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How Open Source is Faring in Retail 259

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the man-on-the-street dept.
SilentBob4 writes to tell us MadPenguin is running the first of two articles taking a look at the 'world of retail as Tux is experiencing it'. From the article: "Of the stores we visited, only Linspire Linux was sold pre-installed on computers in-store. Those FOSS boxes were often among the store's best volume sellers, primarily because they were the cheapest, according to store staff. The staff believed, based on conversations with frequent customers, that most customers were buying the boxes to install Windows on them. But that is not surprising to us, because, as we discuss in section two, brick-and-mortar "computer" stores are still part of the Microsoft distribution chain. The fact that there were some open source products at all in these stores is actually surprising, as Microsoft guards its distribution chain jealously, and punishes those business partners who stray into carrying FOSS products."
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How Open Source is Faring in Retail

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  • Surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jordan Catalano (915885) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:21PM (#14990876) Homepage
    "The staff believed, based on conversations with frequent customers, that most customers were buying the boxes to install Windows on them. But that is not surprising to us, because, as we discuss in section two, brick-and-mortar "computer" stores are still part of the Microsoft distribution chain."

    And if they sold systems with no OS, they'd sell like hotcakes. Take your pick: pirates or people sick of buying an XP license each time they want to upgrade to a new machine without the trouble of buying it part-by-part?
    • Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Serapth (643581)
      This has very little to do with how Linux is doing at Retail. It has everything to do with if given the chance to pirate an OS, will people do i?

      Then again, im not really shocked. I think to some degree people view pirating an OS or pirating from Microsoft in general as a lesser form of pirating.
      • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Remedy_man (922349) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:41PM (#14991044)
        What makes us assume that we are pirating the software? Is it not possible (mind you I didn't say probable) that they are actually upgrading their system? Where does the customer agreement state that they can't use it on a new computer as long as it is not on any other computer? Maybe they are actually removing it from the old system, or maybe their hard drive failed completely and they are taking this opportunity to upgrade their system. Does this qualify as piracy?
        • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Informative)

          by aj50 (789101) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:01PM (#14991166)
          That depends. If you got windows with your pc like almost all home users do, then yes.

          OEM operating system licences live and die with each pc - they are not transferable

          http://www.microsoft.com/uk/windows/licensing/howt ouse.mspx [microsoft.com]

          • Re:Exactly (Score:2, Informative)

            by Joe U (443617)
            Fine, I'll make sure to move a plastic jumper from my old PC to my new one.

            Now it's not a new computer, I just replaced some worn out (and now broken, due to some strange lack of jumpers) parts in my old PC.

            Just because Microsoft says you can't do something doesn't mean they're right.

          • IANAL, but...

            The viability of EULAs and "pack-in" licences has never REALLY been tested in court, there is little case law on the subject. But existing case law seems to rule against them on numerous grounds, the chief three being:

            1) Agreeing to a contract normally requires ACTIVE consent, and "pack-in licences" or practically non-optional licences like those of OEM computers only offer "implied consent" (the user consents to the contract by using the item).

            2) Contracts are required to be in understandable
        • by LWATCDR (28044)
          A lot of OEM software says you can ONLY use it on that computer. I have seen Windows CDs that claim this. Is it legal? I kind of doubt it. I think this is the reason you are seeing more "restore disks" coming with computers now. The restore disks check that you are only using them on the computer you are supposed to.
          Kind of crappy if you ask me.
          • Re:Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

            Yes, you can enter into a contract to not move the software to another computer (and using an OEM version of Windows is absolutely considered entering into such a contract.) Yes, it is legal. You got a discount on the OEM copy of Windows, the price of which was the inability to transfer the license to another computer. Yes, that's (part of) why you see restore disks these days.
            • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

              by dwandy (907337)

              Yes, you can enter into a contract to not move the software to another computer (and using an OEM version of Windows is absolutely considered entering into such a contract.)

              So you will accept as legal contract

              "By accepting this BRICK through your WINDOW, you accept it as is and agree to my disclaimer of ALL warranties, express or implied, as well as disclaimers of all liability, direct, indirect, consequential or incidental, that may arise from the installation of this BRICK into your building."

              which I


            • "Yes, you can enter into a contract to not move the software to another computer (and using an OEM version of Windows is absolutely considered entering into such a contract.) Yes, it is legal."

