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View Full Version : A new way to increase Linux take up?



bren
September 24th, 2007, 04:48 AM
Apologies if already debated.....
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I started using Linux about 6 months ago and I think its great. I have a dual boot Ubuntu / XP and I have used XP about once in the last 3 months. If I had discovered Ubuntu years ago I would have started then .... although i realise it has been improving fast and continues to do so.... I got to thinking about how we could expose ordinary computer buyers to Ubuntu in a low risk (for them) way.....

OK guys....here is my idea......Canonical should discuss with Dell about a new option for distributing Ubuntu (and with other resellers).

The new option is this - dual boot pre-installed (vista AND ubuntu).

Think about it....

Mr X picks up the phone to Dell to buy a new laptop. He has seen Linux mentioned many times over the years in various computer mags but never taken much interest.... He has even heard Ubuntu mentioned (once).

The sales agent offers him the choice of OS to take but he sticks with MS product because its

a) what he knows
b) he knows OEM vista is a lot cheaper. If he goes for Ubuntu only and then has to buy Windows later he worries that it will cost several hundred more than if he just buys it now
c) all his legacy knowledge and use of windows applications and way to "get things done" holds him back from choosing Ubuntu - "I don't have the time to learn a whole new world" without having the comforting backup of known ground.

However, if there was a dual boot option available at marginal cost increase then the risk is low and the penalty is low and many more people may start getting exposure to Ubuntu. "Yeh, OK", he says, "i'll take the dual boot option - always wanted to find out about that Linux thing"

Its only taken 6 months for me to get to the stage where I would be quite comfortable to order a Linux only computer (my next one probably will be) but there is no way i would have taken that step without what i have learned during my exposure via dual boot.

I think this has the chance to radically change uptake of Linux/Ubuntu (and other distros). Quoted elsewhere on this forum was a Dell sales agent saying "we sell about 500 MS systems for every Linux one". If these numbers are right 0.2% market share is never going to command huge company focus for the Dell's and HPs.

I can see it being a bit of a problem for Dell to offer dual boot as all their sys rec disks just got a bit bigger. But on the other hand they might get more market share (from other Ubuntu curious people choosing Dell over other options) and they might be able to sell more support (canonical) packages to new linux users. Now they have taken all the steps to setup the support structures dual boot is only a small add-on I think.

Done before?
What do you think?
Massive pressure from MS not to allow this?

Bren

HermanAB
September 24th, 2007, 05:29 AM
You are mistaken. There is no new way to increase Linux take-up. Everything has been tried already.

You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot stop him from drowning himself while trying to get the carrot painted on the bottom of the trough...

;)

Jimmyfj
September 24th, 2007, 05:42 AM
If there was a new way to increase Linux take-up I'm pretty sure that we'd already know about it. Magic doesn't trick the real world.

The only way to increase Linux take-up is for the Linux users to show the world that Linux IS in fact different, not only in the way of operating your computer but the whole community surrounding the OS. I my opinion the finest way to "push" the take-up is to LIVE the Ubuntu Code of Conduct in your every day life, and help out where ever you can without making any money from your effort.

You may call me what ever you like, but I believe the Code of Conduct is so much more than "just" a set of guidelines for our wonderful community around Ubuntu Linux. If we all make an effort to live by those "rules" the world just might be a better place to live.

Tiekyl
September 24th, 2007, 05:50 AM
I think this is a really interesting idea. Doesn't sound like hes saying its a magical option either...

I can see it being a low-hassle / low-pressure way try it out, and isn't that good? Ordering a Ubuntu only machine just doesnt make sense for a lot of people, and..yeah they could install it themselves, but..I dont know. This just could be encouraging giving it a chance.

MS would prolly have a fit though...

yabbadabbadont
September 24th, 2007, 05:58 AM
You are mistaken. There is no new way to increase Linux take-up. Everything has been tried already.

Bah! There is a fairly easy way to increase Linux usage (at least temporarily). Create a Windows root-kit, ala Sony, and have it drop a small Linux installation on the machine that replaces Windows. :twisted:

As seen on the news:
Root-kitted user: "I knew something was wrong. The darn thing ran for a week without one BSOD..."

:lol:

James7
September 24th, 2007, 06:00 AM
Actually I agree that it is a really cool idea. If it were taken up I can see lots of people switching or at least becoming familiar with Linux, people who might not otherwise have done. :D

FuturePilot
September 24th, 2007, 06:08 AM
Bah! There is a fairly easy way to increase Linux usage (at least temporarily). Create a Windows root-kit, ala Sony, and have it drop a small Linux installation on the machine that replaces Windows. :twisted:

As seen on the news:
Root-kitted user: "I knew something was wrong. The darn thing ran for a week without one BSOD..."

:lol:

Haha, brilliant!:lolflag:

LowSky
September 24th, 2007, 06:08 AM
If the computer makers wanted Linux to sell it has to cheaper than the competition but is isn't
Look at my comparison shopping


Dell cheapest Vista computer is $349
Dell's cheapest Ubuntu computer $379

Neither has a monitor, and Im not going by specs because both have 1+ year old tech as internals, but shouldnt the Ubuntu box still be cheaper, if Windows Vista Costs at least $120 for Home: Crap ediiton

or how about comparing Apple to System76

Mini Mac cost $599 here is what you get
1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
1GB memory
80GB hard drive1


Koala cost $599
Celeron 410 1.46 GHz
512 MB DDR2 667 MHz
40 GB 5400 RPM SATA

To upgrade the Koala to have the same specs as the Mac it would cost $962
I rather buy the Mac and install Ubuntu on it myself
So much for Free OSes making computers cheaper

I guess this is also why I build my own

Jimmyfj
September 24th, 2007, 06:09 AM
Dell, HP, and latest Levono is offering pre-installed systems, and that is what it's all about? Giving people a choice, right! But in the end pressure, "light" or not is pressure and people opt to that.

