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How do manufacturers limit the choice of laptops with "alternative" operating systems

I was puzzled a week ago by buying a cheap laptop for my home: work, watch a movie and surf the Internet via WiFi. Previously, I read a small note on Arkady Shane's blog , where he called the cost of a Microsoft Windows 7 Pro license at 12-13 tr.
So I wondered how a buyer could even buy a laptop without an imposed OS, and how much a Microsoft product license actually costs him.
Of course, I do not pretend to complete and objective assessment in the article, two days browsing the catalogs of Internet shops and one day off spent on traveling around three computer stores and even then, for interest, four networks selling electronics would not be a complete picture, but will give a rough idea.

First, the question was raised, but how many notebooks are there at all, which can be purchased without a pre-installed operating system. Secondly, are there really similar configurations of laptops sold with or without a Microsoft Windows license (FreeDOS, Linux) and what is the difference in the configuration of laptops. And of course, thirdly, the difference in the cost of identical models.
To be objective, I looked through the catalogs of several online stores operating in Yekaterinburg and for one compared with the prices of Moscow stores. As a result, I will quote prices for one of their stores, but I will not call him, their service is for blondes, consultants have the appropriate erudite and “pairing” methods of the product.

Let's start in order.

1. Laptops without an operating system are not sold at all, but consultants in this category include everything, without exception, laptops without Microsoft Windows (re: Store and MacBook are not considered, it is by chance - they don’t buy). Moreover, lobbying for Microsoft products (otherwise I can’t explain) leads to the fact that FreeDOS or Linux are most often installed on laptops without a graphical shell. Almost all Linux laptops I viewed on sale had only the kernel and, accordingly, were loaded in command line mode while working in single-user mode. About splitting the disk into two equal sections, one of which was allocated for Linux and was formatted in ext2 (wtf?), And the second in NTFS (I remind you that the laptop did not have Microsoft OS) I would rather say nothing. Of all I reviewed, only two laptops had Ubuntu Linux preinstalled (09.x), but the consultants claimed that they installed Ubuntu on one of them personally, so that they could somehow promote the product in the warehouse.
But in general, there is a choice and it is not as small as I expected. However, in spite of the fact that I read a lot of notes about the “good company” of Dell that produces laptops with Linux in the company's assortment, the choice was minimal. Sony did not show up at all with any model with "alternative" operating systems. The richest in choice were (descending) Acer, Asus, Lenovo. Other players had two or three models, in my opinion only for a “tick”.
Thus, the purchase of a laptop is limited to models having a graphical interface. Spherical buyer in a vacuum A random buyer will not understand the technical characteristics of identical models both with and without the OS, and certainly will not think about how he will later install the OS and where to look for drivers for the equipment.
Moreover, only in one of the “all-in-one” stores selling electronics from vacuum cleaners to home theaters I was able to find a laptop without an OS of the Windows family, and at the same time the consultant assured that the cost difference would not exceed 100 rubles, so I would not worth bother penny economy. "
2. The same configurations of laptops were also found, which is more than logical to produce different models for different operating systems is not profitable. But at the same time several models did not fall under the comparison for a simple reason. On the same for all the characteristics of laptops installed a different amount of RAM. Most often 3GB for Windows 7 and 2 GB for Linux versions.
In the completeness of the delivery there are also minor differences. In Linux-versions of laptops, there are no driver disks whatsoever, or one driver disk for Windows Vista / 7 is attached. No utilities from the manufacturer, nor any drivers for Linux were found on the pre-installed systems.

In addition, almost all laptops "without an operating system" are in the category of "up to 20t.r." or "20 with a tail tr." And are the most simple working machines. Something with the original design already has a pre-installed system from the evil corporation Microsoft.
Here, however, I'm on the contrary, I will say thanks to the manufacturers. After all, if someone just needs a working mobile computer, then an unusual, or even more exclusive, design will hardly be necessary. And later, no one limits the laptop’s owner in turning his pet into something original.
More than all the Acer models that came across to me and a good (but smaller) part of Asus notebooks were matte (!), Which again speaks of their working purpose. In general, I can hardly imagine, let's say, the service provider of the provider setting up the Internet for a client on a glamorous glossy laptop in the middle of a high-rise technical floor.

3. Finally, the price range ...
At Asus, the range of prices is strictly graded 500 and 1000 p. depending on the version of Microsoft Windows 7
14 "Asus Laptop (K40IJ) (HD) CM T3100 (1.9) / 2048/250 / X4500 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / Linux - $ 17,455.
14 "Asus Laptop (K40IJ) (HD) CM T3100 (1.9) / 2048/250 / X4500 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / MS Win7 - 17 995 p.

15.6 "Asus Laptop (K50IJ) (HD) CM T3300 (2.0) / 2048/250 / X4500 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / Cam / Linux - 19 995 p.
15.6 "Asus Laptop (K50IJ) (HD) CM T3300 (2.0) / 2048/250 / X4500 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / Cam / MS Win7 - 20 995 p.

Acer has a slightly less unambiguous situation, since it is the manufacturer’s laptops that are seen in different amounts of RAM for different parts of delivery, which may be why, and maybe for some other reason, but the difference in cost is different for different models and reaches 1600r.
15.6 "Acer eMachines EME440-1202G16Mi (HD) AMD Sempron V120 (2.2) / 2048/160 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / Linux Laptop - 16 495.
15.6 "Acer eMachines EME440-1202G16Mi (HD) AMD Sempron V120 (2.2) / 2048/160 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / MS Win7 Starter Notebook - 17 795.
the difference is 1,300 rubles.

15.6 "Acer eMachines EME730G-333G25Miks (HD) i3 330M (2.13) / 3072/250 / ATi HD5470 512 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / Cam / Linux notebook - 23 995 p.
15.6 "Acer eMachines EME730G-333G25Mi (HD) i3 330M (2.13) / 3072/250 / ATi HD5470 512 / DVD-SMulti / WiFi / Cam / MS Win7 notebook - 25 595 p.
difference - 1 600r.

And this is with the compensation of the cost of Windows for Microsoft Windows 7 Starter - 400r, and Home Basic - 810r.

As a result, I purchased a laptop in the console assembly of Linpus Linux from Acer, which included a single CD with drivers for Windows 7.
The seven itself, borrowed on the Internet for familiarization, was established without any complaints, the only unpleasant moment came to light when I decided to download the latest versions of hardware drivers. On the enclosed disk drivers were newer than on Russian mirror Acer.
On the newly installed Fedora Linux, there were no problems with the hardware stuffing either, except for the fact that the WiFi module, disconnected in Windows at all, in Linux pretended to be turned off, but continued to wink with a diode activity. And so - it all worked out of the box, which indicates a good level of support for devices in any modern operating system.

The fact that the manufacturer earns in any case there is nothing reprehensible. But the fact that there is practically no alternative to Windows on laptops, and, moreover, the user is put in a position where he doesn’t suspect the existence of this alternative or, for a number of reasons, is forced to abandon it, causes me ... irritation.
Currently, the market for mobile devices and laptops form several corporations, but not the consumer. The average consumer has no opportunity to come and say, I want this and that, how much will it cost? It is put before the fact go to the dark side of the force, we have pecheninki , we have this and this, and I don’t like it - get used to it.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/100286/

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