              The legality of is questionable under the "first sale" doctrine.
              Think about. Is it legal to say that you can not use the hard drive from one computer in another computer? You got that hard drive at a discount compared to buying it as a single part. The RAM, Power cord? When you buy an item it is reasonable to assume t
              • The courts have spoken on the legality of EULAs a great many times, and there are very few which are as aggressive about requiring active click through as the OEM EULAs. You can choose to not accept the EULA; the consequence is that you may only return the cd to the OEM for a refund. No more, no less. As to the rest of the crap -- first sale is the standard theives line, and it doesn't apply. There was no sale of the right to use; you don't have that. Sorry. You have the disk, which you can transfer..
      • It's not that it's a lesser form - "piracy" (more properly and accurately known as "copyright violation") is a legal construct. I don't acknowledge it as a moral concept. Or at least, not as an immoral one. And even if I did, I couldn't bring myself to feel bad about doing it to Microsoft. They got where they are through deceptive trade practices. Why reward bad behavior? It only leads to more bad behavior.
      • If Microsoft is the one gouging out their customer's eyes, you can most certainly expect they'd becomepirates.

        I personally just call it fair use - I owned two legal copies of XP up until last week (where I sold an old laptop on eBay incl. license, so now it's just one from a fairly old dell system). I only interact with one main computer on a regular basis. My fileserver is running XP simply because a) I know it'll share over the network properly with other comps and b) I couldn't be bothered to download

    • Re:Surprised? (Score:2, Informative)

      by oKtosiTe (793555)
      The point is that if you sell your computers without Windows pre-installed, Microsoft won't fund a large part of your advertising campaign, will not lobby for you to their partners, etc.
      There's a very good reason why so many manufacterers "recommend Windows XP" for using their products.
    • And if they sold systems with no OS, they'd sell like hotcakes.

      I doubt it. Anyone capable of installing an OS is probably capable of finding a computer store that will sell you a blank box. (example [novatech.co.uk]) Besides that, with a blank box, you won't get support, so that rules it out as an option for many people, and MS may just have a problem with their retailers selling other OSs preinstalled.

      Someone who knows what they're doing with a pc won't buy it from PC World (or local equivalent).

    • if they sold systems with no OS, they'd sell like hotcakes

      In your dreams.

      The PC had been sold as a plug and play home appliance and office machine for over twenty-five years.

      The OS free system is for the institutional buyer and the Geek. It is not mass-market.

  • wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:22PM (#14990884) Journal
    I'm amazed that you can actually find a computer that comes with anything other than Windows pre-installed. This has to be at least one step in the right direction though. Even if people are only buying them to put windows on the effect on the market will be the same as if they were going to become hard-core open source supporters. It still gives a bigger market share to this stuff, and with bigger market shares bigger companies want to get in on the action... then it snowballs
    • Re:wow... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ucklak (755284)
      Fry's Electronics does it. They have a 4 foot section on one of their aisles with a GQ computer (their brand) with a Linux Distro pre-installed and a Linspire set pre-installed as well.
    • Re:wow... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Crilen007 (922989)
      Hi. Mac.

      Nuff said.
    • Re:wow... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sud_crow (697708) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:01PM (#14991165) Homepage
      Actually, it isn't that amazing, for the sellers is just reducing costs, and so improving sales, as we all know that cheap sells more.

      Anyway, It doesnt really help around, no one will keep the Linux OS, unless they find someone who has it too (so they can share something, at least get some questions answered), they will wipe it out and install a pirate Windows as soon as the kids neighbor brings he's last game, or dad comes with his compay soft. Thats the ugly truth on pre-installed soft, at least here.

      Here in Argentina almost all of the electrodomestics and supermarkets chains that commercialise PCs have Linux pre-installed, there is even a local Linux company selling Linux Distributions to these chains (the distribution has much the ways as Linspire, they DO NOT SHARE what they build, they only (ab)use GPL'ed software and build around propietary configuration apps, and give support for the distribution to the final user), this company even implemented a License KEY, just like Windows, so you dont copy the ISO... Which is quite depressing.



