I originally sent this to a specific company, but I think it applies more broadly, so here’s a generic version:

Last week, I purchased a new laptop from your company. I plan to use Linux on this system. Although Ubuntu installs and runs successfully, there are several issues with the display, sound system, and other features (I haven’t even got to the web cam yet). These issues limit my ability to enjoy the new system.

As a highly technical user, I am confident that I will overcome these issues. However I should not have to. There is a lot of support for your older hardware in the community, but not for newer systems. This implies that as a company, you offer little to no support to the community and they have to figure things out by trial and error.

I would like to suggest to you that it is in your best interests to dedicate a little time towards making it easier to deploy Linux on your systems. The direct investment is probably less than one or two full time developers. Some indirect costs might also be involved (mostly in documentation and small improvements in subsystems), but I think you will find that those costs give you a better engineered product and that you could make a good business case for them (independent of the Linux support issue). I’m also confident that if you extend an offer of support to the community, you will receive a great deal of valuable assistance in return, at no cost.

I am aware that the demand for Linux currently appears to be very small, and that it’s not easy to justify any expenditure at this time. However I would like to direct you to Dell’s experiment in community feedback, where they found that the demand for alternative software was a lot higher than they expected. It wasn’t long before they started offering Linux as an alternative on some of their systems.

I will probably be replacing this system in a few years. At that time, I expect to be in a position to only consider those manufacturers who offer systems pre-loaded with a Linux distribution. If your company wants to be in that list, now is the time to start working on it.