Blind vs. mainstream distros

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Thu Apr 27 22:34:14 UTC 2017

I think it's fair to say that, for Linux to ever break into the
mainstream, we need mainstream PC makers and PC retailers to commit to
offering machines that come pre-installed with Linux and not hide
their Linux offerings where only those specifically looking for Linux
will find it.

Problem is, retailers have an incentive to convince customers they're
better off buying a bunch of overpriced, proprietary software to go
with their new computer instead of "setttling" for freeware, and Linux
doesn't offer nearly as many opportunities to try and sell them extra
software, not to mention that said retailers might need to hire extra
staff to get sales persons that can handle store level setup of new
machines from both Windows and Linux or pay their staff more per hour
to keep the same number, but get people who know both. Unless Linux
users started flooding retailers and PC builders with demands for
systems preinstalled with Linux, what reason do retailers more
interested in turning a profit than ensuring their customers know
their options and get the most bang for their buck have to start
offering even a single flavor of Linux along side Windows? It sickens
me, but this is pretty much corporatism 101: squeeze as much from
every customer, screw over as many as you can, and make them thank you
for doing so, and Linux doesn't really fit into such a business model,
especially since die hard Linux fans have a reputation of knowing when
they're being screwed.

In an ideal world, I could go to my local OfficeMax, pick out any
laptop or desktop they have in stock, and for a nominal fee, they'd
install my choice of Linux or Windows, or I could save a bit and leave
with a blank hard drive, but for the forseeable future, buying a new
computer from my local OfficeMax means buying a Windows PC even if I
plan to nuke Windows to install my preferred flavor of Linux, and I
don't see Office Max deciding it's worth offering Linux boxes anytime

And while I don't really care what others choose to do their computing
on, I just hope the proliferation of tablets doesn't eventually shrink
the desktop market to the point  building from scratch is the only


Jeffery Wright
President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.
Former Secretary, Student Government Association, College of the Albemarle.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list