What’s wrong with it?
… here’s what MSI’s US sales director Andy Tung told our friend Joanna at Laptop when she asked about high return rates:
We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven’t really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks. ….
just as I am always saying, don’t try to turn it into Pindows, don’t try to turn it into OS Y, don’t try to lie to your clients that this is the same but for no money. It is not! every company, even this one, should clearly get this idea, they sell a totally different software and principles.
What the companies should focus at (absolutely IMHO) is how to attract the new markets. My mother in law is using GNU/Linux/KDE3 for about two months. It just works for her because she doesn’t look for Start button to Stop computer. That’s the way. Trying to sell a netbook with Linux to someone who doesn’t know what the heck it is but knows how to format disks in Windows is a terrible mistake. He returns it as soon as he finds out that the “Desktop” is not where computer is but actually Computer is where the Desktop sits. Discovering such a thing is like discovering that there is no Santa but the latest is easily accepted thanks to a child’s ability to absorbe new facts and ambiential changes. So focus on two groups, people with no previous experience and adopters, children and youth.
I don’t hope my message will reach distributors but I do hope I am right so the conclusions I make will also be made by GNU/Linux sellers.