For those who don’t know, Ubuntu is the most popular and pedestrian-friendly version of the free, open-source Linux operating system–it’s basically the version of Linux with the UI easiest to use for folks more familiar with Windows. Except it’s a million times cooler than Windows, because it’s run by a community of passionate nerds for the good of the world, and it’s free.
Dell’s XPS 13 “Developer Edition” ultrabook comes loaded with Ubuntu’s current Precise Pangolin iteration, rather than Windows and all the bloated crapware that usually comes pre-loaded on any commercial Windows machine. This means the laptop is loaded with less software, and the software on it is FREE.
Yet, at $1550, the “Developer Edition” costs $50 more than the usual Windows-laden model.
Why? Because software companies subsidize hardware companies’ offerings. That’s why 99% of all machines out there have Windows, and some lame antivirus program, and 200 other things you don’t want or need–because Microsoft and these other companies pay firms like Dell to put their stuff on the computers. So, eventually, we get to a place where you have to pay more for a machine with not only less software, but free software to boot.
I understand completely the mechanics and economics at work here.
That it’s easy to understand doesn’t make it any less jacked up and wrong. Actually, it makes it more so.