product Marketing Manager Todd Finch is refuting that last claim, saying "we don't see a significant difference between the return rate for Windows versus the rate for Linux." He does, however, continue to say that many people who return Linux netbooks simply bought the cheapest option they could find, expecting Windows and shipping the things back after being greeted by something other than a familiar UI upon startup. The panel at OpenSource World also tackled the topic of how to spur greater interest in Linux, and crushed the dreams of many attendees who believe in the Field of Dreams approach: get Linux machines into retailers and demand will come. The demand has to come first, says Finch, and given the general non-existence of open source marketing, that's going to take something of a Kevin Costner-scale miracle. (Source)
    "We don't know what the XP return rates are. But I will say that the return rate is above normal for netbooks that offer open-source operating systems," Carr echoed. Carr highlighted a few reasons why Ubuntu-running netbooks are returned more often. "Unclear selling is happening, typically online. The customer will get their netbook sent to their home and they imagine to find something like a Microsoft desktop, but they see a brown Ubuntu version. They are unwilling to learn it and they were expecting to have Windows."

    Carr stressed that, in these cases, it doesnít even matter how good or bad the Linux OS is. These customers just donít want to try something new. "We said a long time ago, we didnít want to make a Windows clone. It has a different interface especially with the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. We think it's a better way but itís not the same way people are used to. That unfamiliarity can take a while to learn and there is an education that has to be stressed." Source

  3. Thanks to Arthur from:

    enjay (10th February 2011)

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Thanks. Of course, as per my other post to do with this netbook (the one about PPT) maybe I would be better off paying the extra and getting Windows...

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