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Lindows.com/Michael's Minute: How to Buy Microsoft Windows XP for $50

Jun 12, 2003, 23:30 (29 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Robertson)

[ Thanks to Brian Ashe for this link. ]

"After my expose piece on Microsoft last week, I promised one reader that I wouldn't write about Microsoft again for awhile. Unfortunately, I think I have to break my promise and here's why: As I've written about previously, the real key to desktop Linux gaining momentum is to get retailers to sell computers with Linux preinstalled. Sure, some people are smart enough to download software from our web servers then burn a CD and install it, but the majority of people want to buy a computer, plug it in and have it ready to go. Getting Linux computers onto store shelves sounds easy--what store wouldn't want to stock computers for $200-300? (I just bought a computer for $249 and upgraded the RAM from 128MBs to 256MBs for 30 bucks and it is a solid little performer!) Consumers really want affordable computers and any retailer who stocks them sells large quantities of them. It seems like it would be an easy decision, right?

"There's one additional dynamic that comes into the equation--Microsoft's money to discourage retailers who start selling large numbers of LindowsOS computers. Microsoft routinely offers financial inducements to computer companies to not carry LindowsOS computers. With $40 billion in the bank, it's an easy decision for them to use a few million dollars to block Lindows.com from major retailers. Every month that Microsoft keeps their monopoly position, it is another billion or so in profit. You've probably heard rumors of such behavior in the past and maybe you're skeptical because the tales are, not surprisingly, light on facts. So allow me to give you the facts from one such retailer to convince you..."

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