Retailer says will replace open source OS with Windows XP after high levels of customer confusion leads to 20% return rate

Carphone recalls Linux laptops

Carphone Warehouse has dealt a serious blow to Linux supporters after it moved to recall all of its own-brand open source-based netbooks, and announced it would install Windows XP on them, citing customer confusion with the unfamiliar operating system as the reason for the move.

The retailer recalled its Webbook device – which was produced as a white label of Elonex’s own netbook – after what it described as high levels of returns – 20 per cent in some areas – due to customer confusion surrounding its Linux operating system.

A source at Carphone Warehouse told Mobile Today that there were no faults with the devices being recalled, it was merely "an issue of consumer understanding".

Dismissing any suggestions that the move had been prompted by anything else other than a customer disapproval of Linux, the source added: "The Webbooks were selling well; it’s just that customers preferred XP."

It is unclear if other firms are likely to follow in Carphone’s move, or whether it means the retailer or its partner Best Buy will stop offering Linux models altogether.

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