Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Mar 2009 23:17 UTC
Linux Yes, it's apparently another netbook today on OSNews. Netbooks were supposed to become the major foot in the door, but as soon as Microsoft got off its fat bum and started offering Windows XP to netbook OEMs, the popularity among OEMs of Linux has dwindled; when the netbook surge started, Linux was the operating system of choice among OEMs, but now, the Windows version comes first, and the Linux version later - if at all. Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin basically tells OEMs: "Yer doing it wrong".
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Another way they messed up...
by darknexus on Tue 10th Mar 2009 23:35 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

They offered these limited versions of Linux, rather than a well-known and supported variant. Come on, they could have gone with Ubuntu or OpenSUSE, or even Fedora. But instead Asus goes for Xandros with a horrible apt configuration, and Acer goes for Linpus Lite. Fail, guys. Epic fail.

Reply Score: 17

tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27

I couldn't agree more it even turned off the hard core Linux fans. Most of us just installed Ubuntu, OpenSuse or Fedora on it after we got ours.

Reply Score: 7

v RE: Another way they messed up...
by seratne on Tue 10th Mar 2009 23:55 UTC in reply to "Another way they messed up..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Agreed, though I didn't want this to turn into yet another standardization vs choice debate. Those never go anywhere. I just feel this is another way they screwed up, I wasn't speaking of Linux on the desktop in general for the average user--if I did, I'd be writing all day. The average user doesn't care what distro or package manager they have, but they do care that they either can find information on how to perform a task if they're so inclined or, as is the case with most people, know someone who will support it for them. Even with Linux, the versions that netbook OEMs picked are under the radar and not well supported.
You're never going to have one distribution, that's just the nature of foss development, as much as you or I might wish it were otherwise. Anyone can do what they wish with it, and they will do so because they can.

Reply Score: 2

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

The other important factor in standardizing on one version is that that one version has to be GOOD.

Linpus Lite is (I have never used it) apparently not that good. OpenSUSE, Fedora, and Ubuntu are all apparently very good.

Reply Score: 3

big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

You think anyone besides the linux geek even cares what package manager or distro is preinstalled on their new netbook. No.

Thats not the point. The point is: default linux distros on these machines is ugly at best, mal functioning at worst. I bought an EeePC 10" and I love the machine. But because of the small screen, you need something optimized for it. Even if its not powerful, compiz runs great on it and is a great addition: just the zoom out is worth it. Or the network manager was a pain. My father bought a 701, and it was a pain to connect to the wireless wep: you had to create a profile first knowing the ssid and wep key. You couldn't just scan and select. Why re-invent the wheel when there is plenty of already existing, high quality network manager?
Another example is firefox. It is included most of the time in netbooks. But firefox wastes a lot of screen estate. Why not reduce the size of menus, etc. by default?
The users' experience would have been better, and the work done by the builder would have been less. It just makes me think of proprietary application development: the wheel always need to be re-invented, with a crappy implementation.

The real problem is that no real person has ever heard of ubuntu, xandros, opensuse, redhat or any other linux distro. They might have heard of "linux" before. But probably by one of their geek friends.

The fragmentation / forking of linux is what prevents it from ever making it anywhere near capable of being a desktop os.

The only possible way for linux to thrive on the desktop is if the entire community unanimously decides on one major distro to be the de facto OS (the target OS).

Choice is not good. For instance there are 10 people on one side using 5 different things, or there are 1000 people on the other using one thing. Mob mentality is going to push people over to the side with 1000.

I highly disagree. Does the fact that there exist many cell phone companies each constructing many different models prevent cell phone adoption? There is a different interface on each of these phones, but the users are able to catch quite fast how a cell phone works.

Distros are not that different: they are after all just a group of different programs packed together over a linux kernel.

A machine running linux is more then a distro choice. If it runs linux, it means you have choice and full control over it. You can use the default which is fine, but you can put whatever you want instead. As somebody else said, many, if not half of users installed another distro. We all have our prefered one ;)

Reply Score: 6

orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Sorry to weigh in but cannot resist - it looks very much as though you have pushed yourself off the side being just a voice of one.

Demos is not the same as 'the mob'.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another way they messed up...
by lemur2 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:11 UTC in reply to "Another way they messed up..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

They offered these limited versions of Linux, rather than a well-known and supported variant. Come on, they could have gone with Ubuntu or OpenSUSE, or even Fedora. But instead Asus goes for Xandros with a horrible apt configuration, and Acer goes for Linpus Lite. Fail, guys. Epic fail.


