In a recent news article, a survey completed by MSI indicates that Linux laptops are returned more than 4 times  as often compared to Window machines. The problem had been recognized by MSI early on, but they were reluctant to discuss the problem. MSI now states the following:

According to MSI’s U.S. sales director Andy Tung, “We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven’t really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.”

That’s significant, and a little scary: A pocket of Mac enthusiasm notwithstanding, Windows now dominates the market so heavily that many people are afraid of change. It’s hard to fault them. Though OpenOffice and Microsoft Office share 90 percent of their DNA, it can be a little daunting when commands aren’t exactly where you expect them to be. And the various Linux OS flavors themselves can take considerable getting used to. Even locating files and figuring out where the programs you need are can take a lot of work.

Many of the newer Netbooks will now come with Windows installed instead of Linux, so these numbers should decline. But this points out one very important difference between Linux and Windows. Window user don’t like using an OS they struggle with or need to learn. 🙂

What do you think?

Comments welcome.