Lenovo analyst: Linux on netbooks is doomed

April 21, 2009

Lenovo analyst: Linux on netbooks is doomed Lenovo’s Worldwide Competitive Analyst, Matt Kohut, has predicted that Linux will only ever be a niche player as an operating system for netbooks.

Speaking with TECH.BLORGE at a one-on-one briefing in Sydney, Kohut said that despite initial hopes that netbooks would take Linux into the mainstream, the reality is that Windows is becoming the operating system of choice for such devices.

“[Linux is] going to remain in a niche market,” said Kohut.

Kohut cites a poor consumer experience as one of the main reasons that the use of Linux on netbooks has declined.

“There were a lot of netbooks loaded with Linux, which saves $50 or $100 or whatever, but from an industry standpoint, there were a lot of returns because people didn’t know what to do with it,” he said.

“Linux, even if you’ve got a great distribution and you can argue which one is better or not, still requires a lot more hands-on than somebody who is using Windows.

“You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.

“So, we’ve seen overwhelmingly people wanting to stay with Windows because it just makes more sense: you just take it out of the box and it’s ready to go.”

Kohut argues that for Linux to be successful on netbooks (or notebooks or desktops for that matter), the open source operating system needs to catch up with where Windows is now.

“Linus needs to get to the point where if you want to plug something in, Linux loads the driver and it just works.

“If I need to go to a website and download another piece of code or if I need to reconfigure it for internet, it’s just too hard.

“I’ve played around with Linux enough to know that there are some that are better at this than others. But, there are some that are just plain difficult.”

Another issue Kohut identified as a challenge for Linux was the extra support the hardware vendor needed to provide.

“From a vendor perspective, Linux is very hard to support because there are so many different versions out there: do we have Fedora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Linux?

“Those are all different enough that, well, if people buy Linux preloaded from us, we have to fully support everything they own.

“So, until Linux gets to the point where it is easy, it’s not going to succeed on netbooks and I’ve not seen the Linux community make a serious effort to get to that point.

“I think that some of them even like the fact that it is a little difficult and that it isn’t accessible to the average user.

“Linux in netbooks and notebooks I don’t think is ever going to happen.”

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82 Responses to “Lenovo analyst: Linux on netbooks is doomed”

  1. Local Yokel:

    What a load of rubbish this fellow spouts.

    He is quite clueless, and yet he’s in a position of influence. What a shame.

    A current generation Ubuntu is a perfectly viable netbook OS for most netbook users. A netbook is not a full-function notebook, much as vendors like Lenovo have tried to make it so. A netbook is a portable Internet-connected appliance, something that Linux fits perfectly.

    Anyway, I’m hanging out for the sub-US$200 Linux ARM based units coming out later this year, rather than spend US$500 on a Lenovo netbook running Windows. US$500 for a netbook, are you mad?

  2. me:

    Strange… $50-$100 is a deal breaker to me on a Netbook… and, Linux _is_ both easy and more secure today… Much easier than Vista, at least… I chose Linux.

  3. Eruaran:

    Matt Kohut is one of the reasons Lenovo fails.

  4. somnob:

    i now a man that cant read and stil says that linux is far more easy to use. And way faster. The real problem is that peaple dont now wat linux is. But when they use it for a wile. Thay like it a lot.

  5. Hugh:

    ““[...] you just take [Windows] out of the box and it’s ready to go.””

    This bloke has obviously never used Vista.

  6. Peter:

    I quote:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data”

    Well, I’ve been running Linux for ten years now on all my own hardware and I’ve never decompiled anything. In fact, I’ve been a programmer for the last ten years and never decompiled anything (and it would have been ‘code’ and not ‘codes’). Could it possibly be that this person is so ignorant about the terminology of the industry that pays him that he doesn’t know the difference between compiling and decompiling?

    Not that it matters, it’s many years since I had to (knowingly) [re]compile anything for Linux. Package managers see to all that – for new graphics drivers and such – without much intervention from me beyond giving permission and entering a password.

    As for uploading data… Where does he think people with Linux boxes have to upload data to? Does he know about Windows boxes phoning home, silently? Perhaps he means downloading? If so, where does he think Windows boxes get their data? Does he think every Windows box comes with a full copy of the entire internet so they never have to download a Web page?

    Frightening. Really frightening.

    Peter

  7. Ryan:

    As an IBM employee, I was excited when Lenovo came out with the S10 so I could use my employee discount. But when I saw they only offered Windows versions I held back, deciding to wait for a Linux version. Well looks like I can quite holding my breath, time to shop around for a company that understands that consumers arent robots.

  8. JLS:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”

    “do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max?”

    As localyokel says what a shame someone with no knowledge but in a position of influence should make a complete idiot of himself by spouting complete garbage

  9. James:

    “Decompile code”? I’m not even sure what this guy is talking about and I’ve been using Linux for years.

    Obviously this guy is not doing his job as a competitive analyst if that’s what he thinks you need to do with Linux.

    I just installed Ubuntu 9.04 on my laptop and desktop and it recognized EVERYTHING and installed all the proper drivers etc. It even automatically detected my network printers and installed the drivers for those. The only configuration I had to do was to tick a checkbox to tell it to use the proprietary drivers for my video card. Of course if I had bought these computers with Linux pre-installed then I wouldn’t have had to do even that.

    Linux is certainly easier to install than Windows so that argument bunk.

  10. Ken:

    Someone need to tell this guy he slept for a decade and it’s not 1999 anymore.

