Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Apr 2009 14:28 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has struck back at claims made by Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc about Windows' success in netbooks compared to Linux. Most of the claims made by LeBlanc are refuted quite accurately by Canonical's Chris Kenyon in a blog post titled "Microsoft, FUD and the netbook market".
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RE: Comment by Bounty
by mabhatter on Thu 9th Apr 2009 20:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Bounty"
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"What makes a real difference to return rates is not whether it's Linux or not, but the quality of the device's hardware and the ability to fully partake in web and media experiences."

Kenyon makes a very good point here. Many implementations of Linux on netbooks are downright awful,

Actually I see that as misdirection, he seems to try to indicate the problem is the hardware quality, which I think is actually really good. I haven't read his article yet, so maybe I'm missing something that wasn't part of your quote.
At first there were linux SSD netbooks, that were supposed to be so much better (power use etc.) because they had SSD's. Then there were XP netbooks with HDD's because "Windows is so bloated we HAD to" at around the same price point. Maybe you can blame purchase rates on 160Gb HDD v.s. 8Gb SSD. That still side steps return rates. No you shouldn't compare the "well engineered" linux netbooks to the average windows netbook. Apples v Oranges? Even power users don't know which one is the THE well engineered linux netbook.

I blame it on this (customer review on newegg):

" I installed Ubuntu's netbook remix, which I've been somewhat satisfied by.

In retrospect, I should have tried to use the provided OS, but familiarity with apt-get and such made me decide to just install Ubuntu.

Anyway, I don't think netbook remix is quite ready. Even with quite a bit of tinkering it has some trouble especially with the speed and responsiveness of moving between windows. "

So users (even ones advanced enough to buy and reinstall linux distros and can tweak things) want something familiar. Then.... after quite a bit of tinkering, he has issues. It's bad enough when I try linux and tinker with it, I'm sadistic like that. You will be hard pressed to get regular(ish) people to do that. They probably start to tinker, then say screw this.

But that's the definition of a "well engineered" system. Customers just take for granted that a PC with Windows is designed to work, but often many hardware features are disabled by poor drivers or lack of OEM ambition. It was particularly bad in the 90's but Windows and chip makers have started providing more drivers directly bypassing the manufacturing OEM.

Along the same line, many OEM installs of Linux don't even have time taken to choose compatible hardware, or to make sure they have up-to-date drivers. That is all PART of selling the computer. Just because "everybody" knows how to de-cruft an OEM Windows box doesn't mean that Linux is bad just because fewer people know how to de-cruft it. The problem is especially bad when somebody like Canonical is out there begging to be called and OEMS use no-name, no-support clones of third-string Linux vendors. Only Dell Netbooks ship with a first-string, top ten, linux distro, it's not really apples-to-apples.

Canonical can't fix bugs OEMs haven't given them help to patch, or even bothered to ask. That's what the post was really about. OEMs need to go to somebody like Canonical, who can make sure all the hardware is properly selected and the necessary software is pre-installed (and paid for if necessary) as well as provide ONGOING support for the OS and applications for EVERYBODY via their update service. For a fraction of the cost of Windows Licenses, OEMs could OWN a team of developers at Canonical... but all OEMs are seeing is "not paying" for Linux... not the over all picture.

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