@Rob D and AC
"Doesn't the guy say that he wants the laptop to be functional? Liniux may but free, but I'm sure he doesn't want to screw around with config files for 2 years before he can use it.
Face it, Windows is usable, Linux isn't!"
Rob D, this simply isn't true any longer. A distro like Ubuntu, there's no screwing around with config files. They are there in /etc, but the days of editing config files to set up networking, screen resolutions, etc. are long gone. I could make the same comment about the registry, really.. I've found recent distros allow MORE configuring through the GUI (before having to resort to editing config files) than Windows does (before resorting to regedit, typically.)
I have also found Linux far more usable than Windows.
"1) Return on investment for large companies (i.e. retraining _every_ worker on the new systems) that and support."
Businesses are finding differences in Office 2007 are harder to retrain for than OpenOffice. Vista is quite different too. Unless they literally stay with Office 2003 and XP forever, people are GOING to have to be retrained. Places that HAVE done large-scale Linux deployments have really found this to not be the problem they'd expected.
"2) Companies, and home users for that matter, want to able to ring up and ask a question as to why something doesn't work (and of course they want an easy solution) and expect either an immediate answer or one within a week, not some crap forum were your post could take weeks before someone even reads it."
Who do home users call? Certainly not Microsoft, they charge a large amount per call. Businesses can get a support contract if they are that worried about it, which, don't forget, they would have to do with Microsoft to get Windows support. I've found forums to be quite active, often times I'll do a search and my question is already answered. Usually the answer was posted within hours of the question.
"3) They want their apps(esp. Games for home users) that they have paid for to run on it (before anyone points out 'but WINE will work" nobody wants to have to pay for additional hardware to run an app at the same speed that they were before)"
Wine doesn't require extra hardware to run an app at the speed they were before. Typically, wine will run an app FASTER than native Windows. If it works at all, which is really the real problem with wine at this point.
"4) they don't give a toss about 'you can edit the source code'"
Won't argue about that. It's likely true.
"@ the article, yes he could have bought all that, but he wanted a laptop with a large screen that was powerful, not a Fisher-Price 'my first computer', he probably want s ot do something revolutionary, like play games on it."
Yes the article did gloss over this. But, the real point is true -- with machines dropping under $400 (and Windows costing a $40-100 extra), Microsoft is playing a dangerous game playing the price game.