Yes, true. Exactly.

How hard would it have been to just offer Ubuntu? Full version, access to all repositories, huge choice of applications, large following, heaps of online help forums ... no problem, right?

It makes one wonder if they were TRYING to get it wrong, or had perhaps not been ALLOWED (in a patent threat sense) to get it right?

Hmmmmm.

Edited 2009-03-11 00:14 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The next step would be more power-efficient non-x86 netbooks, let's see if Windows can follow there...

Reply Score: 4

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Sure it can!
1.) Start a massive campaign about how ARM notebooks won't be able to run your favorite programs
2.) Work furiously on Windows Mobile until it's great.
3.) Stop the campaign, start pushing Windows Mobile
4.) Profit!

Reply Score: 8

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

And Windows Mobile will be able to run most people's favorite programs?

Reply Score: 3

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

of course not! That no longer becomes an issue worth pointing out once Windows Mobile is up to snuff.

Reply Score: 2

fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

Like virtualdub e.g. Or Word??? Or... what is its name.. Aha ... OutLook, NortonAnti-something?

However there are dozens of ARM friendly software out there. Just a recompile.. sortof, but yes, they have bigger opportunities to run. Linux is destined for World domination. Windows is a mistake from the past.

Reply Score: 2

DRIQ Member since:
2008-04-28

Yes, the Chinese has made it.

http://www.lemote.com/english/index.html

It is based on their loongson chip, and runs Debian. I am going to China to pick up one this Sep. :-)

Reply Score: 1

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//How hard would it have been to just offer Ubuntu? Full version, access to all repositories, huge choice of applications, large following, heaps of online help forums ... no problem, right?//

Wouldn't that have severely crippled the useful size of the flash hard drives? Not being a wise-ass ... just wondering ...

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Wouldn't that have severely crippled the useful size of the flash hard drives? Not being a wise-ass ... just wondering ...

Depends on how big the drive was, obviously. On the lower end, 4gb ssd drives in the original eee pc it certainly would have, leaving only about 1gb left for storage. On the larger SSDs, 8gb and over, it would've been fine--particularly in the case of eee pc, where the flash storage is divided up into two discs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Another way they messed up...
by segedunum on Wed 11th Mar 2009 15:20 UTC in reply to "Another way they messed up..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

They offered these limited versions of Linux, rather than a well-known and supported variant. Come on, they could have gone with Ubuntu or OpenSUSE, or even Fedora.

It makes no difference. Your average person cannot install new software easily and cannot easily add support for new hardware, such as 3G dongles. All distributions suffer from the same problems.

Typical for someone to say "It would be better if you used *insert distro here*".

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not arguing that, but their choice of distribution did compound the problem.

Reply Score: 3

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Typical for someone to say "It would be better if you used *insert distro here*".

In case of the Acer Aspire One it is sound advice. I don't know about Xandros on the EEE, but Linpus on the Aspire One is BROKEN. In the bog standard configuration it can't even update, because so much is missing from the Linpus repositories. On my AAO it was an error fest.

I had Linpus on there for about two days and then I opted for Ubuntu and the (back then) fiddling with MadWifi. I'm running EEEBuntu NBR right now and it is smooth sailing.

The < insert distro here > excuse is a lame one, but in general it can't hurt to ship consumer grade devices with polished software and Linpus isn't polished. Something with better QA would have made a big difference.

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know about Xandros on the EEE, but Linpus on the Aspire One is BROKEN. In the bog standard configuration it can't even update, because so much is missing from the Linpus repositories.

Yer. They don't include what you might be used to because they have to be responsible for what they ship by default with respect to support and fielding support calls. It becomes a whole different ball game from grabbing an ISO from the internet and slapping it on a machine. It doesn't work like that.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The point wasn't about including what someone is used to, the point was that their distribution was broken. As in, couldn't update from the provided repositories. They would have done better downloading an iso and slapping it onto the machine, actually, than to provide a distro that cannot update itself at all due to their incorrectly configured repos.

Reply Score: 2

Maybe...
by truckweb on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:48 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe, just maybe, people don't want to run Linux?

It could be a reason why WinXP Netbook are flying out of the stores.

