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The latest case of Linux discrimination: EBay

Date/Time Permalink: 10/18/06 11:58:03 am
Category: General

The story link's in the title. It's prerequisite reading for me widdle rant:

This has just recently been on my mind. That's all I hear: "We can't do this for your Linux box because you're such a small market!" One excuse after another.

Well, there goes the free market. Hey, let's take everything off television but the one channel that everybody watches. Let's just slash our clothing inventory down to a range of average sizes and make all the extremely short/tall/fat/skinny people go naked because they're such a niche market. And just eat hamburgers every day - yes, you can shove your request for lobster kiev in a white wine sauce, you 1% market, you!

Funny how everywhere else in the capitalist world, you can find a market that satisfies your taste no matter how peculiar. Whether it be turnip ice cream or holistic strawberry and mango shower gel or kinky foot-fetishism with Care-Bear furry transvestites, the market motto is usually "find a need and fill it". No matter how freaking picky you are, as long as your have money, somebody will jump through hoops to serve you.

Except when you run Linux. Then, mysteriously, portability becomes a Herculean feat, websites check for browser stats and work fine only if you lie to them, your modem from your ISP works fine only if you hack your way past the bogus setup that prevented it from running on your system. Money in America can buy a castle, a truckload of dope, or a Senator but it cannot seem to buy Linux support.

Seems damn funny you can cruise the store and find 362 brands and flavors of toothpaste - even really disgusting ones - but there's a mysterious inability to cater to more than one operating system.

Here's the least scientific of surveys: Type either the name "Linux" or "Microsoft" into Google and get:

"Linux": 980,000,000 hits
"Microsoft": 1,120,000,000 hits
µ

Showing Linux interest to be just 87% of Microsoft interest. Yeah, yeah, I know, Google changes it's indexing every day, this isn't a perfect indicator, I left out searches for "Windows" (but it would have picked up hits for glass-type windows as well). Try it right now yourself, YMMV - but not by much. So it's only a ballpark figure. Still it's rather hard to look at those two numbers and say that Linux's market share is the tiny single-digit figure compared to Microsoft that the bullies of the Internet would have you believe, isn't it?

If anybody out there can explain why no market, no matter how big, seems able to give the time of day to Linux, long tail be damned, I'm dying to rip it to shreds. Because it will be a lie.

And that's what the supposed "free market" is. One big fat lie.

µ Interesting side note: While MacIntosh isn't what this post is about, I Googled "MacIntosh" and got 133,000,000 hits. Huh? I said what the heck and Googled plain "Mac": 47,800,000 hits, and that's going to include Big Mac hamburgers, Mac trucks, and who knows all. Googling just the word "Apple": 563,000,000 hits. Interesting to note that support for Apple isn't relegated to nearly the back-shelf position occupied by Linux: Computer stores at least have an aisle or two devoted to Apple, many services online are Apple-compatible. Mind you, I have yet to see Linux do a shred of either of the other two of the Big Three's marketing. Think what even a single TV commercial could do for Linux.

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