Linux may be the better desktop, but the public doesn’t want to learn it.

The folks over at LaptopMag.com have an interview with MSI’s Director of U.S. Sales Andy Tung about the new MSI Wind Netbook that’s been selling like crazy. One of the topics touched on is the high return rate of the MSI Wind and what the cause happens to be:

You mention the return rates being high. Has that been the case with the Wind as well?
We have done a lot of studies on the return rates and haven’t really talked about it much until now. Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.

Currently MSI is using SUSE for the MSI Wind and they’re looking at trying a couple of other distros including a tailored version of Ubuntu styled to look like Mac OS X to see if they’ll go over any better, but I found it interesting that a lot of the reason for the returns wasn’t that SUSE wasn’t working just that people didn’t want to learn it.

As an interesting side-note, the instructor for my college networking essentials class doesn’t like Ubuntu at all. He calls it “Dumbuntu” because he thinks it’s been dumbed down too much. As I recall he’s a big fan of SUSE.