good news

Story: Pictures And Details Of Ubuntu Being Sold At Best BuyTotal Replies: 28
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jsusanka

Jul 09, 2008
5:46 AM EDT
will go buy a copy but they are doing it probably to get a better back room deal from Microsoft. they will get it then all the sudden they will say sales were bad and they aren't carrying it anymore.

dell does the same thing - they cut backroom deals with microsoft (like get 40% off the price) and then all the sudden linux laptops are hard to get or out of stock. guarantee though dell doesn't pass that savings cost to the average joe windows buying laptop customer.

but good news anyway - maybe someday when we get a government that is ran like it is suppose to be and is not for sale to the highest bidder companies like microsoft will actually have to play on a level playing field and other honest hard working folks will have a chance at writing software for a living.
NoDough

Jul 09, 2008
7:22 AM EDT
Quoting:dell does the same thing - they cut backroom deals with microsoft (like get 40% off the price) and then all the sudden linux laptops are hard to get or out of stock. guarantee though dell doesn't pass that savings cost to the average joe windows buying laptop customer.
Do you know this for a fact, or are you just posting your opinion?
Bob_Robertson

Jul 09, 2008
7:24 AM EDT
The last commercial Linux I saw was RedHat in 2003.

Should I tell the story of the customer to whom I suggested buying it?

NoDough

Jul 09, 2008
7:28 AM EDT
Quoting:Should I tell the story of the customer to whom I suggested buying it?
Absolutely.

BTW, I think I still have the box set of RedHat that I bought from CompUSA some years back.
dinotrac

Jul 09, 2008
8:03 AM EDT
Bob -

I think I saw a copy of Linspire more recently than that, but can't remember for sure.

The reality is that the biggest boxed Linuxes were Red Hat and Suse, both of which have pulled out of that market.
Bob_Robertson

Jul 09, 2008
8:46 AM EDT
Ok. Well, I'm working as the team lead for the "office supplies" half (or more than half) of a Staples in Napa, California. But I tend, when it's slow, to wander over to the computer section because, with some 20 years experience in computer systems at that point, I'm much better at that than stocking pens. But that's the Dot Com Bust for ya.

Anyway, a man is standing in front of the "software wall", looking at things. I walk up and ask, "Can I help you find what you need?"

"I was just given a computer, but it's got nothing on its hard drive. I was looking at Windows, but I want to know why this one is $99, and this one is $199?"

"The $99 is the upgrade version. You need to have Windows already installed before that will work. So you will have to buy the $199 full copy since your computer has been erased."

"But, but, that's just too much."

"Ok. Everything in that box (pointing to WinXP Pro), that box (Office Pro), that box (Photoshop), and that box (McCaffey or one of the other antivirus), come in this box for $39."

I handed him the RedHat box. (that, unlike the XP boxes, was not just a display fake but the actual box with software in it)

He looked from me to the box, back at me, his mouth opened and closed a couple of times with small sputtering sounds, and his skin turned red just like a cartoon from his neck right to the top of his head.

Furiously, he slammed the RedHat box back on to shelf, reached up and grabbed a box for XP Home ($199), and _stormed_ away to the cashere.

Never saw him again.
NoDough

Jul 09, 2008
8:57 AM EDT
Would love to know what went on in his head. Reminds me of the classic line from the mythical support call: "You're too stupid to own a computer."
happyfeet

Jul 09, 2008
9:11 AM EDT
Either that or - "My mind is made up; don't confuse me with the facts."
gus3

Jul 09, 2008
9:14 AM EDT
@Bob:

Yet another example of why I am very, very picky about where I sell my talents. I'm thankful I don't work for that guy.
number6x

Jul 09, 2008
9:24 AM EDT
Microcenter has carried SuSE, Mandrake(now Mandriva), Corel, Xandros(formerly Corel), and Linspire on its shelves at various times since as early as 1999.

They usually have a section of discount CD's and DVD's that has a few Linux and BSD disks spread throughout the Windows FreeWare/ShareWare.

