[conspire] Linux: hardware certified "vs." OS preloaded; OS install kiosks?

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Wed Nov 11 11:01:45 PST 2009

begin Michael Paoli quotation of Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 03:37:41AM -0800:

> And ... consumer choices on OS loads ... kiosk?  No, not generally -
> certainly not for new systems - or even new hard drives.  These days,
> new hard drives have quite large capacities, and continue to be
> relatively inexpensive.  For new systems or hard drives, why not preload
> the hard drive with (compressed) images to offer a choice of
> OSes/distributions (at least a few to several free ones) - could already
> have a default one installed and set to run (or to install by default),
> but let the consumer choose if they want to install (or even reinstall)
> a different one.

Choice equals support calls, and one support call
wipes out the profit on some PCs.  So it's going to be
hard to convince most manufacturers to offer options.

One area that most vendors seem to be overlooking
(Dell may be the exception) is lead generation.  It
costs a _lot_ of money to get a good name and contact
info for an IT professional.  For manufacturers who
offer both heavy server-side products and laptops,
it could turn out to be cost-effective to offer one
top-of-the-line high-margin laptop at a time naked
without OS.  That way you can add to your customer
database an individual who is (1) confident enough in
his or her Linux skills not to need a fallback OS and
(2) able to spend money, his own or an employer's.

Don Marti                                 +1 510-332-1587 mobile
dmarti at zgp.org

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