hi <br><br><div><span class="gmail_quote">On 10/5/07, <b class="gmail_sendername">Rick Moen</b> <<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>> wrote:</span><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
Quoting Tom Haddon (<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>):<br><br>> I see where you're coming from, but I'm not sure I'd agree totally. I<br>> think Dell are pretty serious about this, and the fact that they pushed
<br>> it through so quickly and then followed up by rolling it out in Europe<br>> as well points to that.<br><br>Well, sure, that's the good news, but I think you're disregarding the<br>substance of what I said:
</blockquote><div><br>No, IMHO, I *meant* to build on your main point. <br></div><br><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">Members of the general computing public are being almost 100% prevented
<br>from finding Dell's Ubuntu offerings in casual product shopping --<br>almost exactly the same as they were last time, around year 2000.</blockquote><div><br>Right. I was totally accepting this point as true, and speculating as to why that might be the case. It's because Dell doesn't want to cannibalize its main revenue stream -- sales of Microsoft Windows boxes.
<br></div><br><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">> I think ideal is obviously to have a choice of Windows or Linux on any<br>
> machine without having to go to a specific URL (i.e. knowing about it<br>> before hand), but I also think Dell is all about the numbers - if it<br>> makes financial sense for them to do that, they will.<br><br>
Sure, but....<br><br>Part of "the numbers" is Microsoft Corporation's very considerable co-op<br>marketing money, which OEMs fear losing. They fear it a _lot_. </blockquote><div><br>+1 I meant that to be one of my points. Dell is firmly in Microsoft's value chain (as a downstream distributor).
<br></div><br><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">You<br>seem to be implying (but apologies if I'm overinterpreting) that this is
<br>a level playing field, </blockquote><div><br>No, sorry if I didn't make that clear. <br><br> </div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
<br>Pretty nearly the only significant (or even non-significant) retailers<br>offering Linux pre-installs are small ones that do _not_ have Windows<br>OEM contracts. <br></blockquote></div><br>+1 That is what I meant when I said that these OEM vendors, such as Zareason, for example, are outside the Microsoft value chain.
<br><br>For example, let's contrast Dell with <a href="http://Zareason.com">Zareason.com</a>. Zareason is a local SF Bay Area family business that offers no Microsoft solutions at all. For the Dell fiscal year ending 2006/02/03, Dell had earnings of $55 B. For Dell to grow 10% the next year, they need to find $5 B in new sales. They most likely *ain't* going to find it from Linux sales, at least not this year. If Dell is going to hit its growth targets (whatever they are), it is going to need to focus on what its best customers want now and for the next few quarters. Since most of Dell's customers are Microsoft Windows end users and SMB and enterprise customers, Dell is forced to continue to meet those customers' needs first. None of the marketing or sales people in Dell want to get stuck with Linux sales, because they all want to get bonuses and get promoted, and they are not going to hit their sales numbers by selling Linux, for the same reason.
<br><br>Now by contrast, let's think about Zareason. Let's assume that they have been in business for about one year, and that they have sold, say, 10 units per month at $500.00 per unit. That is $5,000.00 in gross sales per month for 12 months, or $60,
000.00 per year. For Zareason to grow 10% next year, they only need to find $6,000.00 of new sales per year for the upcoming year. Unlike salespersons at Dell, the Zareason sales team does not get punished for focusing on FOSS sales, because Microsoft is only going to give them a small margin for selling Microsoft products pre-installed, and how can Zareason possibly compete with the reach and sales teams of HP and Dell? They can't.
<br><br>So Zareason is highly motivated to focus on getting more sales for FOSS installs. As FOSS gets better functionality and better "brand name" acceptance, Zareason will probably benefit in disproportionate measure, relatively speaking, from the growth of FOSS than will Dell. Zareason is more likely to get into deals with Linspire for a share of Linspire's commercialized CNR apt-get solution. Dell will probably continue to ignore commercial implementations of apt-get for a long time. It is entirely possible that by the time that apt-get has commercial implementations, someone like Zareason or System76 or EmperorLinux or Amazon or Google will have made sufficient in-roads to commercializing apt-get such that said company will have the key industry contacts, contracts, branding and key employees to lock a Dell-type company out of the value chain.