Yesterday I received two PC fliers at home, one of them was from the multimedia megastore and the other one from acer. I noticed that all acer PCs and Notebooks are preloaded with Linux (except the Ferrari-Acer ones that come preloaded with Vista Ultimate) but they didn’t mention which Linux Distro they are using so I decided to send them an e-mail asking.
I also had a few other questions:
Most people I know do not even know what an OS is, they think all PCs come with windows so I also asked in the mail if acer explains to people what they are really getting? Do they offer windows for those people? And if someone chooses to keep Linux, do they provide support for it?
The General Manager of Techno-mania (Acer’s dealers in Lebanon) replied to my E-mail quickly answering every question in it, so here’s the list of questions I asked and the answers I got:
Q1: What is the Linux Distribution you are using? and why?
A1: ACER PC’s ship preloaded with Linpus Linux (the version may vary according to the ship date of the products)
Q2. Do you provide support for Linux?
A2: As an Authorized ACER Service Center we support all ACER products long with their original preloaded O/S (Linux / Windows)
Q3. Most of the people in Lebanon do not know what an OS is and think that when they get a PC they get it with windows and that’s the only option out there, so do you (and the resellers) explain to those people what are they exactly getting?
A3. We state very clearly in our marketing campaigns and our price lists the O/S for each PC, and all our resellers are aware of that. In addition, we do our best to relay this message to the end-user. However, since we do not sell directly, most of the interaction is between the end-user and the reseller which bares the responsibility of clarifying any questions related to the O/S.
Q4: Do you install Windows if the customer asks for it?
A4: Only If they have a licensed Windows Operation System, we can install it at our service center.
In addition, it worth mentioning, that you will find ACER PC’s with preloaded Windows O/S specially with the new Aspire Gemstone notebooks introduced in the market at the beginning of August.
In the reply, Mr Joseph Haddad said that my questions were also forwarded to the sale team, so if I get another reply from them I’ll update you.
Personally I like the fact that you are getting Linux with the PCs, I compared the prices of acer laptops with similar laptop from other manufacturers and the acers are cheaper by about 150$, Windows Vista Home premium costs 132$ in Lebanon, so you can switch to Windows if you want without paying more then you would pay by getting a PC from another manufacturer.
Now the only question remaining is can people move to Linux this fast! I’ve been trying Linux Boot CDs for 2 years and I recently installed Ubuntu on a Virtual PC, I won’t move completely to Linux anytime soon because of some softwares I use that will only work on Windows (Microsoft Visual Studio), now imagine a guy that bought his PC for the Bluetooth and the Integrated webcam in it (some people actually do that!), how will this guy adapt to Linux? Will he even know what kind of step he is taking? Will he understand that he has to get windows to get his “normal” PC? I hope resellers explain to people what Linux is, and get people to move to Linux, not force Linux on them. A lot of resellers are honest people but I am sure some only want to sell not caring about the customer needs so to avoid all that, in my opinion Acer should sell the PCs with Linux and offer an optional ?downgrade? to windows for a little more money, this way the customer will get what he needs and people wanting a PC with windows will not choose another PC manufacturer because they don’t want to have to get a separate copy of windows and get it installed.