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back to article Asus blames lack of Linux Eee PCs on Atom hold-ups

Asus has blamed Intel not Microsoft for the apparent absence of the Atom-based Eee PC 901 from UK suppliers' shelves. Readers alerted us to the fact that while Windows XP-loaded 901's are available to buy from British resellers, there's a paucity of the Linux version. It'll be available in late July, suppliers say. That has led …

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Gates Horns

Absolute b*llocks!

This is Microsoft all over again. Since their formation, they have almost arm-twisted manufacturers into favoring their OS and it is only competition from OS X and the Open Source community that is finally making their job a lot harder. But it looks like they have won over ASUS & PC World. Exhibit A: There are Atom equipped XP variant netbooks from ADVENT at PC World - and they are shipping in quantity. (I know, I have been there and seen them.) Exhibit B: XP and Linux EEE PCs (and none ASUS branded machines) both run nicely on Atom or no Atom, so what does the processor have to do with it? I am willing to bet the hold up of Linux variant 901/1000 series that ARE now visible at Amazon.co.uk yet NOT at Anvika & PC World is tied directly to Microsoft and no one else. Atom shortage, my behind! MS are strong arming ASUS to hold fire on Linux models. Simple solution! Let your dealer know you want a Linux based machine and they will be forced to let market forces override corporate arm twisting by frightened in Redmond.

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Paris Hilton

Equal Quantities

I'm no marketing genius, but if the Linux Eees were selling better than the XP Eees, wouldn't it be better business to manufacture more of the former?

Paris, 'cos she's no genius either.

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Linux

Seems to me there's an easy workaround

1: Buy Eee PC preloaded with XP

2: Download the Linux distro of your choosing

3: Blow XP away with the Linux

4: Enjoy your new Linux Eee PC

5: Enjoy your new coasters (aka OEM XP install discs)

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Hmmm.....?

Who makes the SSD in the eee 901? - if it is Intel then maybe - otherwise I am doubtful of this explanation. Shurley shame mashine except for OS and 'HD'????

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Silver badge

Linux vs.XP

I'd be interested to know the numbers of Eee Pcs shipped from Asus, analysed by model number and installed operating system. Since Asus make them and ship them, they should have the figures. If Asus are truly 'neutral' about the use of Linux vs XP, then they should have no problem in giving percentages even if they are coy about total numbers.

Can El Reg ask them?

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Still waiting

I don't need a smaller laptop. I need a small laptop that can take casual abuse. Splashproof and can take being thrown into a rucksack that doesn't then need treating with kid gloves.

The EEEPC is still a laptop, with all the fragility laptops have.

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Happy

Linux value proposition is greater than Windows on a laptot

For a lot of folks, it appears that Windows on their full featured laptop or desktop is useful because they can load up the application software they like to use.

But who wants to add software to a laptot? The Linux eee offers a great value proposition; all the software you want (a web browser, a way to view and edit office files and a few games) pre-installed.

If you buy the XP version you get the Web browser, but none of the other neat programs.

My son loves tuxpaint, so I'd be holding out for the Linux one if I hadn't already bought a 701!

Happy face because the article suggests that the Linux eee is more popular with consumers, but then I wonder why Asus say they are making equal quantities of Linux and XP eees?

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"They've all been sold"

This all sounds quite plausible, except for the fact that there doesn't seem to be any retailer who has actually had the Linux version in stock. They all say they're waiting for their first shipment.

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Respond to demand

Perhaps they could recall some of the XP Eees and re-install them with Linux. Doesn't this make more business sense?

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Linux

"Asus produces Linux and XP Eees in equal numbers"

Perhaps they should consider making more of the most popular version then. That would be a commercially prudent decision eh?

Unless, of course, the only way to sell XP infected machines is to "run out of" Linux versions :-)

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Silver badge

Of course the Linux EEE's sell better

They're a better specc'd machine, so of course they're going to sell better.