I'm sorry, but for all the "free" behind Linux, I don't see a huge price diff between XP Netbook or Linux Netbook.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Maybe...
by darknexus on Wed 11th Mar 2009 01:05 UTC in reply to "Maybe..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I doubt most people actually care what os they're running, so long as it can do what they require for basic computing. There is no price difference between xp and Linux netbooks because, once ms saw how fast themarket exploded, they practically gave away xp--it didn't hurt them, either, seeing as how they're big push was behind Vista and xp wasn't really a massive money maker for them anymore. They were planning to EOL it, or so they say, when they decided to shove it into the netbook market instead.
Given the choice between something familiar and something a bit different, most will opt for the familiar. If Windows wasn't offered, and the Linux installation was done properly, people would use it as well and would simply expect that it works different because it's a different class of computer. The trouble was, the Linux installations on these netbooks were just terrible for most people--bug ridden (see Xandros update for the eee and the file manager crashes) or just not functional enough, so when Microsoft forced their way into the market, naturally they got a foothold. A fully functional os vs an artificially limited one, and an os most are familiar with at that? Hardly surprising what happened.
The OEMs could have done so much better, but they did not, and Microsoft capitolized on that as anyone with a good business sense would have tried to do.
edit: typo

Edited 2009-03-11 01:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Maybe...
by lemur2 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The trouble was, the Linux installations on these netbooks were just terrible for most people--bug ridden (see Xandros update for the eee and the file manager crashes) or just not functional enough, so when Microsoft forced their way into the market, naturally they got a foothold. A fully functional os vs an artificially limited one, and an os most are familiar with at that? Hardly surprising what happened.


Excuse me? A fully functional OS? XP Home? Who are you trying to kid?

It runs Notepad, Calc and Paint.

In order to get full functionality on a Windows netbook, you have to hunt and download for hours for FOSS software for Windows (in which case you may as well have run the Linux netbook in the first place) ... or you have to shell out for commercial Windows applications which would cost you considerably more than the netbook machine.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Maybe...
by darknexus on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It was certainly fully functional as compared to the crap Linux installations that were bundled with these netbooks. By os standards, XP Home is pretty functional. Don't confuse add-on applications with the os itself, this is a line that is blurred in Linux due to the way package management is utilized. Further, some netbooks come with enough add-on apps preinstalled for the average user to get their work done and, no matter what you think of Windows, it beat the buggy Linux distros hands down.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: Maybe...
by lemur2 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Maybe..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It was certainly fully functional as compared to the crap Linux installations that were bundled with these netbooks. By os standards, XP Home is pretty functional. Don't confuse add-on applications with the os itself, this is a line that is blurred in Linux due to the way package management is utilized. Further, some netbooks come with enough add-on apps preinstalled for the average user to get their work done and, no matter what you think of Windows, it beat the buggy Linux distros hands down.


No, it didn't. XP Home had to be forced on to the netbook market, and OEMs had to be strong-armed into not offering full Linux distributions. Microsoft themselves banned XP Pro from netbooks, and Microsoft even tried to put capability restrictions on netbooks so that they wouldn't eat into the notebook/laptop market, where Microsoft has got a lock on Vista.

Even the constrained versions of Linux on the netbooks were better than XP Home. The netbooks with Ubuntu (Dell) and SuSe (HP, MSI and Lenovo) were not constrained, and as-installed they beat XP Home absolutely silly.

MSI offered a version of SuSe with a dodgy (still developmental) wireless driver, and even then it sold weel enough so that the number of people burnt by the dodgy Linux wireless driver was significant enough to impact return rates of the machine. Meanwhile, Dell, who did not include any dodgy drivers, sell about a third of their netbooks with Ubuntu installed, with no problem of returns.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Maybe...
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I doubt most people actually care what os they're running, so long as it can do what they require for basic computing.


So they care so much as to ask whether or not it comes with Windows Vista and whether they have the option of having Windows XP installed? Come on - people might not be able to put a name on something but they know what they like, they know what they don't like, and they know what they're used to using.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Maybe...
by darknexus on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I've never seen anyone ask for Vista on a netbook, though I don't doubt some have.
People most certainly do know what they like and what they don't like. A good majority of computer users aren't picky, however, as long as the system works. One of the commenters mentioned smartphones, and I think they were dead on target. Smartphones have different UIs, and yet people easily get used to the particular one they have and don't usually have a huge problem upgrading to a new model that runs a different os with a different UI. As long as it works well, does what they want, is easy to learn and use, andcan be supported by their local computer shop, they really don't care what it is. The OEM Linux installs simply did not work well, were not supported well even by the OEMs (let alone local computer repair shops), and consequently did not do what the buyers wished it to do and were far from easy to work with. The average consumer doesn't go looking for a new PDA or smartphone based on whether it runs Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Symbian, or whatever. They pick one by playing with it for a bit, or sometimes purely by looks. Had the Linux os been attractive and easy, a good number of users wouldn't have even wondered about Windows. They would have accepted the os as if the device could use nothing else, and used it as is. This is a generalization, of course, so there are exceptions. And of course the geeks, like we osnews readers, would try different oses anyway, that's just what some of us do.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Maybe...
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Maybe..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've never seen anyone ask for Vista on a netbook, though I don't doubt some have.


