[ubuntu-uk] Windows Free Laptops

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Fri Nov 14 09:55:01 GMT 2008

Dale Clarke wrote:
> The Problem is that Tesco tried to get on the Acer Aspire One Linux 
> bandwagon selling it at £170, but have had huge returns (see Acer Forum) 
> as people have not liked the linux frontend. This in my opinion will 
> leave a sour taste in Tesco's mind towards Linux and can be put squarely 
> in Acer's backyard as they do not provide enough information about the 
> product and have done it with a very beta type setup.
>     /After writing the above I thought I would ring our local Tesco this
>     morning to check and their response was that they have sold all
>     theirs within 1 days last Monday and have had no returns, so maybe
>     sold to Linux user's, but the person said that as like Argos they
>     cannot provide software or hardware support so just do refunds,
>     slightly different if you went to PC World etc.../

That's a bit disappointing.  I can't help but think that some people buy 
these things because they're cheap and see having a laptop as being 
cool.  I know a few people who have no use for a laptop and bought the 
cheapest laptop possible when they could have bought a much better spec 
desktop for the same money.  Then there's also the problem that lots of 
people perceive computer = Windows.

> Microsoft were clever in not providing any CD based software due to the 
> amount of people asking for refunds, as they did not want the Oem. 
> Especially with early Vista users and customers returning to XP, now you 
> cannot get a refund as you cannot prove you have not run the software.

Yep, plus there's the fact that if a hard disk dies and the customer 
doesn't make a set of recovery discs they'd have to fork out for another 
Windows licence (or badger the manufacturer for discs).  I know someone 
who's been caught out on this.

> There should be and always be a refund slip in every computer in which 
> you can get a refund on the Oem if you do not require it, this way 
> people would realise that they are paying for the software and that it 
> does not come free with the computer, as it was found out in a survey in 
> Computer magazine that people perceived.

I could see this working as long as the customer was required to 
Activate Windows.  By default Windows generally comes pre-activated when 
it's preinstalled.  If however it wasn't activated and the customer had 
to do this, then the customer could maybe choose not to Activate Windows 
and request a refund.  Otherwise what's stopping them asking for a 
refund and continuing to use Windows.

> I personally now run Ubuntu 8.10 on my One with adjustments and it is 
> now a great package, especially with SSH now being a standard kernel 
> addition.

Cool.  I'm really tempted to pickup an Aspire One.  I'm in the market 
for a new laptop (my Thinkpad is just getting too old and slow now even 
with Ubuntu Lite).  Not sure if I should stump up £170 for an Aspire One 
or pay the extra for a cheap Dual Core laptop.


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