Originally Posted by Marvin
I love how everyone has latched onto this "open" policy and how they all think it represents their strategy. The only truly open strategy is where you build your own machine from scratch and install Linux on it.
As soon as you buy a machine with Windows on it, it's not open. As soon as you buy any branded hardware, it's not open because it will have some proprietary components inside that you have to replace from a limited source when it breaks.
This depends on what you mean by "from scratch". Nearly every part you buy, except maybe transistors and passives, and some small chips are going to have features that are proprietary. However, in the desktop realm, you can have open, where you plug in your choice OS with your choice power supply, case, your choice main board, add-in card, lots of interchangeable parts. You don't need to worry about replacing a Nat Semi chip when you just replace the board. The thing that vexed me when people say they "built" their own computer is that they didn't do much other than assemble a handful of prefabbed parts, it's like building your own trailer home, it's more like you installed it yourself, no soldering, hammering or nailing involved.
That said, most people don't do this. Some businesses do this, but what most really do is buy a truckload of computers, if a part happens to fail, the computer department can cannibalize a spare computer for that part, so open doesn't come into it.