You made a blanket state pertaining to the apparent disinterest by customers towards operating system selection in general- I've demonstrated in my post that there is genuine interest in operating system choice. You might wish to reassess your position on the matter.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Maybe...
by darknexus on Wed 11th Mar 2009 03:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Maybe..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Are you attempting to force me to see things your way? Most people I know, and those whom I've supported, do not care about operating system choice. Perhaps you simply have a different croud of people you deal with on a regular basis, and they do care. I say what I've seen, and that may not always coincide with what you've noticed. Different people, and all that. Calm down, ok?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Maybe...
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Mar 2009 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Maybe..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Are you attempting to force me to see things your way? Most people I know, and those whom I've supported, do not care about operating system choice. Perhaps you simply have a different croud of people you deal with on a regular basis, and they do care. I say what I've seen, and that may not always coincide with what you've noticed. Different people, and all that. Calm down, ok?


The operative word in my previous post was 'might', but you seem to ignore what I wrote, failed to absorb what I wrote, failed to think and maybe allow the ideas to ferment in your brain for a while. The net result of those lack of steps is your jump into the deep end claiming I was insulting you.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Maybe...
by darknexus on Thu 12th Mar 2009 00:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Maybe..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Insult? When did I use that word? Oh, that's right, I didn't. I don't think I missed the core of your post at all, you were saying how you believe people care about which os they use, I said, according to the experiences I've had, most people don't. Relax, a personal flame war serves no purpose.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Maybe...
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Come on - people might not be able to put a name on something but they know what they like, ...

In other words, what they know and are used to.

...they know what they don't like, ...

No they don't, unless they try it and give themselves a chance to learn. No, looking at it and saying "this sucks, it's different" doesn't count. They had to learn Windows too, and many of the user interface elements in the major Linux desktop environments are similar.

...and they know what they're used to using.

Yeah, I'd be surprised if there's many people who don't know what Windows is these days. You're spot-on on that one. You can't easily miss it if you see a screen displaying it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe...
by lemur2 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 01:12 UTC in reply to "Maybe..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Maybe, just maybe, people don't want to run Linux? It could be a reason why WinXP Netbook are flying out of the stores. I'm sorry, but for all the "free" behind Linux, I don't see a huge price diff between XP Netbook or Linux Netbook.


Well, when ASUS started netbooks, all you could run was Linux. They sold very well indeed ... well enough to start the whole trend in the first place.

Currently - lack of price diff: agreed. (Where you can even get a decent non-restricted Linux offered to you. Good luck with that. It is getting harder and harder every passing day). Microsoft all but gives away XP Home to OEMs. It so happens as well, as Microsoft recently let slip, that Microsoft charges OEMs for installing Linux.

Woah! Can you believe it? Microsoft did not write one single line of Linux, yet they charge OEMs who install it on products. Incredible, isn't it? How do they manage this? By threatening those OEMs with a patent lawsuit if they don't pay up. They have admitted as much in the context of the Tom Tom lawsuit that Microsoft recently started.

So anyway, agreed, currently there isn't much price diff. On the shelf. For XP Home (including Notepad and Calc), versus Linux (including a full suite of FOSS desktop applications).

Oh wait ... what was your point again? What was the question? How much exactly to put an equivalent full suite of Microsoft desktop applications on your netbook, plus anti-virus and anti-spyware and anti-all-sorts-of-nasties-associated-with-windows?

There is a price diff. A huge one. By the time you have fully loaded a netbook with commercial desktop applications, it will have cost you two or three times as much as the equivalent FOSS/Linux netbook. It is just that Windows followers/apologists don't want to highlight it.

Oh ... and if you load up your Windows XP Home netbook with FOSS desktop applications ... then why not just run a Linux netbook and save yourself from all the all-sorts-of-nasties-associated-with-windows?

