Why Major Retailers are Taking Baby Penguin Steps with Linux

It looks like Micro Center is not only stocking Linux machines, but are also staffing knowledgeable sales and tech people to go along with them. This is good news and something that is sorely needed. Even better, it looks like large retailers such as Fry's, Best Buy and Walmart are keeping an eye on this. There isn't a Micro Center near me, but I wish them the best of Luck. One thing I don't like about this though is that it seems that Linux is always preinstalled on the cheapest of machines. I think this is one place that being gratis can actually hurt Linux. To the untrained eye it becomes the cheap (and in some peoples eyes therefor crappy) alternative to Windows. You and I know that Linux is a stable and mature OS that is certainly worth as much as Windows from a cost perspective, but perception is reality and I don't think the perception that Linux is a “cheap” version of Windows is a good perception for Linux to have. Once again, education is the answer – but education is expensive and time consuming. Here's hoping that one day soon someone simply starts offering Linux as an additional option to any machine as opposed to just an preload on a couple of cheap machines. Have to crawl before you walk though…
–jeremy

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