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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RE[4]: Scared
by Moredhas on Fri 9th May 2008 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Scared"
Moredhas
Member since:
2008-04-10

People seem to forget the ACCC is utterly useless. You hear about them once in a blue moon, and they rarely ever win. If they couldn't beat Telstra, they aren't likely to beat Microsoft. They're not even likely to challenge Microsoft, even if they have a mile of paperwork thrown at them TELLING them to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Scared
by lemur2 on Sat 10th May 2008 06:23 in reply to "RE[4]: Scared"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

People seem to forget the ACCC is utterly useless. You hear about them once in a blue moon, and they rarely ever win. If they couldn't beat Telstra, they aren't likely to beat Microsoft. They're not even likely to challenge Microsoft, even if they have a mile of paperwork thrown at them TELLING them to do it.


I don't care. I have at least two solid lines of complaint to present to the ACCC, which the ACCC's own web pages say are valid things to bring complaints about.

The first is discriminatory pricing, or predatory pricing. In every other country it appears that the price of the Linux version with 20GB storage is the same as the Windows version with 12GB storage, but in Australia alone there is a differential.

The second complaint is product tying. If I want the 12GB model ... I am forced to buy Windows. If I want the Linux version, I am forced to buy the 20GB model. I'm not yet sure if I can get Windows on the 20GB model or not ... but either way there is certainly a case to present a claim of product tying.

So, when I am sure these announcements are official ASUS policy, then I will prepare a letter of complaint to the ACCC pointing out the ACCC's own policies and rules and how this product line is breaking them.

I will also send a copy of my letter of complaint (for their information) to a few suitable organisations:
http://danny.oz.au/free-software/
http://www.osia.net.au/
http://www.linux.org.au/
http://www.osv.org.au/
http://www.opensourcelaw.biz/


... and see what develops from there.

At the very least, it should prove interesting.

Edited 2008-05-10 06:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Scared
by lemur2 on Sat 10th May 2008 13:44 in reply to "RE[5]: Scared"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The first is discriminatory pricing, or predatory pricing. In every other country it appears that the price of the Linux version with 20GB storage is the same as the Windows version with 12GB storage, but in Australia alone there is a differential.


OK, it looks like my evidence for "predatory pricing" just got a whole lot better.

First, a definition of "predatory pricing":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing

"Predatory pricing (also known as destroyer pricing) is the practice of a firm selling a product at very low price with the intent of driving competitors out of the market, or create a barrier to entry into the market for potential new competitors."

Then, a look at emerging news:

http://www.computerworlduk.com/technology/hardware/laptops/news/ind...

"Microsoft plans to offer PC makers steep discounts on Windows XP Home Edition to encourage them to use that OS instead of Linux on ultra low-cost PCs (ULPCs). To be eligible, however, the PC vendors that make ULPCs must limit screen sizes to 10.2 inches and hard drives to 80G bytes, and they cannot offer touch-screen PCs.

The programme is outlined in confidential documents that Microsoft sent to PC makers last month, and which were obtained by IDG News Service."

... an excellent match, by any definition.

Microsoft: "If it is a 'ULCPC', here is our software virtually for free so that our competitor doesn't get a toehold".

It is interesting that an arbitrary breakpoint on the size of the hardware it runs on means that Microsoft suddenly feels bound to offer the same software for a huge discount.

Edited 2008-05-10 13:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2