"I know, I know. Why offer advice about Linux computers
when no one is using them, right? Well, given that Linux represents
roughly 30% of the millions of netbooks being sold, Linux is
actually being used by consumers like never before. As we see in
recent ads in newspapers, online and elsewhere, the word 'Linux' is
actually appearing a lot more in public. This is a good thing, but
there is a danger.
"I hope that vendors selling consumer PCs and netbooks running
Linux will prominently display and detail that: 'This is a
Linux-based computer, and this is an alternative operating system
to Windows XP or Vista.' When I page through the newspaper, once I
slap myself in the face after seeing the 'Linux Laptop' EeePC on
sale at Toys'R'Us, I am glad to see the word 'Linux' (also the same
8G storage as the Windows Laptop side-by-side for $30 less).
However, I'm somewhat disappointed that a separate Dell newspaper
insert does not mention Linux. The cool, little Inspiron Mini 9 is
advertised with its features, but lists the operating system as:
'Mini OS Powered by Ubuntu 8.04.' No mention of Linux. Now of
course most Linux folks know that Ubuntu is Linux, but most folks
reading the Sunday paper don't know what Ubuntu or Mini OS is. I,
in fact, am not sure what Mini OS is? The point is, Dell should
follow the lead from Toys'R'Us and go ahead and label the computer
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