    He is correct that Windows will have the majority share on Netbooks, but not for any of those reasons.

  11. Juan:

    If Lenovo has someone as ignorant as this on staff in a position of authority, it makes me wonder how incompetent the rest of the company management is. I sure won’t be buying any technology products from a company that is this clueless. It reminds me of when the Intel guys left Fairchild semiconductor because Fairchild’s management saw no future in “miicroprocessors”.

  12. Simon:

    There are some disturbing issues with this interview.
    Was this a telephone interview (so, transcription errors), or does Kohut make such crude typos in words that sound similar.

    Examples

    1. “do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max?”. Apparently, he means ‘Fedora’ instead of ‘Eudora’.

    There is no relevant ‘Turbo Max’ product. Maybe ‘Turbo Linux’? In this case, this would not seem like a transcription error but a mistake from Kohut.

    2. “Linus needs to get to the point where if you want to plug something in, Linux loads the driver and it just works.”. This should be both ‘Linux’.

    3. “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”. “decompile codes”? “upload data”?
    Apparently he means ‘compile codes’, and again, this does not like a possible transcription error.
    This sounds like words from a person with highly superficial link to computers and the IT industry.

    I would dare to think he has ADD.

  13. cement_head:

    Weird, Ubuntu (Linux) runs a far better variety of hardware than windows ever did. In fact, if you want to install Ubuntu, it takes about twenty minutes (including all drivers).

    Webcams and fingerprint readers need a bit of work, but given that manufacturers rarely provide linux drivers for their own products, one has to be a bit patient.

    - CH

  14. Chad McCullough:

    I don’t know if I should laugh at this guy or be disappointed that crap like this gets published.

  15. Adam Williamson:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”

    Does anyone have a clue what the hell he’s talking about?

  16. josvazg:

    I think Matt Kohut is right in a way but for the wrong reasons. His point is that Linux “is more difficult” than Windows… BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT. Linux’s PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE IS….

    INERTIA!!

    Most OS users are Windows users, so basically Windows IS the defacto standard for OSs. That means:

    - Some things are obviously easier in Windows; 3D gaming.

    - Some things are easier in Linux: for instance virus handling (no need to)

    - Some other things are not so obviously easier in Linux; for instance installing pre-packaged software. This is not obvious because INERTIA tells you that you need to 1)search for the program in the internet, 2)download and 3)install instead of simply 1)look for it by name in your package manager 2) install.

    - Some things WILL NEVER get as much easier in Linux as they are in Windows BECAUSE they depend upon INERTIA: the big example is hardware support & drivers. You don’t have linux support/drivers from the vendor because Linux is not mainstream, and it does not get mainstream because you don’t get support/drivers from the vendor…(endless loop here)

    - Most things are just different and people who think in a Windows mindset cannot tell you the difference between ‘this is (too) difficult’ and ‘this is just different from what I am used to’

    And the bad news is… YOU CAN’T FIGHT INERTIA!!!
    (not directly anyway)

    We, the linuxers, SHOULD STOP complaining about windows users not comming to Linux and concentrate in:

    1) Getting rid of misperformances and glitches like: finish for once the 3D fixing in xorg/intel at least so 3D in linux reaches comparable or better performance than in other OSs, having native btrfs to stop envying zfs, etc

    2) Getting rid of the bits that are STILL more inconvinient in Linux that in other OSs (do you remember the old times when we were told that having to “mount -t …” on a terminal to access a pendrive was the coolest and ‘best way to go’?)

  17. Nate:

    I can’t remember the last time I plugged anything into Windows and it just worked. There is always a driver that needs to be downloaded/installed.

  18. Joshua:

    I have used ubuntu for a year and a half now and I have never had to “decompile” data, and as far as downloading drivers, 1) you do the same thing in windows for half the devices you use with it, and 2) ubuntu usually downloads drivers automatically for the essential things. I think this guy falls into the “I-used-linux-but-it-was-10-years-ago” camp.

  19. Stray:

    I’ve been using Ubuntu (have tried Fedora and Suse) and been somewhat satisfied. I have a 3 year old dell laptop that neither OS detects the internal fans or temp. There is a small program that I can install and automatically run on startup (not an easy task unless you sort of know your way around the OS). This would be an example of a hurdle that would turn off lots of people. Also, every now and then I have to amend some text file so that something will run correctly. Last, some types of animation or video does not work in all the major browsers (i.e. video from ABC.com or CBS.com) because the addons are not available for the linux OS. I still use Linux, but it is things like these that would keep it from becoming a leader in the pack.

  20. Stoobie:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”…
    Six year Linux user here, and I have *never* had to “upload” or “decompile” anything!

    “If I need to go to a website and download another piece of code or if I need to reconfigure it for internet, it’s just too hard.”…
    Gee, I never had to do that for Windows, except for hardware drivers, security patches, antivirus updates,…

    “From a vendor perspective, Linux is very hard to support because there are so many different versions out there: do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max?”…
    Eudora is a Windows e-mail client, and Turbo Max is a PCI-IDE controller for Apple computers. It would be a lot easier to pick a Linux distro if you actually limited your choices to Linux distros.

    Does anybody know what the heck this guy’s talking about? Obviously *HE* doesn’t. These statements are so lame they don’t even make sense.

  21. Jim:

    “do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max?”

    WTF? Never heard of Eudora or Turbo Max. This just indicates how clueless this “analyst” is. He has not used Linux. I suspect he’s just a clueless shill for M$.