      Most of the employees tell them to get a technician, format the drive and install a pirate windows, even some of them go do the work as an extra influx of money.

      I just think that this kind of things give Linux a bad reputation, they make people believe that its trash and that 'nothing works', so you have to go to windows, which of course they dont pay, because if they actually had to put 1 buck for it, there we would see some massive migrations to Linux.
    • Re:wow... (Score:3, Funny)

      by rm69990 (885744)
      Yeah...I was even more amazed the other day. I came across this computer from a company named "Apple", and it didn't come with Windows either! A lot of these no name companies tend to not include Windows though ;-) (just kidding btw)
      • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Arandir (19206)
        (just kidding btw)

        I'm not. I'm starting to get tired of cult of victimization. Microsoft may be a 500 point gorilla, but it is a 500 pound gorilla that can't take your money without your permission. Since the days of the first IBM PC there have been alternative systems. Some of them, like the Mac, are even household words.

        Whiner: "Microsoft doesn't give me any choice"
        Realist: "Get a Mac"
        Whiner: "But you can't build a Mac yourself"
        Realist: "So go build a PC *without* Microsoft!"
        Whiner: "But Macs are more exp
        • Ummm, I wasn't implying that at all. My comment, had you read between the lines, and noticed the sarcasm, supports your position. The parent poster said he's amazed you can find a computer without Windows so easily, and my comment was meant to show that it is in-fact quite easy to avoid the Microsoft tax and buy a computer without any Microsoft software, from a tier 1 vendor nonetheless. I figured my "no-name" thing would make that point quite obvious (just a hint, that is called "sarcasm"). I totally agree
    • Even if people are only buying them to put windows on the effect on the market will be the same as if they were going to become hard-core open source supporters. It still gives a bigger market share to this stuff, and with bigger market shares bigger companies want to get in on the action... then it snowballs

      But it's false marketshare. I'm a little disheartened with this attitude that, "As long as it looks like more people are using Linux, it's all good."

      Then again, I suppose perception is reality...

      • But it's false marketshare.

        True, but given the freely downloadable, installable on multiple systems off one disk nature of Linux, I would think any other marketshare numbers are already low.

        I'm a little disheartened with this attitude that, "As long as it looks like more people are using Linux, it's all good."

        True again, or at least I agree with you ;-). Based on the above though, it is possible that this is actually getting the numbers more in line with reality.

        Then again, I suppose perception is reality..
  • That's OK (Score:4, Funny)

    by timeOday (582209) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:24PM (#14990899)
    I buy and wipe boxes with Windows to install Linux.

    I hereby grant my unused Windows Licenses to Linspire "customers."

    • Re:That's OK (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nos. (179609)
      By buying a PC with Windows, you are paying the "Microsoft Tax" as people like to call it. So, you're basically handing MS a cheque, and then not using their product. Not sure why you'd want to do that.
      • Re:That's OK (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sammy baby (14909) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:56PM (#14991134) Journal
        By buying a PC with Windows, you are paying the "Microsoft Tax" as people like to call it. So, you're basically handing MS a cheque, and then not using their product. Not sure why you'd want to do that.

        Because sometimes, the price to the consumer winds up actually being cheaper even with the cost of the "Microsoft tax." That's because larger suppliers can get better deals at every point of the supply chain. The extra money for Windows doesn't necessarily wipe out that advantage.
    • Just to nitpick, OEM licenses are non-transferable.
  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:25PM (#14990917) Journal
    I've worked for both a retail outlet and two small OEMs, one of which is a Microsoft gold OEM partner, or whatever that program is now.

    At all three places we talked openly to MS reps about offering Linux to keep prices down. At one of the OEMs we went from all MS to about 20% Linux in the space of a year. Not once did any of that hurt our relationship with them. This sounds like a bunch of FUD to me.
  • Punish? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jamesl (106902) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:28PM (#14990935)
    Microsoft guards its distribution chain jealously, and punishes those business partners who stray into carrying FOSS products.

    And the source for this little gem is what? Do you suppose the DOJ would be interested if it were true? Do you suppose that MS' competitors would be screaming if it were true? Do you suppose that with the size of MS' market, the number of retailers and speed of the internet, if this were true it would be on the front page of the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal?