Edited 2009-03-11 01:18 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Maybe...
by Hentai on Wed 11th Mar 2009 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
Hentai Member since:
2005-07-06

It so happens as well, as Microsoft recently let slip, that Microsoft charges OEMs for installing Linux.

Can you please provide me with a direct link\source to reference this by, and do not tell me to search for it.
Thanks

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Maybe...
by lemur2 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 06:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" It so happens as well, as Microsoft recently let slip, that Microsoft charges OEMs for installing Linux.
Can you please provide me with a direct link\source to reference this by, and do not tell me to search for it. Thanks "

Sure. No problem.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/linux_companies_sign_microsoft_paten...

I dug this up during an e-mail discussion with Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing, Gutierrez said, "We have a history of licensing the patents in this case through patent cross licensing agreements with other leaders in the car navigation space, including Kenwood, Alpine and Pioneer, and through our FAT LFN (File Allocation Table/Long File Name) patent licensing program, where we have 18 licensees to date." This is being done under Microsoft's FAT LFN File System Licensing Program.

When asked specifically if "there are companies using Linux and open-source software, which have signed FAT patent cross-licensing agreements, such as the ones, which TomTom has refused to agree to?" Gutierrez replied, "Yes, other companies have signed FAT patent licenses, both in the context of patent cross licensing agreements and other licensing arrangements."


My bold.

The quote is from Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing.

Edited 2009-03-11 06:19 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Maybe...
by truckweb on Wed 11th Mar 2009 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, when ASUS started netbooks, all you could run was Linux. They sold very well indeed ... well enough to start the whole trend in the first place.


Yes, but right after, you could find tons of information about how to install WinXP on the Eee and where to hunt for the drivers and even that crazy line-doubler video driver so that the small 800x480 could emulate a higher resolution...

Tons of video on youtube showed the Eee running WinXP and many reviews of the Linux distro included where not all that good.

So, yes, TONS of Asus Eee PC got sold, with Linux. But just how many of them kept Linux on it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Maybe...
by EvilPixieMan on Wed 11th Mar 2009 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
EvilPixieMan Member since:
2009-01-27

Since the market has grown significantly since then, as has the number of machines offering XP only, I'd say the number switched Linux-> XP would be less than those that went the other way.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Maybe...
by DRIQ on Thu 12th Mar 2009 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
DRIQ Member since:
2008-04-28

You have asked the question. It seems you know the answer. Tell us then.

Did your grandam install Windows XP on EEE like everyone else? How did she do it?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Maybe...
by rockwell on Fri 13th Mar 2009 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

/Well, when ASUS started netbooks, all you could run was Linux. They sold very well indeed ... well enough to start the whole trend in the first place.//

Sold very well indeed ... to loads of IT geeks who already knew linux. Then, sales stalled. So they switched to XP. Sales soared again.

But sure, that's just a coincidence.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe...
by ephracis on Wed 11th Mar 2009 04:14 UTC in reply to "Maybe..."
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

People don't care about operating systems. Why aren't Windows Mobile kicking Symbians ass on the cellphone market? Because Symbian so far has been better (and now Android is also on the market, trying to get some).

A netbook could easily be market as something between a cellphone and a computer, and people would just accept that it isn't a "computer", even though it is but doesn't "look and feel" like what they normally would expect a computer to do. It's different. But a cellphone is different as well in the operating system. Far more different than Linux is from Windows.

So people don't care. As long as it works and as long as it's easy to learn and work with people just get used to it. You just need to market it the right way. And you need a decent distro. Not something that's broken (Xandros, Linpus, etc).

It looks like both Fedora and Ubuntu are trying to get to the netbook market now with some of the new work being focused on that particular area. If Ubuntu managed to make some deals with OEMs, like they did with Dell, it may actually work out pretty well. As long as people haven't gotted used to the fact that netbook = normal computer but smaller (ie: it runs Windows just like their desktop computer does). If that's gonna be expected from people then Linux will have a harder time. So they may actually have missed this train since Microsoft supposedly have 80-90% of the market already. Keep that market share for a while and it will be printed into peoples minds and set their expectations.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Maybe... - Mandriva also
by jabbotts on Wed 11th Mar 2009 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Mandriva had an EeePC specific distro version very early on. A netbook with draketools and Mandriva's software repositories.. that pretty much negates most of the issues people keep mentioning.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Maybe... - Mandriva also
by ephracis on Wed 11th Mar 2009 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe... - Mandriva also"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Yes, you're right. I forgot about that one. Mandriva was one of the earliest of the main distros out there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Maybe... - Mandriva also
by darknexus on Wed 11th Mar 2009 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe... - Mandriva also"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Perhaps, but it didn't come shipped on eee pcs did it?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Maybe... - Mandriva also
by jabbotts on Wed 11th Mar 2009 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Maybe... - Mandriva also"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The point that vendors choose poorly when picking distributions has been made by others. MSI wind shows that choosing a full distribution makes a difference.