  22. Jim:

    I would tend to agree with him on two points, and I have been using Linux for 10 years and it’s my 100% choice OS to use.
    But the Linux Community has got to come to grips with the different Arch.’s, they have have got to standardise on RPM’s OR Debs for all distro’s..
    And all apps have got to be released in this Standardise format.
    There are a lot of good apps out there that are only being released in tar.gz and that is where the Newbies are having problems, and they get disgusted and go back to $Windblows.

    They can still release the tar.gz to keep the hard core Linux users happy.

  23. haha:

    He looks like a dork and talks like a dork. He seems out of touch.

  24. dan:

    He is obviously doing this to get traffic on his website. Blorge? lala… good luck making money on this website. It will never happen. Maybe, $5/yr.

  25. Andrés León Álvarez:

    “Linus needs to get to the point where if you want to plug something in, Linux loads the driver and it just works.

    Shame! You actually dont need any driver when plugin new hardware to a Linux Machine. That happens only on Windows systems. True, if the kernel its not ready for your hardware it will be a pain to wait for the support to use it. But such periferials or hardware are only a few or the very latest devices.

    You still need to restart your machine when installing (actually, you must provide the drivers to windows) some model of printers in windows for example.

    Its clear that this fellow had never use a Linux system for production, neither was forced to. He speakes nonsense.

  26. Richard:

    The quotes in this article from Matt Kohut simply make me cringe. It’s unfortunate that someone who spouts blatant examples of ignorance of Linux in every sentence can be in a position of influence.

    “You have to know how to decompile codes…” – No, you don’t. You also don’t need to know how to COMPILE code, which I what I assume Kohut meant.

    “… and upload data” – This is just nonsensical. Does he mean uploading data to the web? Whatever he means, it’s definitely not related to Linux in any way.

    “you just take it out of the box and it’s ready to go.” – This is true of preinstalled Linux as well, except that Linux usually comes with most of the applications that you’ll want already installed.

    “Linus needs to get to the point where if you want to plug something in, Linux loads the driver and it just works” – Let’s not blame Linus for all of Linux’s problems… but seriously folks, Linux already does just load the driver, and for most popular devices, it already comes with the software to use it installed.

    “Linux is very hard to support because there are so many different versions out there” – Just pick one that is popular, and sell it. Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, and a few others make good preinstalls. Only the Linux zealots will really care which distro you sell, and those same people are capable enough to switch to their preferred distro themselves and to never ever ask their hardware vendor for support.

    “do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max” – Eudora is email software. Turbo Max is a brand of drill bits. SUSE is actually Linux. 1 for 3.

    “if people buy Linux preloaded from us, we have to fully support everything they own” – No, you will just have to support the one distro that you choose to sell.

    “I think that some of them even like the fact that it is a little difficult and that it isn’t accessible to the average user.” – There may actually be some truth to this. Fortunately, the people who want Linux to be only for “l33t hAx0rs” wouldn’t be caught dead contributing to Ubuntu, SUSE, or Fedora.

    Matt Kohut, PLEASE do your homework before you open your mouth regarding Linux again.

  27. LeeNukes:

    What a tit

  28. Bobcaticus:

    If somehow Microsoft looked at why people like Linux and XP a lot, and actualyl combined them both, then the world would be a staggeringly happy place.

    Except for linux.

    GO GO GO, PHASE OUT XP, NOW, QUICK, WE NEED MOAR LINUX!

  29. JAPrufrock:

    He hasn’t a clue. Canonical has developed Ubuntu to the point where, on the average, it’s at least as easy to install and run as XP. However, the main problem remains- driver support. Until Ubuntu reaches critical market share, so that software and hardware vendors write software and drivers for Linux, Windows will remain the principal OS for laptops and desktops. However, for netbooks, GNU/Linux should already be the OS of choice. It’s more stable, cheaper, and you don’t need to install and update antivirus and firewall software. The non-geek users to whom I have talked, who have purchased netbooks with a Linux OS installed (EEE netbook with Xandros), are unanamously thrilled with their machines. The only thing holding Linux back is the public’s ignorance.

  30. Linux Fan:

    This guy is either himself an idiot, or thinks that everyone else in the world is.

  31. Michael:

    Seriously this Analyst needs to be fired he is a complete and utter moron, he doesn’t seem to have a basic understanding of computers, nevermind Linux. Decompile? what an idiot.

  32. Ken Jennings:

    On another site I read that “Lenovo should remove their lips from Microsoft’s butt.”

    The oris-gluteus maximus interface apparently caused Matt to slur his speech producing these blinding rays of brilliance:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”

    “Decompile” codes? Does he mean compile or disassemble? Doesn’t really matter, since neither are required activities for the typical user of any major distro. And uploading data is a problem? How do Windows users normally get their music and videos into their computers? Osmosis?

    “Linus needs to get to the point where if you want to plug something in, Linux loads the driver and it just works.”

    I agree, Linus has been negligent. When I plug something I want Linus to get on a plane and come to my house to congratulate me. Otherwise, without Linus babysitting me, Linux itself has been plug and play with any typical consumer accessory for many years.

    “From a vendor perspective, Linux is very hard to support because there are so many different versions out there: do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max?”

    A vendor picks ONE version to install, adjusts configuration as necessary, and includes it. duh. I’m not familiar with all these distros mentioned. Eudora? I thought that was an email program. Turbo Max? I did some googling and didn’t find that either. There is a Turbo Linux. Or maybe tax time was distracting him and he was thinking of Turbo Tax?

