CyberTech Rambler

May 8, 2008

Potential anti-competitive pricing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 3:08 pm

There is a news item at APC that says Windows-based Eee PC 900 in Australia is more expensive than their Linux counterpart. Ordinarily I will say that is not very surprising, since Dell had demonstrated that it can lower prices by loading your PC with crapware. However, there is something fishy which I think Australian antitrust authority should look into.

Perhaps to pull the wools over consumer’s eye to justify the difference in price, the Linux version has a beefier hard disk. Even then, I cannot see how this can bridge the price difference of cheap (Xandros) + free (openoffice.org) with non-free (Windows) + non-free(MS Works). Moreover, this implies Linux need bigger hard disk, which is surprising because all other accounts that I see says Windows need more hard disk space than Linux. Second, the linux version is only available at computer stores, i.e., not all retailers. Surely they can supply all retailers with both versions and let the consumer decides.

All these is assuming that Microsoft has a hand to play with the configuration dance. If Microsoft did, then it is an potential anti-trust issue, i.e., Microsoft manipulating the market to make it looks better. However, I have to stress that this is just a speculation, only the authorities are able to dig more to prove/disprove this.

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