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back to article Microsoft, Asus launch anti-Linuxbook campaign

Microsoft and Asus have teamed up to present a new advertising smarm-storm intended to extol the virtues of Windows on netbooks - and smear Linux. The joint effort's spawn is a website entitled "It's Better with Windows." It's a simple site with a simple message: Windows can prevent poor, unsuspecting non-techies from "dealing …

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it's a netbook ...

You don't play major games on it, you use it to keep in touch with things on the move. (I've used mine to have a video conference with a student whilst changing planes at Vancouver airport.) Get an extended battery (or better yet, two) with ten hours of life and you can cross the Atlantic, watch several episodes of your favourite TV show, prepare your emails for sending as soon as you land, read the newspapers you downloaded before you took off, listen to music, and work on a current paper. That's what my Asus 900 netbook does. With linux.

I do trust MS Windows. When I'm hooking up to foreign hotspots and sharing my connection with dozens of unknown machines, I trust MS to be insecure enough to get my machine hacked an hour after I've left home. How the hell does that 'parent' manage secure his XP box? Working as a tech at a major British university I never managed it to my satisfaction ....

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Linux

@Anonymous Coward Posted Sunday 31st May 2009 10:37

Why on earth would your mother be messing with wlan in a terminal? What kind of son are you? Get to her house straight away and sort it out.

All kidding aside, I have yet to see Ubuntu not configure a wireless card. If you are referring to setting up the PC to connect to her home wireless, you still have to do that with Windoze.

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@MaxSmart

"As much as I love Linux and as frustrated as I get with M$, it does us no good to complain about MS shoving their goods down the collective throat of the populace, when what we really want is to shove Linux the same way."

Thanks for that- it's nice to see someone else wondering where all the 'free as in speech' rhetoric goes when people exercise that freedom to choose Windows. The venom, condescension and schadenfreude aimed at Windows does undermine it rather badly, I've always thought.

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Jon
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Can I get a refund on my Linux ASUS netbook then?

I want the new Dell one with Ubuntu anyway...

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Gates Halo

RE: Michael Sharp

read (M)ichael (S)harp. An alias for Microsoft methinks.

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Happy

@ac

""Talk is cheap.... what asus should do is load any new eeepc's with nvidia /ati hardware, so they can REALLY paint themselves into a corner.. (Proprietary drivers)."

I'm not sure what point is being made here.."

Personal Rant .....My desktop is a barebones with an ASUS M3N78-EMH HDMI motherboard +Athlon cpu, my netbook is an Aspire One . Both run the same linux distro (Opensuse 11.1).

Guess which one has the most problems? And guess which one works perfectly?

....and I STILL won't go back to the MS treadmill.

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J
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Honor and gratitude

They've heard of it.

As apparently did many Win-fanboys around here (who wouldn't be enjoying netbooks and cheap Windows if it weren't for Linux).

Too bad I bought my Eee 1000HE a couple of months ago. Great little machine, too bad it came with XP -- which I shrunk to a little 10GB partition and installed Linux on the rest. So I did count for the "Windows running" statistics, unfortunately. Even worse, I paid money for crap software, when I could just get my crap software for free.

FWIW to them (nothing), I will not buy Asus again when it's time to replace my mini-laptop. And of course I tell anyone who asks that they should not buy Asus netbooks, they are crap (since they are not competent enough to work with anything but Windows). Just buy anything else. They will buy XP, buy if it depends on me, it won't be running on an Asus. I have plenty of computer illiterate friends who ask me about these things, and they liked to see such a small and cheap machine last time I went home visiting a month ago. Guess which brand will be recommended against next time they ask?

Will it make a difference? No. But I like revenge and Asus won't be ever seeing my money again if I can help.

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Don Mitchell

"technologically, Linux is not as sophisticated as Windows, and indeed Linux is largely a mix of the obsolete UNIX operating system with various features from Windows NT or Apple"

Hehehe nice try*, but you went way over the edge, it's not credible any more. So I won't bite. I'm sure you'll get plenty of flames anyway. Keep it up. Next stop: the forums at porsche.com, to tell them how their cars are technologically not as sophisticated as Trabans, and are largely a mix between steam trains and bicycles.

*Assuming you're just trolling. If not, please commit suicide ASAP.

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Happy

Windows familiarity?

So I'm forced to use XP every day in a workplace. Under XP I run Eclipse and Eclipse I run a gnu development tools, all running on Cywin. The rest of the applications are the usual Office stuff (BTW -- Office 200x sucks...big time...).

