Dell, and now Lenovo are or will be shipping portable computers with Linux instead of Windows. While Dell is also offering desktops with Ubuntu, it’s not that important, as Linux users are able to get custom-built desktops (by themselves or a third-party).
Well, it’s not always an easy path. I remember when I ordered a custom-built computer in a small shop, they installed Windows 98 on the computer even after I asked them not to. Eventually I didn’t pay for it so I didn’t complain much! So, not easy, put possible.
However, for laptops, you were basically screwed. It’s impossible to build your own portable computer, there is no such thing as the ATX standard for laptops, and it’s way harder to chose your components and assemble them so that they would fit and not overheat. Therefore, it was downright impossible to escape the “Microsoft Tax“, as everything was shipped with Microsoft’s infamous operating system. Until now.
Now, you can buy a laptop and save money1 because you didn’t pay Microsoft for a product you weren’t going to use. Even if you don’t want to use the distribution which comes with the computer, you will be able to wipe it out without regrets : it’s free – as in beer2.
I3 said earlier that Linux on the desktop is not a significant progress compared to Linux on the laptop. It’s halfway true: businesses frequently want to buy big-brand computers (i.e. Dells); they will now be able to use any OS they wish without getting fucked in the ass by a chair-throwing warmonger monkey. Even the unstable OS if they really want it, as I often saw organizations buy computers shipped Windows and then install another version (most of the time the older one), ending up with paying two licenses for one computer.
As I think Linux4 will probably win its first big market share parts in the enterprise market (unless Apple does), it’s good news for everyone.
Nevertheless, don’t think we’ve won the war, my fellow penguin lovers. The Linux offers are still confidential; you have to use a special version of the store to order a Dell under Ubuntu and Windows “genuine” is recommended everywhere on the manufacturer’s websites. Vista is shipped on all PCs5, even those who obviously can’t run Redmond’s new power-hungry beast; proving once again that the hardware vendors are still Microsoft’s bitches.
- Or just avoid financing an evil software company. [↩]
- I love beer. And footnotes. [↩]
- Did I say I love footnotes? [↩]
- Linux is only the kernel, Linux and its associated tools is called GNU/Linux and is the core OS, and the OS and applications is called a distribution… well sorry RMS, I’d rather say Linux because it’s far more convenient. [↩]
- I only saw a Windows XP option on some Alienware systems. [↩]