Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th May 2008 18:11 UTC, submitted by Dan Warne
Hardware, Embedded Systems As we all know, the Eee PC, running a modified Xandros, has been a major hit for Asus, and because of that, also a major hit for Linux. The device proved that a computer with a pre-installed Linux distribution can still be s successful machine, and many hoped that this would push Asus and other vendors to produce more computers with Linux pre-installed. This hope could be in vain after all if the new Windows XP-based Eee PC has anything to do with it.
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Restraint of Trade
by Obdurodon on Wed 7th May 2008 19:19 UTC
Obdurodon
Member since:
2008-05-07

This is exactly the same kind of "bundling" that MS has gotten into trouble over before, and rightly so. It's anti-competitive, and I hope the Australian equivalent of the FTC does the right thing by forbidding it.

I own an Eee 701. It does just fine with only 4GB. You can't put $10 worth of extra flash in it and then charge $50 *less* for the version with the otherwise-expensive software license included than for the version without. It's just not credible as a business decision made for any reason other than to support a near-monopoly. Don't think of this as charging $50 less for the Windows version. What they're really doing is charging $50 more for the Linux version, with some percentage of that pure profit being used as a kickback to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Restraint of Trade
by satan666 on Wed 7th May 2008 19:30 in reply to "Restraint of Trade"
satan666 Member since:
2008-04-18

What they're really doing is charging $50 more for the Linux version, with some percentage of that pure profit being used as a kickback to Microsoft.
I don't think it makes any sense from a business point of view. I'd rather agree with the others that Microsoft is losing money on this one. Microsoft is losing lots of money nowadays. They give away XP for as low as $5 in Russia and other developing countries. How these revenues cover their expenses? I don't know but I hope Microsoft goes down. It's about time.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Restraint of Trade
by MadRat on Thu 8th May 2008 01:47 in reply to "RE: Restraint of Trade"
MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

That $5 price in developing countries is what really is killing Microsoft. Think about it, every third world little twit can learn on Windows on the cheap while Americans have to pay heavily for the privilege to be hacked by said twits. It just made no business sense whatsoever to even market Windows abroad if they had to cut the price.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Restraint of Trade
by fluxy on Thu 8th May 2008 07:32 in reply to "RE: Restraint of Trade"
fluxy Member since:
2008-01-30

[i]They give away XP for as low as $5 in Russia and other developing countries. How these revenues cover their expenses?


Well I live in a developing countries, and almost every desktop user wanting Windows XP/Vista can have it for about $5 (pirated version) and everyone does so. Which is why bringing a $5 legit version is a pretty wise decision from Microsoft coz this is a market they would normally never had - people will simply not buy a 'normal' priced Windows coz it's too expensive for em - so it's better for Microsoft to pocket the $5 rather than a pirated-copy seller. Microsoft also gains by getting people hooked on their software so that they get Microsoft-trained and be ready for enterprise where Microsoft can easily sell 'normal' priced software. (since people already have the skills to use these software)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Restraint of Trade
by bert64 on Thu 8th May 2008 10:18 in reply to "RE: Restraint of Trade"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

It's easy to make profit selling software for $5, the one-off costs to develop XP have long since been recovered many times over, so now producing additional copies of it costs a few cents at most for the physical media, even less for a paper or electronic "license code".

This could even work out good for Linux... Linux is perceived by many as being inferior and worthless simply because it's free... But in this case, the Linux model is clearly superior to the Windows one, and therefore people will expect it to cost more. If it costed less, or even the same, people would (wrongly) assume there was some hidden drawback to it.
Now the more expensive linux version is clearly a better model, it comes with a much better selection of software, it boots faster, it has considerably more storage space, and for many this is likely to justify the extra cost.

However there is clearly something nefarious going on being orchestrated by microsoft... Otherwise, Asus would be offering the 12GB version with Linux at the lowest price point of all the models, and possibly a 20gb windows version as the most expensive.

What needs to be done, is side by side comparisons of the two models that present the superiority of the Linux version to the public.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Restraint of Trade
by tomcat on Wed 7th May 2008 23:50 in reply to "Restraint of Trade"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

This is exactly the same kind of "bundling" that MS has gotten into trouble over before, and rightly so. It's anti-competitive


Huh? How is it anti-competitive? Asus is no different than any other OEM.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Restraint of Trade
by sbergman27 on Thu 8th May 2008 00:00 in reply to "Restraint of Trade"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

This is exactly the same kind of "bundling" that MS has gotten into trouble over before, and rightly so.

My suspicion is that the XP version comes with demo versions of about 10 different pieces of crapware like desktop machines do. The vendors pay per unit to have their demos included, thus offsetting the cost of the OS license. If this is the case, it is problematic. Do we demand that Asus release the Linux version with crapplets?

The main question in my mind is why is there no 12GB Linux version?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Restraint of Trade
by lemur2 on Thu 8th May 2008 00:11 in reply to "RE: Restraint of Trade"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"This is exactly the same kind of "bundling" that MS has gotten into trouble over before, and rightly so.
My suspicion is that the XP version comes with demo versions of about 10 different pieces of crapware like desktop machines do. The vendors pay per unit to have their demos included, thus offsetting the cost of the OS license. If this is the case, it is problematic. Do we demand that Asus release the Linux version with crapplets? "

This "explanation" still does not answer why the Linux version is more expensive than Windows version in Australia, but the two versions are the same price in other countries.

The main question in my mind is why is there no 12GB Linux version?


This is another valid question, but it will be harder to put a case to the ACC on this question as there is no requirement AFAIK that sellers HAVE TO offer particular combinations of features in a product.

Reply Parent Score: 2