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5 Reasons why PC OEMs should offer Linux

29 March 2007

DELL currently offers Linux as an option for certain laptop and desktop models. Talk is that this service may be expanded to all models. This is a good thing, of course. Results of a recent survey by DELL show that more than 70% of over 100.000 respondents want to use Linux for home and office! What has been keeping companies like DELL away from this?

I’ve found five good reasons why OEMs should offer Linux as at least an option:

1. Freedom of Choice You pay for your hardware. Its’ yours. You should be able to use that hardware any way you want. The OEM should not force you to use anything else than what you want.

2. It saves customers money. If a customer doesn’t want to use Microsoft Windows? Why charge him for a license anyway?

3. It’s an unserved market. There are no mayor OEMs out there offering Linux as a default option. You get Microsoft Windows. In some cases you don’t have to buy Windows and get a clean hard drive instead. People want to use Linux, but they don’t want to go through the download-install-configure process. This is a big oppertunity, if you ask me.

4. Your hardware gets more popular. We’ve seen this with Nvidia already. May Linux users buy Nvidia cards because nvidia offers superb Linux drivers. Plug in the cards, install the drivers and off you go. If a player like DELL would support their hardware like that, people would be willing to buy DELL instead of Brand X. Once the word gets out that Linux ‘just works’ on a DELL, you’ll know that more customers will come your way.

5. Current support options are sufficient. A majority of respondents to the Linux survey at DELL indicated that the current community support forums would suffice their needs. Besides that, there’s a big Linux community out there willing to help new Linux users.

This space is reserved for linking to a list of why Linux should be the default OS for OEMs and Windows an option. (Contact me if you want to post that list a a guest blogger to Ariejan.net).