    • "...you would do well to see if there is a Fry's or Micro Center store in your area. Go down there and support their efforts to flirt with FOSS!"

      Um...yeah, I'll get right on that.

      The author seems to miss the point that half the FOSS solution is the "F" part, and that "F" doesn't involve paying a premium to pick up the crappy computers shilled by your local big box.

      • Hi xxxJonBoyxxx, I didn't miss the point of free being the F in FOSS. To the contrary. The point is that FOSS will grow in disruptive channels such as LUGs, magazines, books, etc. That is why I video'd the Borders Store. Look at all of those books, many of which have distros in them. The value has shifted, as Harvard Biz Prof Clayton Christensen has said, from the operating system, to the ease of acquisition of installing and customizing your OS exactly the way that you want to do so. There will be m
    • Re:Punish? (Score:2, Informative)

      Microsoft guards its distribution chain jealously, and punishes those business partners who stray into carrying FOSS products.

      And the source for this little gem is what? Do you suppose the DOJ would be interested if it were true?


      If you read the article closely, you will see that the source spoke to me on condition of anonymity. The source is someone who works in retail tech, and knows whereof he / she speaks.

      The point is that people are so afraid of the ramifications of giving quotes like this
      • Sorry, anonymous source=anonymous coward for the purposes of evaluating credibility. I simply won't believe uncorroborated statements based on anonymous hearsay.
      • If you read the article closely, you will see that the source spoke to me on condition of anonymity. The source is someone who works in retail tech, and knows whereof he / she speaks.

        Crediting your information (in the article) to " ... a Mad Penguin (tm) source who spoke on condition of anonymity." gives it no authority. Normally the source's position (user, retailer, vendor, manager, marketer, cook, bottle washer) is identified to give his words some credibility.

        Using an anonymous source is bad enough. Fai
        • Re:Punish? (Score:2, Informative)

          If you read the article closely, you will see that the source spoke to me on condition of anonymity. The source is someone who works in retail tech, and knows whereof he / she speaks. Crediting your information (in the article) to " ... a Mad Penguin (tm) source who spoke on condition of anonymity." gives it no authority.

          Mainstream news media do this all the time, and I'll bet you don't question it. The news media would loose its ability to challenge the powerful without anonymous informants. In thi
      • You might also point out that a company that publically threatens a distributor as large as Dell would think nothing of crushing a smaller "partner." Thanks to the anti-trust trial, such intimidation is http://www.eweek.com/article/0,3658,s=1884&a=2424 2 ,00.asp [archive.org]">public knowledge. Thanks also to the internet archive for keeping coppies.

        See here [slashdot.org] for original story of the "delicate dance" vendors are expected to perform.

  • Remember 1998? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:31PM (#14990963) Journal
    Remember how back in 1998 ("The Year Of Linux On The Desktop!") you couldn't turn around in a CompUSA without knocking over a stack of Corel or Mandrake boxes?

    You don't need fancy sociology about "disruptive technology" to explain why Linux distros do or don't have prominent in-store displays. If the makers write their checks to the store, they get their displays; otherwise, they don't.

    • ... you couldn't turn around in a CompUSA without knocking over a stack of Corel or Mandrake boxes?

      When I go into a CompUSA in Chicago I see plenty of Novell SUSE boxes on the shelves. And I usually see a person or two checking them out. You'll most likely never see anybody checking out Windows XP (Pro or other wise), since they most likely have it installed on their PC already.

    • Re:Remember 1998? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kubevubin (906716)

      I work at CompUSA, and we have Linspire, SUSE, and Xandros right next to Microsoft's paid displays. I'd go so far as to say that their numbers aren't terribly unbalanced, either. Considering the fact that Microsoft pays for approximately 75% of the space in that aisle, I find it rather interesting that no version of Windows XP represented in that aisle outnumbers each Linux product by more than a 2:1 ratio.

      As for the lack of experience, yes, I'll certainly agree with that. However, I, personally, tried fo

    • Sure I remember it. 1998 was the year I wiped my last ever copy of Windows from my PC.
  • Rumors abound that Google will soon offer some type of operating system, which has led to this hilarious parody by The Register that Google supposedly is planning to create a Ubuntu-based distro hilariously named "Goobuntu."