So who's conning who about usability and compatibility? Most people run a Web browser and a mail program, that's all. The only time Linux has a problem is with wireless and that's getting better (the reason why wireless support sucked was that wireless chipsets were the first parts that had their datasheets sold by the vendors -- you had to stump up $50-100K to get Atheros's information, for example. Slowed down development for years and their initiative to help opensource was really a mechanism to forestall reverse engineering. All behind us now, fortunately.)

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yipee!!!!

way cool. i love it when most of the lusers run windows. it lets me keep my edge at work. a button clicking moron could never figure out why i spend more time relaxing at work and still finish my tasks way ahead of them. and in the current slowdown where all the "i am a geek coz i can use word and click on all these pretty icons" bozos sweat it out, i'm glad i use a no nonsense os that just works and works well.

linux works, it's secure, stable, fast and efficient.

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Gates Horns

The end of SCC...

RIP Small CHEAP Computers. Another area of innovation that Microsoft has killed...

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Linux

A Proper Linux Supplier

Yes, ditch ASUS products and maybe buy the new DELL Netbook, preinstalled with Ubuntu. Having said that DELL don't seem to preinstall Unbuntu on any of their other machines. Makes no sense to me.

In fact, why not buy your systems from a company that actually supports linux (and multiple distro's) such as http://www.efficientpc.co.uk.

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Reg needs to get the facts straight here?

"The Asus-hosted site"????

Here's a quote from the Asus forum:

==================================

umm, its not Asus thats hosting it. I have it as Mike Sharp Consulting.

Registrant:

Michael Sharp

Registered through: GoDaddy.com

===================================

It features an eeepc but it got sfa to do with asus.

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Stop

Microsoft ?

Why is that video relying on Adobe Flash - surely if things are better with Microsoft it should be using Silverlight ?

MS Works is shite. You can plug a Sony phone into a Linux notebook and it'll read it like a USB memory device. So - MSN Live Messenger is the main reason to get MS Windows rather than Linux. XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, and this is the OS on the Asus product, so it's a bit silly IMHO to promote it.

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@William Towle re. Re Yes But.....

Thank you William ! The El Reg hive-mind is better than Wikipedia :)

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Hmm....

I fired up my hacked-to-pieces Ubuntu laptop yesterday after it had been off for nearly months (I don't need a laptop that much). It updated itself (no reboot) and kept on trucking.

The Windows PC of the other had is doing my nut it. If I have to install the Nvidia drivers one more time I will scream! OK, so that may be Nvidia's fault and not MS's.

There are things about Linux that drive me to utter distraction. It has taken me months to get to my current level with Linux (still a newb) and that may sound terrible, but consider; if you gave someone a Windows CD and a blank PC - how well would they cope? My guess is no better and maybe even worse.

Is Linux better than Windows? Depends on you and your needs. It is chuffin' perfect for me on my lappy.

Is MS crapping its pants about Linux? Looks like it.

Will these ads backfire? I hope so. People who have never heard of it will think "What the hell is MS banging on about? What is Linux? Why are they crapping their load about it?" and a will look Linux up. Some will then convert. As more people convert, Linux will improve even if all those new users do is complain about how obtuse Samba is (and gods, is it horrible); it will get improved based on that input.

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Anonymous Coward

Least we forget!

Having a clever marketing website, does not make it true!

www.butitsbestwithlinux.com

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Linux

windows isn't better

I think you have to see the $$$ at the back of this story, and the fact MS have bought into Asus or threatened them as per usual tactics.

I have a nice asus 1000 40GB SSD, mandriva 2009.1 looks great and works

When you update it, it doesn't need to reboot.

I can stick the software where I want on the hard drive and take up as much room as I can.

To install was easy and took thirty minutes and all drivers were working from the box.

There has been no issues, one error message which was my fault

I have it dual booted with Xp, Linux can see and read the XP partition.

Grub can handle all the partitions and booting process. XP's MBR can't

Xp only goes where 'it' wants on the smaller partition.

It can't see or even recognise the larger linux partition.

Install was twice as long as linux, with more questions than linux

I had to install the drivers separately.

There isn't the RAM or the HDD space for Vista so it had to be XP.

XP has crached twice requiring two complete reinstalls just to get back up and running. I love the BSOD.

I can't run it on the netbook for all my apps, because of the hit rate on the SSD, so have to shift some onto the SD card.