The big box places don't really grok Linux. If the software distributor they by from sells it, it might get shelf space. I don't think they really know what it is.

Heck, they probably don't know what Windows or OS/X is. They just know sku movement and profit margins.
rijelkentaurus

Jul 09, 2008
9:41 AM EDT
When I worked at Best Buy (Geek Squad...three months...pure hell...), we sold SuSE Pro 9.x and Linspire 4.x, but I was specifically told that I could not recommend those to any of the customers, and that I was to push Windows, Windows and only Windows...and Norton Internet Suckurity. Until they worked out a deal with Trend Microt, in which case I was told to push Trend Microt.
happyfeet

Jul 09, 2008
9:52 AM EDT
@rijelkentaurus:

Quoting:Norton Internet Suckurity.


Amen...
techiem2

Jul 09, 2008
10:21 AM EDT
Of course...after all, they don't want you to actually FIX the customer's computer...
bigg

Jul 09, 2008
10:27 AM EDT
> I was to push Windows, Windows and only Windows...and Norton Internet Suckurity

I know a guy that works at one of the big retail outlets. A while back I asked how they could afford to sell their computers at the prices they did. He said they'd gladly lose $50, even $75 or $100 if they had to, in order to make the sale. A very large percentage of those customers also buy the many security products, MS Office, Windows upgrades, and Adobe products. And now with Vista, they can sell the machine, then sell hardware upgrades plus charge for installing those upgrades when it's too slow.

Now imagine some poor honest salesman getting caught by a manager telling a customer about Linux. They don't care about Windows, but they sure do like taking the money out of the pockets of uninformed consumers.
NoDough

Jul 09, 2008
10:36 AM EDT
rijelkentaurus,

Your post highlights a point Helios has been making for some time. Business is driven by the flow of $$ which they control through special deals and contracts. The biggest thing standing in the way of FOSS is that big business has no interest in its success. That is, there's no profit in it for them.

Big business will ignore the opportunities presented by FOSS because they don't see them as profitable. When FOSS threatens one of their cash cows (i.e. Windows) they will work actively and aggressively to destroy it. So, as FOSS momentum accelerates, FOSS attacks will become more aggressive.

The "Windows, Windows and only Windows" phenomena will move from the back offices of Best Buy to the courts, then to the police, then into your living room.
Steven_Rosenber

Jul 09, 2008
3:59 PM EDT
The main point here is that none of us seemed to know Ubuntu even had a boxed product to sell at retail.

I've been saying for a long time that Ubuntu has to get a boxed edition out there, over and above "The Official Ubuntu Handbook." They needed a boxed software product that could sit in the software aisle at stores just like Best Buy.

Since the only place this product seems to exist at present is Best Buy, and I can't find any mention of it at the Ubuntu or Canonical Web sites, we all have to wonder what they're smoking over at Canonical.

Hopefully they'll ramp up the marketing on this product and catch quite a few people in the process.

As an aside, on the OS aisle at Fry's over the past six months, I've seen:

Xandros, Slackware 12 (!), FreeBSD 5.x (old enough for you?) and PC-BSD 1.3.

They sold everything but the FreeBSD and never restocked.
Steven_Rosenber

Jul 09, 2008
4:13 PM EDT
If you want to write a "customer review" at the Best Buy site, do it here:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8888563&type=p...
Bob_Robertson

Jul 09, 2008
4:15 PM EDT
I always liked the "book with CD" style, except they don't sell cheap enough.

Or how about a stack of free Knoppix or PCLinuxOS CDs to go?
vainrveenr

Jul 09, 2008
6:28 PM EDT
Quoting:I always liked the "book with CD" style, except they don't sell cheap enough.

