Will PC Gemilang succeed in Malaysian waters?

OK, my response might be a bit biased, but it’s because this is something dear to me – it should also be dear to the OSS community, with Fedora, Gnome, and OOo being key players here.

Reading the recent Computimes article by Sharifah Kasim (google’s cache) I think it’s time some doubts be cleared. In terms of why OdaSaja failed, and this (hopefully) succeeds, is the fact that PCs are available now at under RM1,000 – it’s an open market, and the cost comes out of each and everyone’s pockets.

Keeping the user experience enjoyable, and with minimum gripe, of course the open source software we give them will be well implemented and customised. If they think its a gaming rig, think again – 128MB worth of RAM, and a tiny amount of video RAM ain’t getting you far. But for the Net, office stuff, and so on, Linux cuts it.

And not to make any ad hominem attacks against Dr. Norbik, but he’s on crack when he comments on anything above RM1,000 is big spending for rural folk. He wants the Microsoft bit to be under 1k (while the open source one to be RM850). Does he even know the costs behind the hardware? Besides, keeping the FLOSS version under-1k is the idea – more people take it.

After sales support comes from support centres – 55 in fact. All nicely paid for by a company with too much money. A touch on maintenance can be provided at the 2-day free training sessions on getting up to speed with your new computer. If you screw the hardware up, thats what resellers are for – I don’t know how that’s being handeld though. And if you find Linux all the more interesting, or want to basically “just rock”, go further your knowledge and pressure companies to give cheaper rates (look at atSC or training.org.my for more, paid up training).

Funny to note that MS Works 2004 comes with Encarta (which runs dog slow!). With the Internet, who needs encyclopedias? /me looks at his dusting copy of Encarta ’95 And if Sun is offering Linux cluster support, it could’ve been done just nicely if they hired competent sysadmins – in Malaysia, we look at other agendas sometimes, don’t we?