Back when I was a Windows user one thing, more than any made me sad: I couldn't just give a copy to my friends and share any software with them without breaking the law. This I can do with any distro in the world and almost any program that runs natively on the OS.

To me Linux is not just a free OS stuffed with free software. It's how I think and in trying to influence other people to think that way by example isn't pressure in any way. But I see one thing in his idea of dual booting by default: Who should pay the OEM to take up the fight with MS? The very existence of MS brings the idea of dual boot to a hold from scratch. Who should pay the OEM the bonuses for offering Linux pre-installed in a dual boot with say Vista? IBM? Dell? Who?

eph1973
September 24th, 2007, 06:38 AM
I'm thinking there's a lot of legal ramifications with a major computer retailer such as Dell offering a dual boot option. I am almost certain that such an option would cause an immediate lawsuit from Microsoft against Dell, because Dell is likely compensated from Microsoft for offering to pre-install Windows, and to also offer a competing OS would likely be a breach of contract. I am just guessing here, but I would imagine that part of the deal between Dell and Microsoft is that if Dell sells a Windows box, it can only be sold with Windows on it. Never in a (insert gigantic number here) years would Microsoft agree to having an option of another OS prepackaged with it's own OS.

I have a question: does Dell, or any other laptop retailer offer a naked computer (no OS pre-installed)? Or is the only way you are going to do that is to build your own?

hellmet
September 24th, 2007, 06:40 AM
I think the OP's idea does sound good. I'm sure people would then take li'l time off windows once in a while just to try that 'other' thing on the system. People with more time might even want to see if they can get those 'Windows' tasks on ubuntu, and try searching for program alternatives. Not a bad idea at all.

hellmet
September 24th, 2007, 06:46 AM
I have a question: does Dell, or any other laptop retailer offer a naked computer (no OS pre-installed)? Or is the only way you are going to do that is to build your own?

Back in India, most of the computers that people buy are Assembled, unless they have absolutely no idea of computers. [Even then, the guys in the shop often know what combinations of hardware are compatible and are well tested. Here, in the US, I find that 'selling' stuff only means selling them, without the slightest hint of its working]
Also, assembled systems turn out to be a loooot cheaper than OEMs, where as in the US, both turn out to be as costly.
Ubuntu runs well on Assembled systems, than on OEMs meant for Windows. My installation on a 4 year old PC has been very successfully, and the installation on dell has been painful and not yet complete.

Compaq offers OS less laptops in India. But it wants to bundle windows in US. WTH?

bren
September 24th, 2007, 11:52 AM
I think the OP's idea does sound good

thanks:)
whether it will work is another matter entirely...

only someone like Dell can do this I think...

store based computer selling operations have too much revenue in post PC sale games and software sales to risk introducing Ubuntu....

would be interesting to know if anyone HAS raised this (dual boot) plan with a major like Dell/HP

bren

Johnsie
September 24th, 2007, 12:11 PM
How do you choose how much disk space to allocate to each OS?

bren
September 24th, 2007, 01:10 PM
half each with a utility included on the system recovery disk to wipe either OS if you want to and return the full disk to your chosen OS

bren

samb0057
September 24th, 2007, 01:29 PM
I don't think this would work for two reasons.

1. The average computer user just wants the computer to work. He/she is definitely not going to pay extra to experiment with Linux. To people knowledgeable about computers, yes, but the average person does not care at all, and is probably scared of Linux. Alot of the people I know and do tech support jobs for are so scared of their computers (literally) they would never even consider taking a step like this.

2. Microsoft would not let this happen. They obviously have a pretty good hold on Dell, as everywhere you go on their site you see "Dell recommends Windows Vista"

I think the best option is to offer it alongside Windows. Possibly make it cheaper than Windows, but not necessarily. This will make the name familiar in lots of people's minds, and let them know that there is an option besides Windows.

bren
September 24th, 2007, 10:59 PM
1. The average computer user just wants the computer to work.

I agree....

And in my case installing feisty dual boot for myself caused way more grief than the average computer user would want......power failure during install caused partition table corruption and I thought i had "lost" xp..... sometime later and a quick testdisk session followed by another ubuntu install and everything was rosy....

Wireless took a fair bit of meddling as well...

The point of idea above was to try and get round this issues and present the buyer with a "it just works" option for ubuntu and MS.



2. Microsoft would not let this happen

Sadly, I agree

It's got no chance ! :(

bren

BuffaloX
September 24th, 2007, 11:30 PM
The Idea is good,

In fact I think that Dell is already working on it....

I also needed some time to get my stuff to work in Ubuntu.
And to get comfortable with it.
Now I only have a couple of games in XP.
But as soon as Linux gets some games I like, XP is toast on my system.

I think most people want access to both worlds, before dropping Windows completely.

bren
October 3rd, 2007, 03:18 AM
In fact I think that Dell is already working on it.... [offering dual boot pre-installed]


rumor or fact?

bren