    I wonder if Lenovo is embarrassed that their “Worldwide Competitive Analyst” seems to be completely out of touch with everything related to his job?

  33. Henaway:

    This dude is clueless. Eudora is an ancient email client, not a distro.

    As for Windows (on netbooks) being ready to use out of the box? Explain to me then why when I first fired up my wife’s XP netbook (Acer Aspire, not a Lenovo, to be fair) … it took a solid 20-25 minutes to install the OS, then several hours to install the required applications over my home network to actually make the thing usable for something other than staring at the wallpaper.

    And to this day, no matter how often I uninstall it, that blasted trial version of Norton AV keeps re-installing itself!!! It’s not a security product, it’s a blasted virus.

  34. John Pospisil:

    TECH.BLORGE was contacted by the managing editor of Linux Today to check that I quoted Matt Kohut accurately.

    For the record, the interview was (ironically) recorded on an Linux-based EeePC, and that interview was transcribed.

    This story was written from that transcript. As a courtesy, the link to the story was also emailed to the PR agency that set up the interview, Text 100, and aside from a typo, the feedback was “it looks great”.

    As a personal comment, while I don’t necessary agree with Matt’s comments (being a Linux user myself), I did find refreshing to talk to someone in the industry who’s willing to say what they really thinks (which I think can ultimately help the Linux community).

    Of course I wrote the story because I thought it would be of interest to people, but also do think it is in the public interest to get the corporate view of Linux out into the open.

    I’m going to check with Matt to see whether he is OK with me releasing the interview recording.

  35. Ralph:

    Why do people have their calendar still stuck to April 1 ? This “interview” reeks of a April Fool’s joke..

  36. John S:

    He is right Linux sucks for the average consumer. Nobody wants to be a IT specialist to install a program or resolve a video issue. Linux has limited support and even if its supported the people helping take to much for granted about how much the user knows. They tend to describe solutions that leave the user replying back about how they don’t know about how to do any of it. Sorry but sales figures don’t lie. Linux sucks for anyone but computer geeks or cheap user’s who fail to realize why commercial software is better and backed by a PAID support staff that can really help a user.

  37. P Morton:

    To my mind, it is Lenovo which will finish as a niche player. The once great Thinkpad range has lost alll edge, and IBM’s erstwhile great service reputation has been replaced by a ‘we broke it, you own it’ attitude. And if they’re employing Mr Eudoras and Mr Turbomaxes (that’s a vacuum cleaner, right?) to speak for them, that moment is coming even sooner than I’d supposed from my recent experience with their products.

  38. Chris:

    DECOMPILE CODE WTF LOL.

    im 17 and have been using linux (backtrack 2 and 3) on my laptop for around 3 years. Im probably more advanced than most people when it comes to computers, but ive never had do decompile code to make a linux function.

    this guy is a retard tbh.

  39. JD:

    Wow this guy must suck at Linux..wait, no-no…at computing in general.

  40. leebojammin:

    hi there.

    Most of you are clearly either having a bad day, or are just simply chlidish arrogant jerks.

    You do realize do you, that responding to this guy like you have, that you have proved his theory right ??

    Grow up, get a life, linux might be what You use, but its not everything we’d like it to be or cracked up to be , and it has a very long way to go to get there, IF it ever does get there..I remember a longtime linux friend of mine , having to ‘go back to ubuntu 8.04′ because of trouble he had with some networking hardware or software in 8.10..and he is a major geek..if he had trouble and had to axe their latest and greatest attempt to reel in people using OS alternatives like windows,- what does that say about non-geeks!

    He is right also that:
    ” “I think that some of them even like the fact that it is a little difficult and that it isn’t accessible to the average user. ”

    ^^ I know there are tons of you out there that would be overjoyed at saying nanner nanner RTFM dude!, and you know Im right..admit it,,,and its really pathetic , just in case you dont realize it and I doubt you do.

    Even ubuntu, at its current form, is nowhere near what it needs to be to become useful to 100% of everyone that trys it..not for many people anyway, BUT sure in time that will lchange..but NOT with the attitudes I see here on these postings..your all pathetically arrogant and you dont even get the importance of what you just did by proving this guy 100% right about most of you.

    We need to standardize and make linux ‘just work’ out of the box for EVERYONE, or forget it, it will just be a fancy TOY for the geeks amongst us !

    That is a shame..as it deserves to be so much more for those whom dont have the extra $300+ bucks laying around to get the alternative, and also to others to whom FOSS is so very important…Linux needs to grow up, and ahem..apparantly so do its users.

  41. John C:

    Truly cringe-worthy! If this is an example of an “analyst” from Lenovo – Lenovo are in deep trouble.

  42. Richard:

    kohut is slovak word for cock, rooster

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3140/2824799912_7fecd2a974.jpg?v=0

  43. BusinessGeeks:

    i dont get this guy. He wants Linux to be plug and play?

    Maybe he hasnt installed Windows XP/Vista/7 recently on a desktop because we all know that after a vanilla install of ANY windows os you need to install drivers for its other components.

    Maybe this is just another publicity stunt. You know bad publicity is still publicity.