Come on Asus (and Intel), there's loads of us waiting to get our hands on one but unwilling to pay the 8G Microsoft tax.

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Equal number of Linux and Windows

I call this claim.

The Eee PC 901 has yet to be available in Australia -- that is, no sales have yet been made through retailers. But the Windows version is widely pre-orderable whereas the Linux version is not.

That doesn't say a 50:50 production split to me. That says that Asus is making more on the Windows models and wants to sell more of them.

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b

the dark hand of sauron, lol!

indeed!

one always has to suspect their mossad style dealings...(ever gone to help, about on IE and seen all the companies that provided code/ideas for IE? "innovation", eh?!)

anyway, Asus better try and stay on top of the game, now the likes of Dell et al are targeting this space.

talking of which, some relevant stories on this space here:

http://www.eupeople.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=487

(all welcome!)

cheers,

bill

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Heart

The Linux ones are outselling the Windows ones

so they plan to produce the same number of each.

An odd decision.

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Unhappy

Nothing's outselling nothin'

Because there aren't any in the country to be sold.

If there was an initial shipment at the beginning of July, they all went to ASUS VIPs. None in the stores. Not even for preorders (bar 1 or 2 sites trying it on with higher-than-rrp pricing).

Linux v XP. Who cares. That's a battle for another day. Lets get the little beasties on the shelves!

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Free Market?

When the Linux shelf is empty, surely it's easy to provide a free copy of ASUS Linux on request. In a free market, the seller would do that given a chance.

Trouble is, it sounds like a very smelly Redmond fish is involved, again.

Perhaps that great guy in France could buy one and sue for a refund of the O/S cost again, or maybe someone will finally get a hold of this free market we are supposed to have and shake out the M$'s of this world.

Wow, was that a pig I saw fly by?

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They will lose customers to acer...

As it looks like the aspire one will be widely available in the Linux version (acer promised 80% of the machines preloaded with Linux).

Also there are rumors that acer will provide the drivers for both Windows or fedora 8 if you want to change the OS.

If ASUS doesn't get its act straight and deliver on the Linux versions they'll lose customers and reputation in the netbook market.

Beside I think a lot of customers buying the XP version are disapointed as they expect full blown laptop capabilites (playing advanced 3 games and DVDs), and as a result there seems to be quite a lot of returns for these machines.

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I'm still not clear on...

...why the Linux and Windows versions are different specs (SSD vs HDD, RAM etc).

If the higher spec is required for one operating system, I should still be able to buy that hardware with the other OS, and benefit from additional performance.

It only makes sense if Microsoft have required it, in order to obfuscate the licence costs and performance differentials.

Or maybe I'm paranoid...

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Silver badge

If intel are a problem ...

... why not use a via CPU?

Via kit is fast enough - I have yet to see any benchmarks comparing eden and atom, but the rumour is that the atom is no faster than a good eden. Plus with Via you do not need to add an Intel 945GM battery drainer.

I suspect Asus are stuck with a batch of laptops each with an expensive MS sticky label, and no-one wants to admit those non-transferable labels were a complete waste of money.

With a tiny bit of thought, they could have seen this coming. MS have been loudly advertising XP as end of life, so anyone who wanted a copy must have got one by now. Laptops with linux pre-installed have been demanded for years. Now at long last manufacturers are prepared to stand up and pretend to sell them. It is hardly suprising that they have sold out. The second batch of Openmoko phones also sold out - before I even realised there was a second batch.

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It's no good just giving out their linux distro after the fact

I've noticed a few folks saying "buy the windows version, add linux, simple!", but it isn't that simple. The windows version, presumably to offset the cost of an XP license, has less storage space.

That is why people don't want it. Well, I say people, I mean us geeks who actually read the specs rather than coo over how cute it is and then say "But does it run MS Word?".

They need to actually be in the physical shops to attract the cooing masses.