I'm only pointing out that Mandriva also had an EeePC specific version available right off the start along with Ubuntu even though Asus chose to cripple the device with Xandros and minimalist Asus managed repositories and sell different hardware specs base on the chosen OS.

Reply Score: 3

The basic truth
by larwilliams on Wed 11th Mar 2009 00:59 UTC
larwilliams
Member since:
2007-04-03

The basic truth is that most people simply don't care whether Linux distros are free or "GPL" or whatever. They want to be able to get things done and communicate with the rest of the world. And the only way to do that reliably (without headaches and messing with crap like OpenOffice) is Windows. Editing a PDF using an app for Linux is still horrid. Windows, for all of it's bugs and quirks, is mostly plug-n-play.

Once something looks nice and is dumbass simple to use, then you have a chance at getting the masses. As it is now, Linux distros don't stand a chance.

Maybe if less time was spent on creating 7 crappy programs for each function, and more spent on making one decent one, adoption would pick up.

As of now, Linux distros pwn Windows in the server realm, but get pwned everywhere else.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The basic truth
by big_gie on Wed 11th Mar 2009 01:35 UTC in reply to "The basic truth"
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

And the only way to do that reliably (without headaches and messing with crap like OpenOffice) is Windows. Editing a PDF using an app for Linux is still horrid. Windows, for all of it's bugs and quirks, is mostly plug-n-play.

Would you really edit a pdf using acrobat (professional = $$$) on a netbook?

A netbook is not a (cheap) laptop. You wouldn't run firefox on your microwave oven CPU, would you? A netbook is meant to do some light work on the go when what you need is simple file reading/editing, web browsing and email exchange, etc. Don't go trying to run your CAD application on it or the latest 3D game: you have your desktop for that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The basic truth
by kaiwai on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE: The basic truth"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Would you really edit a pdf using acrobat (professional = $$$) on a netbook?


PDF's are used for a variety of things; and surprisingly, a netbook accessing the internet and filling out pdf forms to order goods and services; all of that is related. With that being said, given that Acrobat Professional is not bundled with a single netbook out there - raising the issue of PDF editing isn't something holding back Linux adoption.

btw, IIRC Evince has PDF editing capabilities and OpenOffice.org has PDF importing and editing capabilities.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: The basic truth
by big_gie on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The basic truth"
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

Fair enough ;)
Off topic, but when I tried openoffice to import a pdf and edit it, it was not working well.

Pdf editing on linux, except simple form filling, is, unfortunately, not optimal... Okular can now highlights, but it is not saved _inside_ the pdf, but in an xml file in the config dir.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The basic truth - anything but adobe
by jabbotts on Wed 11th Mar 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The basic truth"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

PDF editing on anything but Adobe's software is not optimal. It's not mattered what platform I've put under it, the only PDF writer and editor that is remotely optimal is the Adobe products. CutePDF comes closest as a writer but it's still no Adobe PDF Writer. In the case of online forms, you pretty much have to have Acrobat Pro if you want to do anything more then print the PDF to paper since nothing else seems to save form information in place (or Adobe would have me believe anyhow).

The quality of PDF editors and compilers has very little to do with the underlying OS platform.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: The basic truth
by lemur2 on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The basic truth"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Would you really edit a pdf using acrobat (professional = $$$) on a netbook?
PDF's are used for a variety of things; and surprisingly, a netbook accessing the internet and filling out pdf forms to order goods and services; all of that is related. With that being said, given that Acrobat Professional is not bundled with a single netbook out there - raising the issue of PDF editing isn't something holding back Linux adoption. btw, IIRC Evince has PDF editing capabilities and OpenOffice.org has PDF importing and editing capabilities. "

Precisely so.

If you have to deal with PDFs ... go the Linux option. PDF functionality out of the box, or available within a free download.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The basic truth
by phoenix on Wed 11th Mar 2009 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The basic truth"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"Would you really edit a pdf using acrobat (professional = $$$) on a netbook?


