Feeds

Laptop Hunters snare Microsoft on Linux

Giampolo, how low will you go?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Linux FCS Microsoft has made a tactical mistake in deciding to compete with Apple on price in its latest, much debated, Laptop Hunters TV ads.

Until recently, Microsoft was pushing hard on the "value" of Windows. Now, though, the Laptop Hunters ads have turned the spotlight on the consistently high and - and recession proof - price tag of Apple's Macs. Its latest ad, featuring a guy called Giampolo, even dismisses Macs as putting the sexy before the computing power.

That switch of focus in the fight with Apple will rebound in its battle against Linux, because Linux is cheaper than Windows for users and OEMs serving them, according to Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin.

"Value" has been a major plank in Microsoft's long campaign against Linux, which has tried to reposition the free nature of Linux code as a burden.

Zemlin, speaking at the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, California, juxtapositioned the $1,500 price of Giampolo's HP HDX laptop with what he could have walked away with instead, had he gone for Linux. Shopping around, Giampolo could have got: an HP Mini 1000 notebook with Atom processor, G1 Google phone, a 42-inch plasma-screen TV, Neuros DVR and still have given back to the planet by donating a One Lap Top Per Child PC. All, of course, running Linux.

"We are starting to see a major competitor compete on price," Zemlin said. "The thing is, if you are going to compete on price that's going to be a tough competition."

As Zemlin pointed out after his keynote, Microsoft's problem is in the licensing of Windows which automatically makes it more expensive than Linux for use on many consumer devices. That busts the margins of OEMS like Motorola - a Linux user - and impacts the price they pass on to people like Giampolo.

"What can Microsoft do apart from reduce its price to zero?" Zemlin asked.

"They are going to have to leverage what ever advantage they can to compete with Apple, and price is one thing in its competition against Linux where Microsoft is doomed to failure."

According to Zemlin, price is just one link in a chain that Linux can use to beat Windows adoption. The fact companies like Motorola can also modify code and use their own branding will also help.

"Price matters, access to the code matters, and custom branding matters and allows Linux to change entire assumptions about the market place," he said. "It's a fundamental advantage over the competition who wants to compete in the same old world of price and feature sets. We are changing the entire model of computing." ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!
N1 mini-'slab to plop into crowded pond next year
The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose
Finnish firm coyly exposes mystery product – and WE NO what it is
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'
Sugarcoating Android's Lollipop makes tab easier to swallow
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.