A few weeks ago I picked up a Lexmark X9575 Wireless 4-in-1 printer, scanner, dicer, chopper, at Costco. It’s sat in the box, unopened, since then; not because I’m a lazy sloth (I am, but that’s another post, probably written by my wife), but rather because I looked up whether it was supported in Ubuntu. The forums say, it isn’t. So we wouldn’t be able to print from our Ubuntu-based Toshiba laptop in the living room.
We’ve also got Windows and Mac computers, in the house. And, eventually, we’ll have WiFi-enabled mobiles. (But not iPhones, because Rogers sucks is being unreasonable!) Ideally, all would be able to share the services of our printer.
That’s when I went back to Costco, and made a list of all their printers. Then I came home and (several days later) looked up one of the names on the list, to see if it supported Ubuntu. And sure enough, it did! So tomorrow, I’m returning the Lexmark X9575, and exchanging it for an HP Officejet Pro L7650.
By returning the Lexmark I’m voting with my dollars. By blogging about it, I’m letting them, and the world, know that Linux support is important to me. It should be important to you too.
Why should you care about Linux?
Because consumers need choice. And right now, you don’t really have choice. You’ve got Microsoft’s Windows Vista on the one hand, and Apple’s very expensive Mac on the other. Linux is your only other viable alternative. With your support it can bloom, into not just a full-featured free operating system, but one that even neophyte computer users can access with confidence.
So. What are you doing to be part of the solution?
I used to have Canon CanoScan 9950F flatbed scanner. Nice hardware, wouldn’t work on Linux. I asked Canon several times, very politely, to release the hardware details to the Linux community. I got several (very polite) replies that due to the size of the Linux market they chose to ignore it.
I sold the scanner to a Mac user and communicated to Canon marketing (again, very politely) that I will not buy *any* Canon product until they start supporting Linux on all of them.
I also explained in detail (in the nicest possible way) that not only they lost that one sale to that Mac fan who otherwise would have bought a new scanner, but they also lost all potential sales to me because Canon as a company is now filtered out from my hardware shopping endeavors (middle age with reasonable disposable income, none of which is going Canon’s way).
Huge companies don’t know and most of the time don’t care that we want to have a choice. We have to let them know and we have to let them know that we vote with our dollars. It is our responsibility.
Most don’t understand Open Source, most don’t care. However, one thing every company cares about is the bottom line. The mighty buck (or what it used to be). So a few dozen (polite, please keep it clean) emails from disgruntled users won’t have much impact on marketing people but try a few thousand and they *will* pay attention.
So please vote, vote with your valet, vote often and let them know how and why you voted and let them know how much it cost them.
My scanner is CanoScan LiDE 20 (from Canon). And it’s working fine in Ubuntu Gutsy.