Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Feb 2009 21:20 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Netbooks have been heralded as the foot in the door for Linux. With the launch of the earliest Eee PC models, Asus made a bold move by only offering them with Linux pre-installed; Microsoft soon responded by working with Asus to bring Windows XP to the next generation Eee PCs. Since then, Windows XP gained market share in the netbook segment rapidly, casting doubts over whether or not netbooks would really turn out to be that foot in the door. HP has today announced that its new HP Mini 1000 netbook will not be available with Linux pre-installed in Europe.
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Comment by ba1l
by ba1l on Fri 6th Feb 2009 00:44 UTC
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HP actually seem to have done a good job with the Linux distribution on these machines, unlike Asus (to pick on them at random).

The Xandros-based Linux system that comes with the EeePC series is crap. Despite taking up about as much disk space as a full Ubuntu installation, it comes with bugger all additional software, and half of the functionality it does have is completely hidden because they didn't bother to include any kind of GUI for it. It's completely incompatible with any other Linux distribution (unless you really know how to use apt, and are very careful), it uses weird (old) versions of libraries, and it's virtually impossible to change anything unless you're a Linux geek. Asus aren't capable of maintaining a complete Linux distribution by themselves, and the OS has received no updates since release. Not even security fixes, as far as I can tell. It's a nightmare - I can see why someone might get sick of it and install Windows XP. I got sick of it, and installed Xubuntu instead.

HP's Linux distribution, on the other hand, is just Ubuntu. It contains a complete Ubuntu system, with some extra software added on. Most notably, a different user interface, a different theme, some HP branding, tweaks to make it work better on their hardware, and some extra applications. It's not a cut-down light system - it's a full system capable of doing everything a desktop Linux distro does.

So what do they do? Drop the Linux versions in the regions that (at least according to Asus) seem more likely to go with the Linux versions.

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