Not a bad support model

Story: A Nightmare on Linux AvenueTotal Replies: 7
Author Content

Feb 11, 2013
1:19 PM EDT
Quoting:Beneath each software title is a brief description, maybe a screen shot, and a price. Payment is by credit card. FOSS titles are free–with a $5.00 per installation fee.

Such a model doesn't sound too bad of a good support model for FOSS development.

One thing I would change is, instead of $5, I would make it $1 per install. Or $5 for life time install service.

The revenues should go towards paying all expenses including compensating developers.


Feb 11, 2013
1:44 PM EDT
First, a lot of the Linux preinstalls that have been offered in the past weren't half baked and didn't need tweaking as the author suggested. HP actually did a very fine job with the Mini 110. Linux disappeared from their consumer line the day Windows 7 released and I *still* don't believe that was a coincidence. See: The problem has never been that vendors can't do Linux right. Dell has on more than one occasion. So did Sylvania, as unlikely as that seems, on their g Meso netbook way back when. HP still does Linux right on their business line with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED). The problem is that any time large vendors seem to get moving with Linux support Microsoft plays hardball or else there is something else in the market that pushes them away from Linux.

Second, I don't believe that the "nightmare" scenario that the author predicts will necessary happen, as much as some big box retailers and Canonical might love for that to happen. If it did some other store would offer the whole thing with no software installation costs and blow this model right out of the water. Sorry, Fettoosh, I don't think it would fly.

Third, I still believe preinstalls are the only way Linux will ever reach the masses in the consumer market. That is essentially what we are seeing with the Chromebooks now and what we saw with netbooks three to four years ago.

Bottom line: I think the "nightmare" is well written but it's also a load of cr@p.

Feb 11, 2013
4:33 PM EDT
What she said.

Feb 11, 2013
5:17 PM EDT
I disagree, Caitlyn. They've already proven that they will with Android. Every non-Google phone I've had came crammed with bloatware that I couldn't remove until I rooted the phone. With margins as slim as they are already on consumer boxes, manufacturers would look for every nook and cranny they can find for 3rd party junk. You and I may know how to reverse it (I can imagine a huge long list of aliases for normal bash commands), but uninformed John Q. Public won't care - especially if they'd previously partaken of the Windows bloatware environment, they'll believe this is normal for every computer regardless of the OS.

Just because the manufacturers haven't done it in the past doesn't mean they won't in the fictional future laid out in the article.

Anywho...enough being contrary. :)

Feb 12, 2013
9:38 AM EDT
I would applaud the coming of preinstalled, cr@pware laden Linux machines. It would cement Linux as an accepted desktop OS. It would mean more Linux compatible hardware out there. Preferably the kind with FOSS drivers. It would mean OEM's could make a buck on "their" preloaded Linux variant. It would give average consumers something they already know and accept (OS with crapware), but sans the Windows security problems. It's not perfect, but a lot better than where we are now.

For those in the know; buy the box with the specs you want, blow the crapfest away with your Linux of choice and know your box doesn't contain any Win-hardware. Win-win.

Feb 12, 2013
4:53 PM EDT
@r_a_trip, indeed.

Feb 13, 2013
5:32 AM EDT

Feb 13, 2013
2:52 PM EDT
Quoting:Sorry, Fettoosh, I don't think it would fly.

It might look so currently, but things change.

Just think of a time in the future when FOSS/Linux catches on and much more popular. I don't think people would mind to pitch in to get updates and support from a stable and reliable source.

It is true that other sources might offer the same for free, but how dependable are they going to be and for how long?

I guess time will tell.

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