PDF's are used for a variety of things; and surprisingly, a netbook accessing the internet and filling out pdf forms to order goods and services; all of that is related.
"

Filling in a PDF form is nowhere even close to "editing" a PDF. That's like saying filling in an HTML form is "editing" a website.

KPDF (I think), Okular, Evince, Foxit Reader, and probably others can be used to fill in and print PDF forms.

With that being said, given that Acrobat Professional is not bundled with a single netbook out there - raising the issue of PDF editing isn't something holding back Linux adoption.


There's also the Foxit Editor, which is a *much* slimmer, and less expensive, option for creating/editing PDFs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The basic truth
by fithisux on Wed 11th Mar 2009 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE: The basic truth"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

On Linux you can. On windows it is impossible.

Reply Score: 2

give it time guys, give it time
by TechGeek on Wed 11th Mar 2009 02:32 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

While I think that netbook makers should have made better selections than linpus or xandros, netbooks are still a huge win for Linux. Last I checked, 20% of netbooks were shipping with Linux. Thats 20%of a market that would normally be 100% Windows. The fact that I can get a Linux netbook or laptop from almost ANY vendor is a huge leap forward. Intel and Google are now working on netbook OS's. You KNOW that they will have the support and polish that users demand. And Google is suppose to start subsidizing netbooks as part of some marketing deal. What do we have to look forward to from MIcrosoft? A new version of Vista that is STILL too bloated to run on netbooks. Or an 8 year old OS. Both of which are vulnerable to just about all the worms and viruses ever written. Just give it a little time guys.

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Uh, dude, 7 runs on netbooks pretty well. And where can I get a Linux version of my preferred netbook, the Asus eee pc 1000HE? Where can I get a Linux netbook that has the exact same specs as the Windows model? 20% of netbooks may be shipping with Linux, but they're usually the lower end models.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Uh, dude, 7 runs on netbooks pretty well. And where can I get a Linux version of my preferred netbook, the Asus eee pc 1000HE? Where can I get a Linux netbook that has the exact same specs as the Windows model? 20% of netbooks may be shipping with Linux, but they're usually the lower end models.


Precisely the problem.

There is (apparently) only one manufacturer of netbooks prepared to offer for sale a full, unconstrained version of Linux:

http://www.linux-netbook.com/dell-inspiron-mini-9-16-gb-ssd-black

When an OEM is prepared to do this, they can apparently sell one third (33%) of their machines with Linux.

http://blog.laptopmag.com/one-third-of-dell-inspiron-mini-9s-sold-r...

According to the user poll on that page, this outcome is precisely because the Linux they offer is unconstrained.

As for offering the exact same machine with Linux as is any machine available with Windows ... this is rare. So rare that one automatically speculates why this might be the case ... ???

PS: There are a couple of OEMs who offer SuSe on netbooks. HP and MSI Wind. That is just not a popular choice.

Edited 2009-03-11 03:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

And who is going to spend $200 to buy Windows 7 for their $300 netbook? I mean really. You certainly didn't buy that netbook with Win 7 on it. You going to run the beta version forever?

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Only those who bought their netbooks before 7 was released. You don't think those that come out after 7's release will include it by default? Granted, if ms has their way and forces a "starter" edition onto OEMs for netbooks your question may still stand even then. I almost hope they do manage to force starter into the netbook market, I think they'd piss off enough people that they'd have to retract it, and I'd love to see ms learn a bit of humility.

Reply Score: 1

unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

They already sell netbook bundled with internet access in Australia. I saw a Vodaphone advertisement at the railway station today.

Reply Score: 3

Matter of preference
by Tom K on Wed 11th Mar 2009 08:15 UTC
Tom K
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's entirely a matter of preference to the user. If my 1000HE came with some toy Linux distribution, then that's all I'd ever consider it to be -- a neatly-designed toy laptop that I might boot up occasionally to click around in and maybe sign in to Gmail with.

I have Windows 7 on it right now, and it runs all of the apps that I like (and consider to be superior to the Linux alternatives) -- Trillian, WinRAR, Chrome, Office 2008, etc. I can use it easily and comfortably as an alternative to the MacBook Pro when I don't feel like lugging it around.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Matter of preference - and if..
by jabbotts on Wed 11th Mar 2009 14:46 UTC in reply to "Matter of preference"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

And if your netbook came with some full Linux distribution instead of a toy Linux like Xandros? Or was your opinion that all Linux based OS are children's toys? And if children's toys, is it then like the VCR that constantly flashes 00:00 until the child of the house fixes it?

