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leetcharmer
January 19th, 2007, 09:43 PM
This is just for those who don't want to read a longer post

Summary:

If Ubuntu's aim is to fix Bug #1 (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1), we ought to consider a strategy that goes beyond just software -- utilizing all forms of technology: hardware, software, support.

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Preface:

Microsoft has the current majority in market share for all computers used worldwide. To my understanding, the reason so many people today trust computer's is because of the added productivity they have brought to an individual's economy. Over decades, Microsoft has gained the trust of its users. They've had much time to innovate on top of their own platform, as users grow with them in the process. Early adoption to the market showed vendors that it would be wise to develop for such a platform. This leads us to today, where it's very rare for us not to see a piece of computer equipment that does not revolve around something created by Microsoft.

Our Goal:

I'm sure there are many out there who are zealous about what Ubuntu has become since its inception. The entire Linux community has benefited from the research and development that has come from this single distribution, what's NOT to be zealous about? Wouldn't it be great if we could share this innovation with the world?

If the answer is yes, then what keeps so many people away from such a great operating system? My answer is user-friendliness. Innovation is worthless if it takes too much work for someone not so zealous to reap the fruits from it.

Concept:

A little less than one decade ago today, Apple's products revolving around the Mac would've made almost anyone (that I know) shiver. Windows was clearly THE answer to computing solutions. Today, that is not the case. Ever since the invention of the iPod, Apple has received only stellar reviews that I have read. iPods, macbooks, new iMac's. They're all receiving so much attention now, and apparently, the public loves it! Especially because now they have even more options to install windows on it and have even more access to their choice of software.

Why has mac become so popular? Could it be product design? Well, yes -- that may be some of it. Perhaps eye candy? Undoubtedly, this should gather attention. That can wear off after the buzz is gone though. The real answer is, user-friendliness, in my opinion. Intuitive, ergonomic solutions that feel right, make sense, and work easily will cause people to stick with it.

Without that added attention to detail, which would make things simple to users -- I doubt Apple would've ultimately gained more ground on Microsoft's market share than they did.

What should we learn from this?

Perhaps, if nothing else -- Canonical should broaden their scope on support for a product they want to commercially sponsor. It is great that they've donated so much to funding a project that has taken the Linux community so far; BUT -- I think if we, meaning the community, want to impact those who live outside of the internet, perhaps we ought to compete on a retail level. Only our commercial sponsor can support that idea though.

If this is a plausible idea, perhaps Canonical should start together a team of people to develop computers that will come preinstalled with Ubuntu. Computers that look sleek, and smooth. Something we can call modern. As well as hardware that works out of the box. Better yet -- hardware they don't mind support commercially, when consumers choose to buy them.

If Canonical releases hardware, creates software, and supports it all -- the market share should skyrocket. Profit will be made to the company, Ubuntu as an OS will remain free for the community -- consumers will learn it's name. Companies will develop to support it. Drivers will be made. It's a big chain of win, as I see it. Everyone benefits.

Brunellus
January 19th, 2007, 10:17 PM
No, unless canonical's hardware were significantly cheaper than existing hardware.

Or, rather, no, unless canonical's hardware provided functionality that was missing in the marketplace.

Ideally, I'd buy an Ubuntu laptop that weighed about 1 kg. I might even pay market rates for it.

But look, Apple does this and their total desktop penetration is somewhere around 5 percent. Commodore tried this, too. I'm not typing this from an Amiga.

leetcharmer
January 19th, 2007, 10:23 PM
Well, some of the cost could go for that commercial support instead of having to necessarily come to the forums or IRC to be supported. If they did hardware themselves, they could have more control over those machines.

I've been talking about all this prior to additional features. If they wanted to add features to hardware to make it extra special, that could also be intriguing :D!

BWF89
January 20th, 2007, 12:29 AM
It would depend on the computer.

Omnios
January 20th, 2007, 12:37 AM
One problem would be shipping though a local authorized retailer might work though.

smoker
January 20th, 2007, 12:49 AM
i think you would have to get the big chains to give up shelf space to such a venture for it to be a commercial success, when the people that walk into pcworld see a ubuntu computer set up and can be demonstrated by a 'competent' member of the sales staff, then sufficient sales may follow.

leetcharmer
January 20th, 2007, 02:16 AM
If they certainly were against providing their own hardware -- they could at least consider forming deals with current vendors to and do all the support for those machines.

