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Old 05-21-2004, 12:29 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
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Why is Linux so invisible?

Hi Guys

Some time ago I was setting up to install Linux. I have a buddy who visits Thailand on a regular basis and has been bringing back 'Software' from Bangkok, he could get just about any program ever written for USD5 a disk.

Anyway, what the hell, I asked him to bing me back a 'Copy' of 'Redhat Enterprise Edition', yes right, they had never heard of it. This from a store that sells Programs and movie DVD's before they are even on release.

This set me thinking. When I visited Computer and software stores I made a point of looking for and asking if they had any Linux products in stock. Not one positive response so far. All the shelves were lined with M$ products though

It looks to me that Linux will never be available on the High Street as there is no profit to be made off it. It's a fact of life that a store owner is not going to stock his shelves with Fedora selling for $5 - $10 when he can sell M$ stuff costing hundreds, the profit margin is not there.

The point I am making is this, do you guys believe Linux can really compete with M$ without coming out of the closet and getting on the shelves inside a fancy box?

Myself I went on the web and got Fedora. The ordinary guy in he street wants an OS he can buy at a reasonable cost from his local store, not having to sit for hours downloading and burning the ISO, even if he knew how.

My opinion is that at present Linux fills a niche and will not capture the OS market with the strategy it has right now. It seems to me that all this comes down to spending and making a buck. To make Linux as popular as Windows it must become 'Visible', problems is that takes money and that rather spoils the concept of Free open source stuff.

However, all that said, I am happy with my little set up running Fedora, there is a good chance other people would be if they knew what Linux was.
Old 05-21-2004, 12:39 AM   #2
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I have seen Red Hat, SuSE and StarOffice in CompUSA (not that this helps you in England, obviously).

But I would agree that Linux has very little appeal to retailers, the public interest just isn't there right now. Those Red Hat boxes are very dusty at the CompUSA I go to (no joke, they actually have a coating of dust on them).
Old 05-21-2004, 12:47 AM   #3
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They make up for the cheap cost of the linux distro CDs by charging $60+ for a basic programming book

I'm just happy there are this many people who realize they don't need to pay lots of money for software.

-- Poetics
Old 05-21-2004, 01:11 AM   #4
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I have seen Linux for sale in PC World, as well as local book stores (both as CDs in rubbish books, and the standalone linux in a box.

Red Hat of course. This was London.
Old 05-21-2004, 01:13 AM   #5
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thats there problem if they don't want to make money... money CAN be made in linux, a person can put together a computer and sell it for $1200 (making a few hundred) if they preloaded linux, with all the programs the person will ever need... its not like the people will really care, they just want it to work, and linux can work better for them as it wont seemly and randomly break.

in fact pretty soon when people hear more of linux and how it costs less and offers more (OK, maybe not in some areas, but its not its fault.. blame hardware vender's, and software makers that wont port programs.. but they will when enough people use linux)
Old 05-21-2004, 01:39 AM   #6
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Depends where you look. My local branch of Waterstone's (booksellers) usually has boxed editions of SUSE and Mandrake, plus the Red Hat/Fedora for Dummies book + CDs. Staples used to carry a few copies of SUSE, too.

All these at full retail price, of course, but probably worth it to a newbie for the documentation.
Old 05-21-2004, 02:00 AM   #7
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Tell your buddy to go to Fortune IT mall on Ratchadapisek.

I have seen all the major distros on sale there, along with lots of Compaq laptops and desktops with Linux pre-installed

They are more penguin friendly than Panthip Plaza where I am guessing he normally shops.

Old 05-21-2004, 02:48 AM   #8
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in General and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 05-21-2004, 06:46 AM   #9
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Linux is sold in the newspapperstands. I got a lot of distros throw magazines. Cheep and effective distrobution.
Old 05-21-2004, 12:01 PM   #10
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its hard to sell things for money, in a shop 30 minutes from your house, especially when its free on the net in ur pajama's
Old 05-21-2004, 01:55 PM   #11
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Re: Why is Linux so invisible?

Originally posted by Scratchit
It looks to me that Linux will never be available on the High Street as there is no profit to be made off it. It's a fact of life that a store owner is not going to stock his shelves with Fedora selling for $5 - $10 when he can sell M$ stuff costing hundreds, the profit margin is not there.

The point I am making is this, do you guys believe Linux can really compete with M$ without coming out of the closet and getting on the shelves inside a fancy box?
for 1 their is no proffit margin in software or hardware really to speak of.

OEM winXP pro = $145 you will pay roughly the same price if you go buy it from Sams club, Costco, Walmart, or CompUSA or any other place for that matter. plus or minus $10-15. not a HUGE proffit margin.

Fedora books with the 2CD set sell between $39-99, same goes for SuSe, Mandrake, Debian, and IIRC last trip to bookstore i even saw a Slackware book in that price range.

if its not on the shelf were you buy computer stuff, its time to A. find a new store, B. tell the management that you want to see these items on thier shelf or you will be forced to use an other store for your supplies.
Old 05-21-2004, 06:52 PM   #12
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my g/f works at Best Buy, they sell Suse and Redhat, she has never seen someone buy Redhat but has seen about half a dozen people buy Suse, and she doesnt work more than 8 hours a week
Old 05-21-2004, 08:55 PM   #13
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We have a very, very good store in Sweden:

they've got practically everything in there, from books to linux gears. From hardware(everything Linux friendly, firewalls, routers, complete PC's, you name it) to games (that's correct, boxed Linux games), to do not mention cheap on CD distributions as Mandrake up to expensive thousand dollars Redhat Enterprise Linux AS with 1 year premium support.

I doubt they ship outside Scandinavia, but I bet England has to have similar stores non-found in google, but probably in phone books (if you still use one of these, gheh).
Old 05-21-2004, 10:51 PM   #14
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what you seek shall appear
Old 05-21-2004, 11:14 PM   #15
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I agree, if you wanna find it, you will!


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