    This guy needs to get out more. I would have thought 'amusingly' to be enough overstatement but, 'hilariously?'
    • This guy needs to get out more. I would have thought 'amusingly' to be enough overstatement but, 'hilariously?'

      Considering the fact that he used the word twice in one sentance, I've got a crisp $5 bill that says it was on his word-of-the-day calendar.
  • by vacorama (770618) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:37PM (#14991014) Homepage
    i think a big problem is a lack of people who could answer any questions on these machines. i bought a 500$ linspire laptop at walmart. the price was cheap enough and the CNR service was pretty cool so i figured, 'why not?'.. after playing around a bit i ended up selling it to a friend after i a got a new power book.. anyways, the amount of questions i got about that linspire machine (how can i set up my printer, why can't my kids use for school, etc..) was a headache enough.. i couldn't imagine a big box store that would be willing to deal with this type of feedback for one type of product.

    • i think a big problem is a lack of people who could answer any questions on these machines

      That and a lack of hardware quality. I non-technical friend of mine, a certified, card carrying Microsoft hater, bought a Linspire box from Fry's. The first thing he did was try to get a printer to work. He spent hours doing that, then finally took it back to the store. Turns out there was a hardware problem. So if time is worth anything, the Linspire became quite a bit more expensive than the $180 he spent for it.

      I

  • Check MicroCenter (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They have been running diskless Linux terminals on the POS stations for years. But they would let anyone know it because they are afraid of MS.
  • by mccalli (323026) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:52PM (#14991109) Homepage
    I misinterpreted the title at first, and thought it might mean Linux in the retail industry. I'll pass this anecdote on anyway though.

    In the UK, the PC World [pcworld.co.uk] chain is the main purveyor of PCs at retail. It, err...well. How shall we put this? It doesn't have the greatest reputation for knowledgeable staff and customer service. Alternative names I've heard for it are PC Woe and The Purple Temple Of Sadness (which is the best term I've heard for the place).

    As you'd expect, it pushes cheap* PCs and whilst the odd Mac sits at the back somewhere, it's pretty much a Windows-only place, happily pushing Microsoft Anything and Norton at people.

    It came as a surprise then, when I needed to grab a router right that moment and so went in, to find internal stock lists and part numbers getting checked using OpenOffice spreadsheets. Interested, I had a word with the guy doing the check and he said OpenOffice was used throughout the store.

    I'm not certain as to whether he meant just that store or the entire chain, but it was interesting to see OpenOffice having taken over a shop so strongly identified with WinTel and Microsoft-only solutions.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    *Not that I have anything against cheap PCs - all depends on people's needs really.

    • It came as a surprise then, when I needed to grab a router right that moment and so went in, to find internal stock lists and part numbers getting checked using OpenOffice spreadsheets. Interested, I had a word with the guy doing the check and he said OpenOffice was used throughout the store.

      Jaycar [jaycar.com.au] use linux to access their stock control system at the point of sale. Strange that their website uses ASP, though.

      • not strange at all, they either pay an ouside company to host their site, or they bought a pre-packaged solution that uses asp and IIS.

        in a business environment you don't have time for brand loyalty when your competitor is shaving $0.03 every transaction cost by going with the best deal regardless of brand.
    • I could swear it said "Farting" for both the first and second reads....
    • In the UK, the PC World chain is the main purveyor of PCs at retail. It, err...well. How shall we put this? It doesn't have the greatest reputation for knowledgeable staff and customer service.