Reply Score: 2

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//And if your netbook came with some full Linux distribution instead of a toy Linux like Xandros?//

If his netbook came with any linux on it, he'd still suffer with the shitty apps.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 11th Mar 2009 09:22 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Linux distros shipped on Netbooks all suffer from the same problem Windows XP on Netbooks (as shipped by OEMs) suffers from: Lack of polish.

Everything is flakey, not setup properly for the screensize / resource constraints. Too much unneeded crap. *Very* poorly setup Firefox... and so on. The list is endless.

For Linux to *better* then designers and UX people are needed to make the out-of-box experience as smooth and polished as booting a Mac.

*edit* My Netbook boots in 30 seconds to wireless connected and disk idle, uses 124MB on boot (and no pagefile), and is completely clutter free. This is how it should be for everybody; that's what I mean by polish.

Edited 2009-03-11 09:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Utter Nonsense
by segedunum on Wed 11th Mar 2009 16:12 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be better if Zemlin understood what keeps people on Windows - hardware and software support. It is virtually impossible for an average person to add such support on their Linux distribution apart from doing a rip out and re-install or crossing your fingers that there will continue to be backports. If you make that easier then you start gradually to overcome the chicken and egg scenario of no market share and no support for a certain piece of hardware or software.

Seriously, what on Earth is that totally vague new business model he talks about based around what telcos are doing? OEMs just aren't going to listen. They're not going to expend effort, time and money building some new, unspecified business model around Linux distributions when they can bung Windows on their Netbooks, sell lots of them and make money. There is no guarantee at all that people will buy into whatever it is he's saying.

Even if you treat Netbooks more like mobile phones you still need a way of developing applications that developers will accept and installing them easily. Despite what many might think around here, Linux distributions are a long way short of that. There's only so many ways that you can stop discussing the elephant in the room.

Reply Score: 2

More accurately..
by fithisux on Wed 11th Mar 2009 16:54 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

"Yer doing it very very wrong. Like you hate Linux'

Reply Score: 2

Not getting it...
by cmost on Thu 12th Mar 2009 01:29 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I guess people just aren't getting it. The reason Windows is so popular on Netbooks (or any computer for that matter) is because Windows is all people know. And, they're not interested (most people from my experience) in learning something new; regardless of whether or not it's more powerful, free, whatever. It really is that simple. Fortunately, those of us with some brains know better than to stay under Microsoft's iron thumb and we choose open source for our computing needs.

Edited 2009-03-12 01:31 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Mint on notebooks
by Frizzle Fry on Thu 12th Mar 2009 05:05 UTC
Frizzle Fry
Member since:
2009-03-12

Linux Mint 6 'Felicia' runs great out of the box on all 3 of my laptop computers. Mint should be the laptop distro of choice for Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mint on notebooks
by lemur2 on Thu 12th Mar 2009 08:47 UTC in reply to "Mint on notebooks"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Linux Mint 6 'Felicia' runs great out of the box on all 3 of my laptop computers. Mint should be the laptop distro of choice for Linux.


There is a new version of Mint which Clem is very excited about, which might be worth a try:

http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=4312
http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=655

Also, Slackware current has just announced a huge update:
http://alien.slackbook.org/blog/massive-updates-in-slackware-curren...

I was disappointed with the recent release of Zenwalk 6 because it had no support for netbooks out of the box, but this update to slackware-current may fix that.

All sorts of netbook-supporting Linux distribution announcements are springing up of late.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mint on notebooks
by Frizzle Fry on Thu 12th Mar 2009 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Mint on notebooks"
Frizzle Fry Member since:
2009-03-12

Thanks! I see they put out that with KDE but it is still a RC1. I may wait for them to get the bugs worked out.

Reply Score: 1

uphill
by Bounty on Thu 12th Mar 2009 17:40 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

MS has brand recognition and ease of use (as in not learning something new) going for it here. To be competitive linux needs more than open software and variety of software. Regular people don't even know linux's advantages. MS 2, linux ZERO.

To make headway linux needs an ace up it's sleeve. I'd think that would be it's manuverability. It could.... be super low power ARM. I don't think it will be at this point though. The demos of unique hardware (touchscreen, removeable keyboard) looks interesting. I guarantee if you make a linux netbook/tablet with a fancy interface (a la iPhone) it would sell like hot cakes. Linux is nimble enough to do that........... but will it?

That's probably a good question to ask yourself.... why can the iPhone sell so well?

-Bounty

Reply Score: 1