Home opinion-and-analysis Fuzzy Logic Have consumers spoken and said: 'œLinux sux'?

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Uh-oh. Hazmat time. 0.001% of 1.04%* of the world’s Linux die-hard supergeeks are about to descend and call me all kinds of names, but facts are facts: one of the world’s biggest makers of netbooks says Linux models are being returned at a rate at least four times higher than XP netbooks. Could it be that Linux sucks?

Ok, open source, free loving, caring, sharing Linux users: what does it mean when everyday consumers are returning Linux netbooks at a four to one ratio – at least – over XP netbooks?

It means Linux hasn’t matured enough yet to cater to the needs of everyday users, despite having made its best efforts with the latest Linux distros, although hope certainly does exist for future versions to get better.

Laptop Magazine has interviewed MSI’s Director of U.S. Sales Andy Tung, with MSI a manufacturer of all kinds of technology, including many of the world’s notebooks and netbooks on an OEM basis for the big brand names.

Just as Asus has gone from OEM only to having its own brand, alongside other Chinese companies such as HTC, and in the past, Korean companies such as LG and Samsung, amongst others, MSI has decided that while OEM manufacturing is cool, having your own brand as well is even cooler.

And while Asus has been having tremendous success with the Eee PC line, MSI’s Wind netbook has similarly been very successful.

One thing that I noticed with Asus is that while initial models came with Linux, followed by XP versions, subsequent models have been released with XP first, with Linux models to come later.

This was said to be because Windows versions were more popular, and MSI’s experience with its Linux notebooks are another great eye opener as to why this is the case.

One thing's for sure: it's a great wake-up call to the Linux world to make Linux even easier to use, to banish command lines for everyday consumers (leaving it there for those who like to tweak, who are proficient at command line instructions or those who want to learn), and to accelerate efforts like Ubuntu Netbook Remix even faster. 

So, is MSI giving up on Linux? What did Andy Tung say in the interview, and what does it mean for Linux? Please read on to page 2.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.

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