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Why Do Those Shops Sell Microsoft-Only?: The Degraded Computer Market


I have wondered for a long while why it is that various shops persist in promoting Microsoft in computers in preference to the better, cheaper, and more reliable Linux. From a shop's point of view, it should make more business sense to put Linux in. For one thing, it can be copied freely and there are no ridiculous "thou shalt not copy" rules on the operating system. For another, as Linux is available free, it should make the computer cheaper, as it doesn't include the "Microsoft Tax" inherent in supplying Microsoft Windows with the machine.

The shops in question may or may not pretend to be computer shops, but they are not; they are at best shops that flog computers. They are not proper computer shops. They are sometimes referred to as "idiot shops" as they cater for a market of cluelessness and contempt for the customers.

I suspected for a long while that there was a conspiracy, a cosy packt between shops and Microsoft, to supply Microsoft Windows in return for some financial incentive. However, it turns out that this is not necessarily what's going on.

The reason why various non-computer-shops (I could name them but there is no need to) are selling computers with Microsoft operating systems rather than the superior, cheaper, and more reliable Linux, is because the shops are paid back-handers by expireware software suppliers. This marketing model wouldn't work with Linux.

What happens with expireware is that the customer becomes dependent on the use of the software and then they are expected to shell-out money for it. Or, they have to pay "software support" fees to have the expireware removed.

In other words, many computers sold as new come complete with software which is actually a liability, and that's why Microsoft is subsidised so.

For more about this, see the Microsoft Problem