Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 31st May 2009 10:44 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Back when the whole netbook thing started, Asus was king of the hill with a focus on netbooks with Linux pre-installed. Since they were kind of popular, it didn't take Microsoft long to start working together with Asus to 'port' Windows XP to the Asus line of netbooks, and with that, to other netbooks as well. The result was that Linux netbooks are now harder to find for many people. While Dell committed itself to Linux on netbooks, Asus has decided to just skip the first date and jump right into bed with Microsoft.
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There are some geeks inside their linux bubble that are light years away from business realities.

Why do you say that? There are plenty of geeks that make money off of Linux, from major corporations such as Red Hat, to smaller vendors who do pre-installed desktop Linux such as System76. Why is it that people always insist that there is no money to be made with Linux?

Companies, and especially cheap hardware vendors are in desperate need for cash, because their margins are so low, compared to their costs. They need to find ways to make money, it's vital to stay in business. Netbooks are definitely not cash cows like Apple products.

I agree with you, but in the same end, that's the business model they chose, with high volume and low profits. Apple chose a different model, and have been very successful at it. One thing that could be tried is as more platforms become available (from ARM, VIA), to maybe shop around for a lower cost platform, and either undercut competition by a large margin to help increase volume, or undercut by a smaller margin to increase profit per unit.

And to make money, you have to offer what your customer wants. Most computer users want Windows, they don't want Linux, in spite of geeks wanting it to be the opposite.

It's important to remember why Linux is being preinstalled at all by any vendor. Customers wanted it. Dell began installing Ubuntu due to overwhelming response on Dell's Brainstorm. Also, if it's so obvious people want Windows and not Linux, then why is there a need to actually create an advertisement to tell us this?

IMO, I think Asus just hurt it's reputation and a (although maybe small) portion of it's supporters. It's stint with Linux lasted less time than Dell's. Than Dell. Think about that. Asus created a movement to at least offer an option for Linux on netbooks. Even HP and Dell offer this. Now they're offering less choice than their competition, using the same hardware platform, and they expect this to boost sales? Let's hope that light at the end of the tunnel doesn't turn in to a train...

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