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Carphone Warehouse, netbooks and GNU/Linux: an inquest

Feb 02, 2009, 17:49 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary Richmond)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"So, why are unhappy buyers returning their purchases? Did the sales people at Carphone Warehouse not explain to prospective buyers that they would be using Ubuntu and give a quick demo? I understand that there was no official link up with Canonical on promoting Ubuntu and that may have been detrimental to promoting it in terms of educating users. Any Windows user would at home with the Gnome or Kubuntu interface in terms of the start menu and the programmes listed therein, so it can’t be beyond them to find their way around without the equivalent of Sat Nav. That raises the second question: since Carphone Warehouse were selling these netbooks as part of their mobile internet package (sign up for a mobile contract and get the computer free or just buy it stand alone), did they ensure that Ubuntu came with out of the box functionality? In other words, did the wireless card and the mobile internet just work without the user requiring specialist GNU/Linux skills?

"If this answer is yes then I cannot see what the problem was for the average Windows user. However, some users have reported problems in that area. Hardy Heron was the Ubuntu version on their netbook; although my mobile internet (3G) worked more or less out of the box with Intrepid Ibex (four mouse clicks to get online) it seems it may not have with the earlier version of Ubuntu. Surely Carphone Warehouse would not have started selling this machine without ensuring out of the box compatibility with wireless and mobile internet working? Did Carphone Warehouse get their marketing right, or was there just no proper marketing, full stop?"

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