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Re: Seems to me there's an easy workaround

Unfortunately, the Linux version comes with more hardware (because the licensing of the OS is much lower). So you could buy the XP version but

a) you'd have less HDD space (12 vs 20 GB)

b) you'd be adding one to the XP sales in error

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J
Paris Hilton

Shamefaced lies...

...or they are stupid. That's what this story suggests. Let's see:

1) Version A sells more than version B. Hey, let's make equal numbers of the two versions, makes perfect sense.

2) Version A sells more than version B. Let's make version B first, then start making version A after that... oh, we ran out of chips after making version B. Naughty Intel is to blame, of course.

Is Paris running Asus lately?

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Linux

Time will tell...

I was so busy watching the UMPC space that I almost missed the fact that it was finally possible to buy a laptop with Linux preloaded for less than a comparably equipped Windows machine without having to pay a "Microsoft Tax!"

I received my $379 Everex gBook about a week ago and am very happy with it. (I do have to admit I replaced the supplied gOS with Ubuntu 8.04 the first day I had it)

I also bought 2Gig of RAM to upgrade it for about $50 which should show up in the next several days.

Hopefully by the time all the Linux based UMPC options show up in the next couple months or so I will be able to pick which one I'd like to take with me on motorcycle road trips, camping, etc...

The cell phone, even though it has internet access, is just too tiny a display and too big a hassle to try and "type" stuff into directly...

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Pirate

yet another reason for the US-DOJ, EU-EC, etc too look into this

something was strange when ASUS came out with their new models but made sure there was MORE hardware for the Linux version and charged more for it. This was enough to make me wonder what kind of deal they had to make with Microsoft since it's not a normal way to sell product. Now this bit about equal production quantities yet higher demand for the Linux version and if there is anything to what others have said about the Linux model not even being listed for ordering while the WindowsXP version is.

Something is rotten here and it sounds like customer choice is being restricted. So send in the clowns once again to look at what Microsoft is up to here.

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Paris Hilton

Hmmm

Hmmm , can the delays on the mobile chips be due to one or too many drunks in the new plant just recently commissioned at a place called "Kiryat Gat" (Gat is an old Philistine word which literally equals wine press !)

Hic !

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Paris Hilton

Makes some kinda sense

Throughout history there have been "must-have" products invented, but manufactured at a rate that was way below demand. So the product gets blazingly good reviews, and then terrible publicity and a backlash when people can't get their hands on one.

Asus got a bit of flack because of the 701 stock issues, but now they have some sales data so they can manage the issue a little better.

All these 901's will get sold - both XP and Linux versions.

The Linux versions will sell-out immediately (even if all the machines were Linux), so the bad publicity regarding understocking is unavoidable there.

For the XP side, I guess Asus did some sums and figured out that the selling rates of those will mean that the current stocks will last significantly longer on the shop shelves.

End result: anyone wanting an XP 901 will be able to get one, together with every XP 901 eventually being sold at full price. Everyone who uses and sells XP will be happy.

Linux users (like myself - plus I'm expecting the same issues when the Eee Box is launched) are in a no-win situation either way, relying on tracking stock levels day-to-day.

As Asus cannot make these things fast enough, this sales tactic is the best way forward in order to keep more market sectors happy.

Paris, because she knows that giving it all away on the first night is regrettable in the long term.

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Another delay??

superGPS.co.uk now reporting: "All ASUS Eee Linux Versions have now been officially delayed by ASUS for 2 weeks. We have been told to expect deliveries week beginning Monday 28th July"

Meanwhile the XP version sits on the shelves, unloved.

En Attendant Godot...

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Unhappy

Amazon...

Have an expected shipping date in August. What the heck, ASUS?

@John Latham: The difference in spec (which is only the capacity of the SSD - 12GB on windows, 20GG on linux) is there so that the windows model doesn't cost more than the linux one. It's probably a 'keep Microsoft happy' compromise, but currently XP costs 8GB of SSD goodness.

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