Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th May 2008 17:40 UTC
Windows Last week, we reported on a peculiar price difference in Australia between the Linux and Windows versions of the Asus Eee PC 900, the new model in the Eee line. The Windows model was 50 USD cheaper than the Linux model - the Linux model did have a bigger hard drive, but interestingly, the version with the smaller hard drive was not available as a Linux machine. This gave rise to speculation that Microsoft had been putting pressure on Asus to favour Windows XP over Linux. It appears Microsoft's assault in this segment of the market goes deeper than just Asus and the Eee alone.
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Why is this bad for Linux ? I think all Linux manufacturers need to do is capitalise on their current position.

Linux distributions should focus on offering additional software that Windows does not have, which gives the device additional uses for the average person.

They should also make a serious attempt to market the better spec device as an advantage for users.

They should also try to work with OEMs to bring out competitively priced devices with a higher spec than Microsoft allows, along with functionality that demands it. A multi-touch touch screen immediately comes to mind.

It wouldn't hurt to include a decent selection of games and even, shock horror, work alongside people making commercial closed-source games. Ditto for applications if it's necessary.

Also, they shouldn't be scared of finding uses for the device that see it working alongside a windows desktop, although of course the same features should work with a Linux or Mac desktop.

Sitting back and waiting for regulatory intervention is a recipe for disaster and losing the pole position Linux is currently in.

btw. I accept the idea that Microsoft is playing dirty, but I want to see Linux distributions playing hardball and taking the fight to them.

Edited 2008-05-12 19:50 UTC

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