Or how about a stack of free Knoppix or PCLinuxOS CDs to go?
Or how about Shuttleworth's Freedom Toaster, http://www.freedomtoaster.org/ ? Too bad that this idea of a Linux-CD vending machine has not caught on very well outside of South Africa........(yet!)

jacog

Jul 10, 2008
12:03 AM EDT
Quoting:Shuttleworth's Freedom Toaster


Those are cool, I often go grab my isos there (and updated Proj Gutenberg CDs for me wife). And they are actually very good about keeping up to date versions of non-buntu distributions on it.

But then you can also just mail order your Ubuntu CDs for free.
Steven_Rosenber

Jul 10, 2008
11:02 AM EDT
By thinking inside this box, we are able to think outside the box and attract people to Linux who aren't savvy geek types.

All too often (OK, all the time, let's be real), we're doing nothing more than preaching to the choir.

What we need to do is educate the other 99.9 percent of the world about there being an alternative to Windows/Mac and what it can do for them.

Expecting them to download large ISOs and burn CDs before they even begin with Linux is putting the cart way before the proverbial horse.

And having a boxed software package right next to the Windows boxes sends a powerful message that Ubuntu (and Linux in general) is ready for them.

ValuSoft, which is distributing the Ubuntu box, has very good placement of their products at a number of stores. I see their stuff at Target all the time. Among their products are $20 office suites for Windows. Whether they're better or worse than the free OpenOffice, I don't know.

But like others have said in this forum and elsewhere, OpenOffice is another product that would benefit greatly by being available in a $20 boxed version at Best Buy, Target and "wherever computer software products are sold."
tracyanne

Jul 10, 2008
1:05 PM EDT
Quoting:But like others have said in this forum and elsewhere, OpenOffice is another product that would benefit greatly by being available in a $20 boxed version at Best Buy, Target and "wherever computer software products are sold."


Then make it so. Set up a Company that packages and sells OpenOffice.org pre packaged on CDs.
Sander_Marechal

Jul 10, 2008
1:27 PM EDT
Quoting:Set up a Company that packages and sells OpenOffice.org pre packaged on CDs.


A waste of work. A company like ValueSoft can do that much better and get it into may more stores. Instead, set up a company that can support end-users with OOo and strike a deal with ValueSoft. They package and distribute, while you do the support. Much like Canonical does for the $20 Ubuntu package (it includes 60 days support).
rijelkentaurus

Jul 10, 2008
2:22 PM EDT
With OOo, I think 30 days support would be plenty. Most people are gonna get the hang of it quickly, particularly if you include video tutorials on how to do the basic items, sort of an "In Pictures" except "In Videos".

http://inpics.net/writer.html
tracyanne

Jul 10, 2008
2:33 PM EDT
Quoting:A company like ValueSoft can do that much better and get it into may more stores.


But will they? And if they don't then your

Quoting:Instead, set up a company that can support end-users with OOo and strike a deal with ValueSoft


deal won't get struck.

So the best thing is to make it so. Waiting for a big corporate to save you is plain silly, but that seems to be the mentality of the Linux Community(s).

Sander_Marechal

Jul 10, 2008
2:42 PM EDT
You could negotiate with ValueSoft while setting up your company. If they're not interested you could always seek another partner, do the shipping yourself after all or simply stick to delivering paid support. It's still a valid business model without ValueSoft.
rijelkentaurus

Jul 10, 2008
3:09 PM EDT
Heck, you could just ride the wave of ValueSoft and offer 30-60 days of support for $20 and keep the whole $20 instead of sharing it.
Bob_Robertson

Jul 11, 2008
7:33 AM EDT
Being imensely lazy, does OpenOffice.org have a "book"?

gus3

Jul 11, 2008
8:03 AM EDT
Yup. There are two developer's guide PDF's (one from OOo and one from Sun), and at least one print book that I last saw two years ago, before I moved out of state.

"OpenOffice.org 2.0 Developer's Guide"

"StarOfficeâ„¢ 7 Office Suite Basic Programmer's Guide"

And if you live in Silicon Valley, go to the used bookstore on Castro St. in Mountain View to find the print book...

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