2 posts • joined Friday 4th May 2007 11:59 GMT
B.Gates needs to fight common wisdom.
In Brazil, common people know nothing about Vista. In the web forums, they laugh at you if you confess that you bought a Vista license.
Few people can afford to buy a brand computer. Almost everybody have their computer assembled by a knowledgeable person, who installs a "legitimized" copy of Windows XP.
A few knowledgeable persons have installed Windows XP on a virtual machine under Ubuntu GNU/Linux and are living an unconcerned life now. An accountant I know has been trying to run the accounting server application under Wine because Windows XP on virtual machine runs too slow, but gave up yesterday. He is going to add memory to the server and run VMWare on it under Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn). The 6 clients are still using the client part of the accounting application under Windows, but it seems that it can work through a web browser, then that requirement will disappear.
It seems that this accounting office will be able to stretch the usable life of its equipment with the addition of 512 MB of RAM and a new $300 Samsung laser printer!
As you can see, nobody here is even thinking about Windows Vista! That is common wisdom in my perception.
Paying to go mainstream ?
The reason Dell Linux 1.0 failed was because the potential buyers felt that they were paying for Windows and increasing Microsoft's gain unwillingly. Also, there was not full commitment, as if it were a trick to show how uninteresting GNU/Linux is; a purposely backfire.
Now, with Dell Linux 2.0 it might be radically different, if the GNU/Linux preinstalled OEM computers have a price at least ten dollars cheaper than the corresponding Windows preinstallation and they are not counted as a Windows sale (this is an important detail).
It is very important that a big OEM such as Dell sells GNU/Linux preinstalled, because it is how Windows became ubiquitous. I have three daughters, all over twenty. Two of them bought a Dell laptop, with Windows XP preinstalled, one uses a Windows XP desktop at home although her husband is a GNU/Linux enthusiast, and my wife has a Toshiba laptop with Windows XP preinstalled. None of my family members take GNU/Linux seriously just because no major OEM preinstalls it.
Now, we are in a transition for the next two years. Many people are undecided, or unwilling, to jump into the Windows Vista migration, as are even government agencies. For the majority of people who are Windows users because GNU/Linux does not support their favorite application, Dell should announce a special setup: Two OSs in One: preinstallation of GNU/Linux with Windows XP as a virtual machine under it. I am sure that it would raise the curiosity and impulse to buy of many people in the world. Or simply, preinstall GNU/Linux with a virtual framework, so that the user can install any OS as a virtual machine: DOS, Windows 3, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2k, XP, another GNU/Linux distribution, except Windows Vista. This would be real nice and raise the public opinion of Dell quite high, without adding major support problems.
My family members are like Harry Homeowner; they want things to work without problems. They might buy a GNU/Linux preinstalled Dell or Toshiba computer, if they had this option.
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