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.
Asus and Microsoft have started a join advertising campaign promoting netbooks with Windows. It basically comes to Asus and Microsoft saying that netbooks are better with Windows – that is, better than netbooks with Linux. “Windows helps you easily get online and connect to your devices and services – without dealing with an unfamiliar environment or major compatiblity issues.” Mind that the emphasis is theirs, not ours. Here’s the teeth-grindingly cheesy video that’s part of the campaign.
It’s interesting how a vendor can go from being one of the first computer makers able to market Linux to the non-geek audience, to what we see here today.