Along with other considerations of an economic nature, these are precisely my issues with these type of projects. Thank you for such a leveled response that calls for reflection.
And “The Code” is another documentary that can’t be missed by anyone interested in the principles that drove the people that put this software in our hands to carry on their legacy.
This is a business strategy that benefits first and foremost Station X. It is unfortunate that the Manjaro Team got lured into it. The company prices and hardware are not competitive in the laptop market. Even among other Linux hardware vendors. In addition the support that companies like Station X offrer are nightmarish for users with broken laptops, that actually need to ship them, instead of benefiting from local representatives. And not to forget they only offer 1 year support on this type of hardware, which some users rightfully consider consumer suicide. Last, the fact the company really only ships to Europe (and not even the whole continent).
So, for all these reasons, this product will have very little impact in the community, with many preferring to choose better and cheaper hardware to branding being offered at a premium price. And yet the Manjaro Team just committed itself to it with their time and resources with a whole bunch of hyperbole statements from the hardware vendor. Manjaro has a commitment now to support with code a piece of hardware that will represent an infinitesimal part of its user base. And without knowing the terms of their agreement, I will risk adding that the Manjaro Team will have that commitment for as long as the hardware vendor decides to keep the so-called special edition.
And all for what exactly? For something that just like you say, doesn’t even represent the ideals of a free as in beer Linux operating system and the decoupling of hardware and software which is one of the cardinal principles of both the Linux and the GNU projects.
But that’s fine, I guess. Between the 90s portrayed in Revolution OS and the late 2010s, much has changed. The Linux community has grown substantially and so its culture has changed. Minds are more open now to relationships like these. Others can’t even comprehend how this can be a problem. But I am getting old. Old enough to not fear what the future will hold because I won’t be here to witness it. And I know that I still have one or two more good decades of Linux ahead of me. Just about what I need.