Cheap Laptops Bad for Vista, Good for Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2007-11-26 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Opinion: As laptops get cheaper, Linux and Windows XP are both making better business sense than Vista.

The good news for everyone is that you can get a good, solid laptop for under a grand these days. The bad news for Vista users is that many of those laptops, even though they're sold with Vista, have nothing like enough resources to run Vista decently.

This year, from everything I've seen, has lived up to the Merrill Lynch prediction that 2007 would be the year that notebooks overtook desktops to become the bigger revenue generator for PC makers. For some companies, like Hewlett-Packard, laptops have become the single most important revenue source.

There are a couple of reasons for this and they're closely tied together. First, a PC vendor can make more profit on an under-$1,000 laptop than it would on a PC at the same price. At the same time, with Wi-Fi being available essentially everywhere and laptop prices falling below the magic $1,000 mark, more and more customers, both consumer and business, are turning to laptops.

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There's only one little problem with this if your company name is Microsoft. Those under-$1,000 laptops can't run Vista worth a darn. In addition, Vista has become a bigger and bigger part of a laptop's cost. So, if you're a PC vendor, you could either upgrade your hardware—and there goes your sweet price point; put Vista Home Basic on the system—which even Vista lovers admit is trash; or continue to sell Windows XP and give adventurous customers a Linux option.

What's happened is that people aren't upgrading their basic laptops. Computer price margins are razor-thin. If people want top-of-the-line laptop, vendors are happy to provide them at an appropriate price point. But Dell, HP, Acer, et al. know darn well that they sell more of their cheaper systems than premium ones.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Cheap Laptops Bad for Vista, Good for Linux

 
 
 
 
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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