Having used OS X for year as the primary operating system at work the choice was clear, Jyrki Pulliainen wanted to go back to Linux, in this case to Debian to be exact.
Interesting that the memory usage was bad with Mac OS X. That explains why I always suffered with Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign in comparison to weaker PC machines.
But I couldn't put up with configuring Debian whenever I have a new peripheral to plugin...
The two biggest pain points in computing: why does no-one but Apple make GREAT quality hardware. And why can no-one create a build of Linux that is a true replacement for Windows/Mac OS X.
Plenty of companies make great quality hardware - the problem you're having is that they all charge Apple-like prices. You can buy a £250 Dell laptop which is creaky plastic and might fall apart in a year, or a £900 PC laptop made of aluminium/magnesium which will be perfect a year from now. Quality coming at a cost isn't an Apple thing, Apple are just the mass-market appealing section of the high cost/quality segment.
People can't make a build of Linux that 'just works' in the same way that OSX and Windows do because of the restrictions around bundling non-free and proprietary binaries with systems. You can plug any printer into any PC and expect Windows to just have the drivers but you don't have the luxury to that effect on Linux (though certain package managers make things nicer, it's no 1-stop-shop solution).
Show me an ultrabook that can match the MacBook Air...
The ONLY thing that comes close is the Sony Vaio Z, and that is significantly more expensive (I believe a new model has been displayed but is not available to purchase...but still more pricey than a MBA).
With the Macbook Pro competitors, again, please give me one make and model that competes, even in a higher price bracket. Even the copycat HP Envy series is inferior.
They just don't seem to understand customers or care.
It is frustrating, because I feel Mac OS X is useless.
And with the 'restrictions' around bundling non-free and proprietary binaries... just charge. People would pay if it was worth paying for.
You are using either some antic distro or some very strange hardware -- I don't even remember when it was last time when I was installing any driver on a Linux machine, while Windows starts its driver searching panic even when I reconnect mouse to a different USB port.
There are much better hardware companies than apple. Thinkpad anayone T-Series.
The problem with nobody trying to sell Linux based machines lies in the production process of computer hardware. You need extreme high outputs 50000 - 60000 pieces per line. Nobody takes the risk of not selling this with linux.
I am trying to build a Ubuntu-based solution on http://rockiger.com. Mostly German.
I see a few problems with companies like yours or system76 (I salute your efforts! On Linux (Debian/Ubuntu) for about 7 years now)
I think your and similar efforts are great, someone has to try innovating the sector.
I'd be curious to hear your take on this and how you are responding to these (and all the other) challenges.
You have valid points:
Low throughput -> High price. Although I don't need to buy an OS license I still pay more than for a comparable Windows laptop.
This is why my concept is not using Ubuntu as something that save cost (in reality it doesn't), but as something that works better - think of chip tuning for a car.
Lack of differentiation. I feel the machines look very similar to their mass-produced counterparts and don't really offer me a differentiation factor in terms of style and design. (Although I prefer yours over system76)
Thanks. Indeed this is by far the biggest problem. Developing your own laptop lines is very expensive. You need about 50 000 units to produc at a competitive price. We are evalutating different options at the moment. We are thinking about a tuning concept - like this is done with cars. Looking for good hardware and then making it run with Ubuntu.
Obstacles to market penetration. Unless you somehow integrate with existing supply and retail routes or revolutionise electronics retail you are cut off.
Little or no physical retail. I can't go (or only in specific locations) and try the machines out before buying them. That might not bother me personally so much but it is a barrier for many potential customers.
The online only concept it mainly importan for prooving the business idea. Later on there will be retail chains approached.
Lack of technical knowledge. Most people have no idea what an OS is. Also, they think Windows is free because they don't realise they are paying for the license.
That is one major point we focusing on. It's not about features, but about function of the system. More secure, greater privacy and better usability. That said, we are more focused at power users at the moment.
Components are fairly cheap these days. The markup for a lower production run wouldn't be off-putting. As Rockiger shows... Promising for sure