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Old 11-13-2008, 11:37 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Return Rates of Linux-Based Netbooks At Least 4x Higher Than Windows XP-based Netbooks


"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 a quote from MSI's Director of Sales, Andy Tung, and it doesn't surprise me in the slightest. The average consumer tends not to embrace change very well when it comes to their computing experience - many people don't conceptually understand how software works, so they rely instead on rote memory, essentially memorizing through repetition how to do things. When you change the user interface, these types of computers users tend to become easily lost and frustration ensues. Just look at the reaction to Windows Vista and Office 2007 - with the people I've spoken to, when I drill down on their complaints, at the root of them all is the same thing: things were moved, things were changed, and now they don't know how to do anything. Linux on Netbooks is a great example of this principle in action: they think they're going to like it, but when they realize how different it is from Windows XP, they're no longer so excited about their netbook and back it goes.

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