Compare these three data points:
- Apricot drops Linux netbook because testers found it "too complicated"
- MSI sees 4x returns Linux returns compared to XP
- Linux and XP Eee PCs see similar return rates
The conclusion I draw from this - ASUS is making an effort with the Linux Eee PC by setting it up right, while MSI and Apricot only paid lip-service to Linux and didn't really put in the effort with the OS.
Bottom line, a big part of the end user's OS experience is down to how well (or badly) the OEM sets up the OS at the beginning. Since I still come across OEMs who do an appalling job of setting up Windows, it comes as no surprise to me that OEMs are having a hard time getting to grips with Linux.
If the economy stays soggy for a while and people start demanding cheaper systems running Linux, these companies had better start getting their act together - evolve or die.