  44. Khan Md Ashraf:

    This reply is specifically at leebojammin’ s post.
    In the last 2 years GNU/Linux has got to the point where the excuses you trot out for not using it have reached the top of the ridiculous scale. The reasons for not using MS Windows are manifest. Bloat, cost (an arm and a leg) and security, is a poor ‘out of the box’ experience cause it needs additional paid for software to be able to use it. Ease of installation, Ubuntu and it’s variants win hands down. don’t cost anything (it is free) and comes with security built in since it defaults to a user login and not administrator. It includes all the software a current day user wants, too many to enumerate here. Yup it is the clueless but in powerful positions who scare off the ordinary user from even experiencing GNU/Linux. And if people are going to go by these ‘expert’ opinions they necessarily have to pay a price.

  45. linxe:

    I almost buy an IdeaPad with XP, fortunely for me, the provider didn’t have at that time, so I bougth an Asus EeePC with Linux and I’m happy.

  46. over and over:

    I understand the raison d’être for anybody addresing the public as a journalist, is their ability to scout interesting and relevant. Even though it is interesting to learn what a guy from Lenovo thinks, his incompetence makes this all totaly irrelevant.

  47. alex:

    Hello John,

    I have to say that this is one of the most pathetic articles I have ever read, I have seen mentally challenged children running linux on their personal computer before, hold on let me repeat that, mentally …. challenged …. children. Don’t feel to bad though sport, you don’t even know it, but you use some form of unix every moment of every day, unix carries your packets across the internet, broadcasts your television, keeps hackers out of your network, alerts you to intrusions, runs the vast majority of the websites you visit, most phones run unix, building control systems… run unix, your dvr…. unix, all your money is housed on servers running… unix, one of the mail servers that will carry your whiny email to your boss about all these terrible comments, runs unix.

    Now if don’t know anything about “puters” or your to scared to break the bubble and try something new or your to broke for a mac (which runs unix) you end up on a PC. Go talk to south korea, that entire country is forced to pay the M$ task.

    Why don’t you actually give your job a shot, instead of making the company you represent look even more pathetic than you are and do some real work, do you really think anyone, even the most dire hard computer users, to the ones whom know nothing more than how to open a browser would use linux if it were not so easy that children could do it?

    If your going to kiss the long D that is microsoft, at least be a man and come out and say it, tell us all that yea you do enjoy bending down and obliging when Ballmer tells you to “kiss it”, it isn’t like anyone with a brain knows other wise. I hope you saved some of the money lenovo paid you, something tells me your going to be out of a job, of course, not before a collection of individuals on the Internet rip you a new place for M$ to stick it.

    Toodles :)

  48. David F. Skoll:

    “Decompile Codes”?? That should prompt a full-fledged OMGWTF from anyone reading this analyst [sic].

  49. Jack:

    If anyone one had bought a eeepc with linux, they would agree with this guy. It is a bad experience and a bad example of linux. As I assume that all the netbooks, that don’t come with ubuntu, will give consumers a bad linux experience. The only netbook I would recommend is the dell because it comes with ubuntu pre-installed. As long as ubuntu keeps changing (they are charging dell a licensing fee) then asus and others will continue to use unfriendly versions of linux, and linux will start losing market share in the netbook market.

  50. JIm:

    Lenovo image has been tarnished by the statements made by Mr. Kohut. He presents himself as a very weak analyst with a biased and poorly informed view.

    Very disappointing

  51. Zo:

    Judging from this guy’s comments he doesn’t know a thing about linux, but he makes a perfect ass out of himself in the process.

  52. Toadkick:

    Decompiling the codes for my Eudora was a bitch. But once I figured out how to reconfigure for internet I was able to upload my data in no time. Still haven’t figure out how to access my Power Max tho…

  53. Eugene:

    This article is incorrectly named. It should be “Lenovo is doomed”

  54. nikin:

    Using linux fo 4 years.. And yes i have someexotic hardware. main things go out of the box.. the rest.. if its peinstalled OS… preinstall the nescesarry things, provide a Rescue disc, etc. Or what not, get some programmers, who write the drivers for your stuff.
    Anyhow iam disapointed to hear that Lenovo is incapable to support linux, and that they have such a serious problems in HR.

  55. Jacob:

    Surprisingly high salaries for stupidity these days.

    My T61 works perfectly with Linux, but Lenovo doesn’t work. They have great machines but they dont want to sell their latest version to me. I simply will not buy a Microsoft License. At all.

  56. Opie:

    He misspoke when he said “Turbo Max.”

    He actually meant “Turbo Tax.”

  57. myname:

    He doesn’t have a clue but he’s right about one thing: desktop Linux is a train wreck and it doesn’t have a chance.

    You free software zealots can keep blaming Microsoft for your shortcomings: it’s what you do best.

  58. Jason Fink:

    Why wasn’t this story fact checked? Who was the editor who cleared this? If we were reading something from a 2 bit blog or someone’s personal site then mistakes like this could be written off; it is quite clear that either it was never checked or the person who checked it is not qualified for the job. In the end the Managing Editor should be held accountable and a retraction or corrections need to be made.

  59. Dulwithe:

    I used to read comics for a laugh, but now I will try to seek out interviews like this. I had to work hard not to laugh out loud at work reading this!! (And some great and funny comments… My favourite was from Toadkick!!!)

    D.

  60. k1773r37f:

    @John Pospisil

    So this diatribe was transcribed from a recording? Dang, that dude didn’t carry a single coherent thought through to conclusion anywhere. Reading that was like trying to talk to a junkie high nearly to the point of over dose on crystal meth.