For example:
Sign a deal with HP
Preinstall Ubuntu on hardware that is all supported
Canonical does the technical support for consumers

Good or Whack?

rai4shu2
January 20th, 2007, 02:26 AM
A decade ago, Photoshop on Windows was a joke, and Mac was where it was at.

rev_b
January 20th, 2007, 04:01 AM
I think the question is a bit misleading. I, and many more here, just wouldn't buy a pre-assembled PC. I just buy the components and assemble it myself. Sometimes, I keep the same base for some years, just upgrading CPU/mb, adding more RAM and so on, avoiding the "latest and greatest", because it's just too expensive, and one year from now it'll be outdated and cost 1/4th. So the answer is no.

If the question was "If Canonical sold OEM PC's with Ubuntu pre-instaled, would it increase Ubuntu/Linux market share". Definitely yes. Linux just doesn't get more and more used because 99% of sold computers have Microsoft crapware pre-installed on it. It's very hard to get a OEM computer without an OS pre-instaled or even a bare machine. So to use Linux, you have to install it and configure it, and it can be quite a pain. Not just only Linux, give the average PC user a bare PC and a Windows instalation disk and see if they can do it...

leetcharmer
January 20th, 2007, 04:39 AM
If the question was "If Canonical sold OEM PC's with Ubuntu pre-instaled, would it increase Ubuntu/Linux market share". Definitely yes. Linux just doesn't get more and more used because 99% of sold computers have Microsoft crapware pre-installed on it. It's very hard to get a OEM computer without an OS pre-instaled or even a bare machine. So to use Linux, you have to install it and configure it, and it can be quite a pain. Not just only Linux, give the average PC user a bare PC and a Windows instalation disk and see if they can do it...

You hit the nail on the head! btw -- the poll and the thread are separate not intertwined. The poll is just to see how much interest there would be in buying pre-supported hardware.

Anyway, in order to REALLY gain ground on the desktop market, someone somewhere needs to be selling preinstalled Ubuntu systems that come with support to the retail market where people browse and impulse shop. That will be an ultimate grounds for consumer review and getting a piece of the market share pie.

marcus2004
January 20th, 2007, 07:04 AM
I think if people started to have a choice between two identical computers,
computer A at $600 with windoze or computer B for $400 with Ubuntu they would definately start taking Ubuntu into consideration.

spockrock
January 20th, 2007, 07:20 AM
I voted no because I build all my computers, the only computer I haven't built in the last 5 years is a free dell workstation my moms company was getting rid of.

EdThaSlayer
January 20th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Instead of Canonical making their own pc's I prefer the idea of signing deals with big hardware vendors and givng people a choice between Microsoft and Ubuntu(now instead of just 2 choices between M$ Windows Home[+$150] and M$ Windows Professional[+$250] they will see another one that has no price tag attached, which is Ubuntu Linux[+$0]). From the consumers point of view seeing that sexy $0 price tag, and comparing it to the other price tags[$+150 and $+250],they would, if they were "normal" choose the $0 price tag OS[Ubuntu].

rai4shu2
January 20th, 2007, 12:00 PM
Something that might affect marketshare: I just saw a Dell ad for Linux on TV yesterday. It was clearly for "Enterprise Server" type environments, but not a bad way to start. :)

jsmidt
January 20th, 2007, 03:32 PM
How about System 76?

jvc26
January 20th, 2007, 06:38 PM
I'm a big fan of building my own pcs. I get something which is more powerful than those offered by shops for a smaller price, and so it seems the best option. Also by doing so I can completely be in control of what I put on there - no need to pay money for an OS which I will never use, I'll just install Ubuntu. I wouldnt buy one with Ubuntu preinstalled, why? you may ask, and my answer to you is twofold:

1/ I love the fun of setting up a computer from scratch, everything shiny and new and the amusement of playing with what at its most basic is one hell of an expensive lego set
2/ I like to be able to mess about with my specific install of Ubuntu, so even if it was preinstalled I'd end up wiping it most likely to customise it to exactly how I wanted.
Anyway, theres my answer :)

Il

leetcharmer
January 20th, 2007, 09:10 PM
Illuvator: That may be good for you, but the average computer user buys from a major vendor. So, the retail outlets are going to be the major point for Ubuntu to get out into the public. We are so reserved by keeping Ubuntu only to those who will go to it out of desire, rather than ease. Ease is preinstalled in a retail store.

@jsmidt:
System76 would be great! I support them, and I would prolly buy a computer from them in the future. But, System76 is not very well known, and they do not offer their machines at major retail locations. So they're missing a big audience.