Why Would A Linux Laptop Be More Expensive Than A Windows One?
A lot of people out there are fond of Dell laptops. And, their XPS 13 line is pretty slick. I mean, as a Mac guy, I could sit here and tell you its just a Macbook Air clone, but alas, it is a slick little ultrabook. :)
Recently, Dell announced the XPS 13 available with Ubuntu. In a world dominated by Windows, and a lot of new computers coming bundled with Windows 8 now, seeing Dell come out with this Ubuntu ultrabook raises an eyebrow.
But, what is more interesting about it is that… it is more expensive than the Windows version. In fact, it is $250 more than the same laptop running Windows 8.
Being that Linux comes from a world where everything should be free, how does this happen?
Bloatware Saves You Money
Linux users and Mac users will laugh at bloatware experienced by Windows users. It is so insanely hard to buy a Windows-powered computer these days without it being loaded to the hilt with promotional software and various trialware that bugs you to be activated.
It is annoying, but it also saves you money.
Because those companies who make those titles pay fees to have that software pre-installed on your new computer. They see that new desktop as a big billboard, waiting to be populated. And, boy do they load it up!
In the same way as a cell phone contract allows you to get a new phone at a discount rather than paying full retail, having software creators pay to place their wares in front of you on your new PC reduces the price of the computer at retail.
This Ubuntu installation doesn’t come with any bloatware, Dell isn’t making the kick-back, hence it increases cost.
Bloatware can explain a potential loss of revenue for Dell by using what is otherwise a free operating system.
But, let’s not forget that these companies are USED to Windows. All of their internal processes are based around Windows systems. All their support personel are trained in Windows.
An Ubuntu laptop won’t have as much demand. The people who would buy this laptop are going to be a more dedicated bunch, because otherwise why go out of their way like this to buy an Ubuntu laptop? So, smaller supply and a dedicated demand equals higher cost. Basic economics.
Not to mention the additional cost of support staff for these laptops, who need to be trained in an entirely different environment.
Why Linux Remains The DIY Operating System
For desktops, Linux will remain an OS for self-dependent, DIY computer users. And, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
While I can only sit here and guess about why Dell is charging more for a Linux machine, I’m willing to bet my reasons here are pretty accurate. From the company perspective, Linux is far from free.
But, hey, the beauty of Linux is that you can simply install it yourself. So, grab yourself a Windows laptop and do a self-install of Linux. You might not be able to call Dell on the phone and get support for it, but my guess is that if you’re using Linux to begin with, you’re probably not that kind of computer user anyway. :)