      Ah, so you guys do have Fry's Electronics!
  • by dedazo (737510) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:54PM (#14991122) Journal
    Can't RTFA but discounting the usual Slashbot FUD that Microsoft 'punishes' those who stray into selling Linux (or whatever)... what exactly is the problem here? That retailers "should" sell Linux because "everyone" knows it's "better" than Windows? What is the rationale for expecting Circuit City to sell boxes with some other OS preinstalled?
  • by Blacklotuz (575879) on Friday March 24, 2006 @05:19PM (#14991281)
    Every time I read a slashdot article about linux it seems like all the Linux fanboys do is blame Microsoft for keeping Linux down. While I do know that Microsoft has forged some exclusive deals with PC manufacturers, I don't feel that thats the main reason why people arn't adopting Linux. I frequently build my own systems and have plenty of experience installing Linux, but I chose to use Windows as my primary OS. Linux is still lacking in many areas and if I were to try to switch the rest of my family over it would be a nightmare. Windows does have its own flaws but all in all it's the best thing on the market for most people. Back in the day of Windows 95/98 the OS bluescreened at least once a week and full OS crashes were constant, but with XP I hardly ever experience a full OS crash and I leave my system up for weeks at a time. It's usualy third party applications and drivers which cause the crashes I deal with but people are quick to blame Microsoft for these faults. A good example is my firefox install, which has been crashing quite frequently recently. I know this is probably caused by a poorly writen extension but yet I find myself thinking 'Damned Firefox'. I have a feeling that when a third party app causes trouble people are quick to blame Microsoft.
    • Bingo...! Finally someone out there who recognizes functionality as prime. Hehe, I use Windows... and for you Windows bashers out there, I haven't had a problem with it. So I have something you don't, compatibility. Windows gets plenty of bad PR, especially on a site like this, and I think that sometimes you guys lose sight of the fact that you are supposed to be able to use a computer, lol. Windows is easier... period. And about blue-screens/crashes/attacks - none here. I restart frequently and take care
    • Blackoutz writes:

      with XP I hardly ever experience a full OS crash and I leave my system up for weeks at a time.

      Then:

      my firefox install, which has been crashing quite frequently recently.

      So which is it? XP stays up for weeks or crashes frequently?

      if I were to try to switch the rest of my family over it would be a nightmare.

      Let's shell over to the wife's box. Hmm, uptime 121 days. She sits there emailing and chatting with her web friends way more then she should.

      Let's shell over to the 4 year old

      • When I refer to a full OS crash, I mean a crash that renders the system unusable and requires a reboot. As for a firefox crash, it's just that... firefox crashes. It dies and I restart the application, no biggy unless I was working on something within the browser. I was only using it as a comparison, beacuse my extensions are crashing firefox I blame firefox, even though I know its not it's fault. Beacuse other programs are crashing windows, we blame windows, even though its not always its fault. As for t
    • I want to experiment with stuff and Microsoft licensing terms are not amenable to hobbyists and explorers. (I saw recently that they require a new license for an upgraded motherboard. Sheesh. Sometimes I think they forget whose machine it is.) Well it's their right, but I've chosen to not use Windows unless someone is paying for my time, and I'm unable to figure a way to use my Mac instead. Now when I build or re-purpose computers, in other words, have fun, I put FreeBSD or Linux on them because these are

  • I'm glad to hear that these low-end Linux boxes are selling. Perhaps the majority of these boxes will get a pirated version of Windows installed but who cares?

    I would imagine that this Linspire is profiting on these units. Linspire has provided financial support to a wide variety of projects which is a good thing.

    If sales are as good as this article makes out -- it would stand to reason that these retails (And others) would be more open to stocking additional models (perhaps higher end) and provide some add
  • A PC without Windows installed, that is? I mean, yeah, I can get one with Linux installed and still pay the Windows tax, but I'd really prefer to save my money rather than sending it to Bill...
  • by wsanders (114993) on Friday March 24, 2006 @07:09PM (#14991851) Homepage
    It was Wal-Mart, the only retail company in the World big enough to kick Microsoft's ass down the street like a leaf in the wind, that did the Linspire thing, right?

    Wal-Mart will go to any means to sell a computer $0.99 cheaper than the guy down the street. They will lead a FOSS retail revolution, if the right distro can be pulled together.

    Like laws and sausages, retail computer marketing is not pretty.
  • I could have sworn that said "How open source is farting in retail."

    It's been a long day.
  • The staff believed, based on conversations with frequent customers, that most customers were buying the boxes to install Windows on them.

    Have the people who think this ever tried to do a Windows install on a computer that didnt have it pre installed? If they think Linux is hard to install they have no idea the problems they will run into. Where are they going to get the drivers? That modem, sound card, and video card will most likely not work right if at all. How are they going to get the drivers with n

  • Umm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Digital Dharma (673185) <max@zeBOYSENnplatypus.com minus berry> on Saturday March 25, 2006 @01:01AM (#14992763)
    Did anyone else read that as "How Open Source is Farting in Retail"?

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