Bonum Certa Men Certa

Q: How Can Microsoft Make Windows Less Expensive Than GNU/Linux?

A: Offer discounts on XP and encourage OEMs to embrace Microsoft-taxed Ballnux

What happens when you discover that choosing a PC with GNU/Linux means paying more than for the same PC with Windows? Shouldn't free software be inexpensive? Microsoft would love to change this [1, 2, 3].

“Novell is merely following Microsoft's lead in this, for its own selfish benefit.”We recently debated this very same problem using China's server market as an example, where GNU/Linux can be made more expensive than Windows due to Microsoft's and Novell's plot. Novell is merely following Microsoft's lead in this, for its own selfish benefit.

Someone recently raised the concern that many low-laptops these days pick up a Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux distribution (also known as "Ballnux"). Might Microsoft be helping Novell getting contracts behind the scenes? We recently uncovered some secret deals Microsoft had been making with laptop manufactures/assemblers.

It's important to defend Free software's entry point into the broad consumer market. Most recent additions (from the news) include the muchly-anticipated MSI laptop, which turns out to have picked SUSE.

MSI today has firmed up specs for its Wind mini-notebook, including its launch timeframe. The 10-inch system will closely follow ASUS' practices with the Eee PC and ship in both a low-cost Linux version (based on Novell's distribution) as well as a more expensive Windows XP edition.

SUSE is described here as "Linux version (based on Novell's distribution)." Better than "Microsoft's Suse Linux franchise," right? Here is another news report:

There will be a Novell Linux version and a Windows XP MSI Wind, similar to how the Asus Eee. I do not know why MSI chose Novell Linux, seems a bit odd.

The selection of SUE Linux [sic] wasn't quite so odd to the Microsoft-friendly CNET, which said this about the Ballnux-loaded ThinkPad a few days ago.

I was gladdened yesterday when reported a sale on a new Lenovo ThinkPad R61 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop ($552, see below).

People need to demand that OEMs do not make a Microsoft-owned Linux their de facto choice. This could have horrendous effects that are summarised in the title of this post. Mark Shuttleworth warned about it just over a year ago.

Microsoft cannot make Windows cheaper than free (gratis). In the case of the OLPC, Intel and Microsoft actually covered the cost of hardware to defeat AMD and GNU/Linux, but that's dumping, which is illegal. As such, Microsoft will try to elevate the cost of GNU/Linux, using software patents and back-room deals.


Say No to Novell


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