    Lemme see if I can counter some of his self defeating incoherent illogic.

    @Matt
    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”

    Aspinctersayswhat?

    Yeah, that what I thought.

    I have been using linux since I shoe horned it on to a Toshiba Laptop circa 1996. Even then although X11 was a |8!+ch to configure, I never had to “decompile codes” whatever the frak that is, to get it to work.

    And damn! upload data? WTF? To what, or where that would not be also applicable to Microsoft? Unless he is referring to the User Support forums for Linux. Where if you do experience problems in Linux you can actually provide data from logs that the friendly experts (The Ubuntu Forums anyway) will tell you how to get.

    And !GASP! actually get resolution to the problem! And a resolution that doesn’t cost you $45.00/per (The last time I dealt with the excellent Microsoft user support) and doesn’t start with, “Reinstall the operating system from the original disks”).
    I agree. That “Head ache” (free online user support) does not exists for Windows.

    And following the tangent. Yeah, I am one of those (average?) people that, “Just wants a computer.” So Sell me “Just a computer!” Will you do that? Will you sell me, “Just a computer?” If so, maybe we have an agreement on the tangent point. But that tangent kinda defeats the rest of your seemingly drug inhibited logic.

    “From a vendor perspective, Linux is very hard to support because there are so many different versions out there: do we have Eudora, do we have SUSE, do we have Turbo Max?”

    Well, while Eudora (An E-Mail program for Windows) will run just fine on Linux under WINE, the popular Linux native Evolution is much better. Why invent more problems by using something under WINE when a better native Linux alternative is available and many times installed by default?

    I have never tried SUSE. But I have freinds that have. And I have been in companies that had SUSE contracts. None of them ever mentioned any contractual requirements requiring them to use or possess Turbo Max drill bits!
    Or does SUSE require their licensed OEM’s to also handle broken Turbo Max drill bit warranty exchanges? WTF kinda agreement is that? One that Microsoft bullied Novell into once Novell got into bed with them?

    MS: Here’s the deal. Ya see, we’re gonna by these support licenses from you. In exchange we won’t threaten to sue your asses for using FAT 32 long filename extensions.

    Novell: Duh, Ok

    MS: Oh one more thing. We told our buddies at PowerMax drill bits that you would handle warranty exchanges for broken drill bits that any of your or our licensees returned for replacement, see?

    Novell: Duh, OK.

    Simple solution. Don’t use Linux Distributions produced by brain dead Microsoft fu^H^H sock puppets.

    And hey, here’s another idea! Only support the Linux distribution actually supplied with the note/netbook!

    If I bought a laptop with Windows Vista loaded on it and then took it home and for some stupid reason put, I don’t know say Windows Mobile on it would you support that?
    Heck no! What a stupidly obvious straw man.

  61. David Gerard:

    When the facts aren’t on your side, I suppose there’s nothing left but to tell the biggest, whoppingest lie you can just to see who bites.

  62. Torchwood:

    Everyone is saying “this guy is stupid”, “I’m using Linux and it is soooo good”, “Linux is much better the Windows”, “Linux is sooo easy to use”, “Linux in last 5 years became so much better”, “Everyone can and should use Linux” etc.

    Yet still somehow marketshare for Linux on desktop/laptop PCs is what – below 1% (about the same or even less then it was 5 years ago)? And somehow millions of new users aren’t lining up to buy/download linux distros and install them on their PCs.

  63. Buffalo:

    @ “Torchwood”
    Thank you for the fine example of blithely swallowing bogus statistics from biased parties.

    Please, do a little analysis of the available numbers, and you will see that the statistics you are referencing don’t even make sense.

    Linux is indeed a rather primitive operating system — but by the same criteria this Windows thing is outright ludicrous, and it’s apparent, unsustainable success can only be explained by an ongoing (documented) pattern of criminal abuse of a monopoly position that was originally acquired by historical accident, rather than by any technical merit.

  64. Buffalo:

    @ “Torchwood”
    Thank you for the fine example of blithely swallowing bogus statistics from biased parties.

    Please, do a little analysis of the available numbers, and you will see that the statistics you are referencing don’t even make sense.

    Linux is indeed a rather primitive operating system — but by the same criteria this Windows thing is outright ludicrous, and it’s apparent, unsustainable success can only be explained by an ongoing (documented) pattern of criminal abuse of a monopoly position that was originally acquired by historical accident, rather than by any technical merit.

    Kind regards,
    The Doctor

  65. Buffalo:

    @ “Torchwood”
    Thank you for the fine example of blithely swallowing bogus statistics from biased parties.

    Please, do a little analysis of the available numbers, and you will see that the statistics you are referencing don’t even make sense.

    Linux is indeed a rather primitive operating system — but by the same criteria this Windows thing is outright ludicrous, and it’s apparent, unsustainable success can only be explained by an ongoing (documented) pattern of criminal abuse of a monopoly position that was originally acquired by historical accident, rather than by any inherent technical merit.

    Kind regards,
    The Doctor

  66. Ken:

    What’s interesting is no Linux section on this Blorge. I’ve reading this blog for a couple of years for a couple of years now, and as far as I can see Linux articles like this and when one of the staff blew up his laptop with Ubuntu probably got the most posts.

    It’s hard to find Linux sources of information that aren’t infected with blinding, screaming paranoid hate of Microsoft or claiming wondrous perfection of Distros. The reality is somewhere in between.

    Linux is a superb OS as a backend server product, but if you didn’t know anything about it you probably go months thinking it was only a desktop OS.

    I use Linux as my personal OS, I usually switch around to checkout new ones and if you use a persistent /home partition it’s simple.

    Linux still blows for wireless, printer support. It’s not really the OS, it’s the manufacturers either not wanting to release the necessary info into the wild for competitive reasons, or the base so small it makes support economically difficult.

    Linux is a much better OS than Windows, less intrusive and nimble and without features that are only there to pry money from you. It’s also better than OSX if you think settling for what Jobs thinks you deserve is wrong.

    The biggest hurdle to the acceptance of Linux is the lack of availability of computers with it pre-installed. Second is the rabid fanboys that are spouting nonsense like Microsoft will be gone in 2015.

  67. uk:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data, stuff that the average person, well, they just want a computer.”

    +1 from me: this phrase is absolutely ridiculous.
    netbook with windows are pre-configured and so the ones with linux have to be, if you want to compare them.

    the point of view mr Matt Kohut is not objective at all, and maybe comes from a microsoft suggestion.

  68. Johanson:

    Linux is a much better OS?

    Yeah, right. In the wet dreams of Linux fanboys, maybe.

  69. ritchan:

    I’ve been using Gentoo since 2004. As much as I’d like to see Linux succeed, when shit happens, the solution is not obvious in Linux. You may put all those flashy GUIs on top, but you still need the CLI if you want to do anything useful under Linux. Besides, it’s just trying to hide its inherent complexity.

    The numerous consecutive “Years of Desktop Linux” should already have indicated that Linux isn’t grabbing desktop share anytime soon.

  70. Ralph:

    I am happy with Linux and I could care less if Linux is 1% or 3 %…it is irrelevant what “share” Linux is because it isn’t about sales or sales quotas. It is about quality and millions of dedicated users from all over the globe who are more than satisfied with the OS.

    If Lenovo believes that Linux is doomed…so be it…it will be their loss. There are other manufacturers more than willing to sell Linux computers in all forms. Lets support them and thank them for offering Linux computers whether we buy one from them or not.

    Linux won’t overtake Windows anywhere in the near future…. However it won’t be Linux or Apple that will hurt Microsoft. It will be the growing number of open source mandates that is starting to take hold around the globe.

    Simply put, governmental agencies have mandated that their departments use open source software or the department will have to pay for it themselves….Russia is a prime example. Schools in all regions in that country must use open source or…pay for it themselves…its a done deal.

    Hungary is seeking to go 50% open source, Brazil, China and even Vietnam have varying levels of open source mandates. The City of Munich and the French Police are using open source software and open source operating systems.

    This is a growing trend throughout the world and it does not bode well for Microsoft or any other proprietary software company.

  71. Sid:

    There is a striking similarity between people like him and those who bought down wall street… Its called wishful thinking… Choosing to believe and trust things that can only be true given human ignorance to common sense and ground facts… Wall street crashed because it trusted all those crappy risk models linked to the bad loans they sold, models really badly designed to take human greed and ignorance to account…. This guy takes the ididotism to the next step, he is worst as he chooses to trust hear-say…. One more reason to hate the fraternity that these people lie in…A-holes….

  72. mad_gcc:

    Very recently a work mate approached me with a newly purchased netbook. It was a Lenovo Ideapad S10e.

    While the hardware itself was ok, my friend cried for help using the SLED 10 SP 2, famous for it’s BROKEN package manager (yes, zenworks, zypper or whatever is called).

    I’m the linux guy in my company and expected to get the netbook fixed for issues like acpi not properly working (hangs and reboots), and the internet update of the operating system not working. After several hours of trial and error, search for help on Lenovo’s website and forums, the solution was to put a legitimate XP he already owned from another broken desktop.

    My question is:

    Is this guy the type of person that make the decissions on what to put on netbooks?

    If so, I can see why Lenovo sucks.

  73. Bill:

    U-B-U-N-T-U
    Linux for human beings. So simple that even Bill Gates couldn’t screw it up.

  74. fazzman:

    what an idiot… doesn’t seem to understand the very basics of packaging or anything. And has he even used windows 7? It crashes all the time and silently reports in a little hidden window so no one can see it.

    Take a look at Ubuntu Jaunty…

    Stupid man xD

  75. Windows User:

    Well, I’m a windows user. I use windows because I like to play games, which are written for windows. So even though it would probably be possible to run them in linux, it makes no sense to do that unless you’re a total microsoft hater, since it’s just too complicated.

    I have to admit I’m not handy with computers, and that I just like to plug things in and see it work, but really people saying that linux is not easy to use are as dumb as people saying ‘computers are difficult and never work.’

    A netbook to me is something to do simple stuff with. I want to have internet, a browser, an msn messenger (not specifically THE msn messenger), skype and some kind of office version. Currently under windows I use Lotus Symphony, because microsoft office is all pay and still suck.

    I want my netbook to run as long as possible, and since most netbooks are preinstalled with windows XP or Vista (which take 2 to 4 times as much memory or something -I’m not even sure how to call it- as 2000, for which reason I had to buy a new computer ), I figured out that a netbook better not run on that kind of stuff if I want the battery life to last long.

    Therefore I decided to give linux a look. Since I heard that it is simple and intuitive, cheaper and faster.

    I ran linux from a pendrive, yes pendrive… that’s a USB-stick for most ignorant users such as myself. I tried several ‘distros’ because there are apparently a lot of differences in it.

    Most distributions are totally not suitable for starting users, but the Eeebuntu 9.04 is really easy. It is rather heavy compared to light versions such as PuppEee or CruncEee, and it is better to install it on your harddrive.

    But hell! It runs almost everything directly. No need to install drivers for USB sticks, and even my phone I can directly plug in and it works. The built-in webcam works, sound, brightness control, pretty much everything.

    And the wireless, which was a problem factor with some of the other distributions, is just a click and it works. There are a bit odd IP-numbers in my network, which causes trouble for windows and makes me configure it manually, Eeebuntu has no problems with this.

    The OpenOffice 3.0 also works flawlessly, so it’s easy to work on. Loads pretty fast, too. The interface is easy, and you can switch off options you don’t use with a single click, such as Bluetooth, USB, webcam etc. (Although I don’t quite get the webcam turning on and off, because it always says it is off, gives an error when I try to turn it on, and it still works well).

    Through this positive experience, I will use linux on my netbook, while on my normal notebook, which I use for games and photoshop (because I really dont understand GIMP, even though it can do ‘a lot’).

    So I hope that you understand the discussion between windows versus linux in general is stupid. It depends on the application, what do you want to do with it? And then it should not be windows versus linux, but every distribution of linux deserves as much attention as windows or Mac.

    Now that will sound weird, why not every windows version, or mac version? Simply because they are a vertical line of newer systems that replaces the former one. Just as it would be silly to compare Ubuntu 9, 8, 7, 6 etc. But the different distributions are developed at the same time.

    If you’re interested, check the descriptions a bit. Load UNetBootin and see which distro you want to try, put it on USB and restart. Press F9 during startup and choose USB device and voila! Le linux!

    Don’t like it? Power down, remove USB and start again, you’re back in windows.

    I would recommend anyone to at least try this before saying anything about ‘linux.’ I didn’t like most of the distributions either, but especially Ubuntu is a real good starter.

  76. Winblows:

    I haven’t used windows in 10 years. I actually have to recall how to set up a windows box when the base drivers don’t work. If I recall, if you want to build a windows box, many vendors send along a driver disk for different chipsets in the box. Dell puts the drivers on their website(Which you have to download. My existing Kubuntu version set up on my Lenovo out of the box, It is about hardware support, not the software. If you are smart enough to check the hardware before you buy, keep to a few simple rules(Yeah I know, you can’t get past the DVD tray as a cupholder). It will load and run out of the box. The updates are jokingly simple. Given that this guy obviously doesn’t even know Linus Torvalds and refers to him in the first person says a great deal about how technically inept he really is.

    Kubuntu Jaunty. Just stay away from the broadcom wifi chipsets(Just in case you might have to use ndiswrapper). Stick with the Intel stuff and if I recall, ATI is supporting the video now. Nvidia has been supporting the Linux community for some time now. 99 times out of 100, you’ll load and be running in no time.

  77. Dan:

    Kohut isn’t an idiot. He obviously would have direct feedback from Lenovo’s sales chain including their customer base on their experience with Linux on Netbook. Lenovo at least does offer Linux as a preload on the S9′s or did for a bit.

    I’ve seen Lenovo/IBM preload Linux on several models over the years just like any other vendor. They soon stop the practice as the systems do not sell. – Because the Linux inclined would rather load their distro of choice and not deal with the Linux preload that the vendor chose to adopt and support.

    So stop yer B*tching. :)

  78. Lindsay:

    I love to hear Linux advocates at morning…

    People seem to understand companies and huge business so well! I can’t even understand how nobody makes billions… Of course Lenovo is stupid to not put Linux on it.

    It’s simple: they DID put Linux. Those models DID NOT sell well. They wasted money (nobody is better than themselves to say that). They PUT BACK Windows. Windows models sell. Place the zealotry and the ideology aside, please.

    ps.: power management sucks, that’s why many, many people (that I know and on the net forums) buy Linux models (if at all) and put Windows back on it. If you can’t see…

  79. Dylan Serafine:

    Thanks for this great post. This is very useful for someone looking for a transcription article. I will be checking your site again soon.

  80. ra:

    “You have to know how to decompile codes and upload data..”
    Decompile? Did you meant COMPILING FROM THE SOURCE CODE? Nop, not needed, 5 years using Linux and never did that.
    Upload data? For What? like sharing your photos or videos? Hahaha! :)

    “Windows…/…you just take it out of the box and it’s ready to go.” Trolling? EH? “Ready to go…” Realy? Windows? That was supposed to be Windows but newer was… Linux, in another hand, is another story: it’s like insert CD into you stereo and… READY!
    If you make clean Windows installation, it takes like 2 hours in win7 ( the closest thing to Linux) to finish OS installation, then… it is ready to… let’s see: doing something basic: writing some documents? NOP. Linux: YES. Linux installation? Only if you want, because will work without it.

    “Linus needs to get to the point where if you want to plug something in, Linux loads the driver and it just works.
    1. That is what Linux does. Can do that Windows?
    2. Drivers: drivers it is something that the manufacturers must to write, not the OS programmers. AND YES, they do it for Linux.
    2. Linus needs… Linus T. or LinuX, the OS?

    Well, Linux runs on more than 90% of the 500 most powerful supercomputers, first 10 of them are only in Linux, data servers, the greatest part of the Internet , my cellphone, my router, your favorite search engine, the video-game consoles… they all runs on Linux.

    Common! Stop trolling.

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