XP can't work the new WPA2 wireless security that my netgear router is running, so I have to downgrade to the older version of security or lose the wireless network.

I have to run regular anti virus and anti spyware just to remain safe. (Hammering my SSD)

Battery life is shocking, but boot up is about the same as linux.

I will stick with XP thanks as a secondary boot option. Mandriva are guaranteeing 100% compatilbility for the eee series and they certainly do work straight from the box as a result.

I am not a linux fanboy, but the major line variants out there (I have ubuntu desktop and mandriva laptop) and the way in which linux just does what you want with error messages that mean something if it does go wrong and more importantly there is forum help out there. Windows forums are good but let down by the software, active sync and exchange being my current argument with M$, Linux are at least brought out for the next release, happily this is a year away, not three years like XP.

Bad day for Asus, I held them in such high regard.

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So it's a fake?

I bought my Eee, with Linux, in a toyshop.

Worked.

Wrote a novel. Keyboard isn't so wonderful.

But Xandros Linux -- not very well supported, After finding the official upgrade for Firefox wrecked a couple of third party programs, and there was no obvious uninstall, I switched to Eeebuntu.

I can quite believe that Asus are backing away from Linux.

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Linux

Ed machine runner on source forge

Are you a developer or Linux distribution maker cheesed off with what you see or just a user pissed with always ending up with a bogged down slow single workstation a year after buying you new system preinstalled with Windows.

What do you really want for christamas a1000 propitiatory gadgets and a spagetty of wires with less functionality due to everyone trying to do every things or do you wanna run everything on any thing at fast direct or emulated if necessary for hardware compatibility issues. Come find Ed machine runner on source forge and Make this lowly Users dream real.

Not so sure well check out with effort what ED could do just for windows.

Ed could rip windows straight out of the Real MBR (ohh yes) and Give it it's own direct Hardware accessing machine only limiting Windows and others from the Main system drive or partition for their own good. No more Compatibility Issues affecting windows becuse of some Other Os install and the Ability to make windows fly with Optimisations.

Ed is Anti discriminatory though If you want your Solaris or Ubuntu to fly too ED is your guy.

Remember If you help me We can all tell Windows and others that it's ED's Machine not theirs.

ED stands for Emulation and direct machine runner and is envisioned by yours truly as the ultimate Boot Engine, Fast and furious wishing One day all processors everywhere can just get along for the users sake. Yes Ed is technically not just a way for OS systems to day to do their thing but a trojan horse for the common man giving him the potential to step up a gear with ease into military standard computing and yes If your a gamer who Want the Ultimate Game to run Awesome ED is the way to get their and wondows alone would just strap you and and slow your ass down.

Help me peps lets let GNU Granddady ED come life so he can see later his grand children.

Year You did hear me right I want ED Machine runner to Rip Windows Out of the control seat for Windows own good such that Boots are actually faster under ED and Direct hardware speed a reality.

With support Ed could Kick ass.

All we need is ED dah dah

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Anonymous Coward

Fanbois

all those who endlessly drone on and on and on about how bad microsoft is, please remember a couple of things :-

Fords are involved in more accidents than any other car, are they less safe? NO there are more of the buggers

as MS is so dominant in the workspace (thats where grownups get money from ) WHY? they must be doing something right or at least done it right in the past.

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OLPC killed the same way

Anyone remember the One Laptop Per Child initiative to give 3rd World country children access to IT?

Started out using Linux.

Then Microsoft stepped in and it was bye bye Linux.

Read all about it:

http://www.olpcnews.com/people/leadership/walter_bender_resigned_from_olpc.html

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Unhappy

@Mike Richards

(Mike moved his Acer Aspire to Windows because the updater on the Linux distro was crap). Yep me too - and I really didn't like the 'drawn with crayon' front end either. The final straw for me with Xandros was that the stupid thing kept trying to install a Huawei 3G update (which I don't have the h/w for) and failing.

My advice - get windows zapped and bung on a copy of Ubuntu 9.04 UNR. I did that when it went 'gold' and I've never looked back. It's now fast to boot and use, and looks pretty good, (plus I've now got multiple user accounts - one for each of the family). This is what should ship! Heck, it's what I'm using now.

That said, now back to the main story...

ASUS & MS - sorry I've got to laugh that instead of comparing Linux and Vista, they have to resort to XP v's Linux. So let me get this straight Mr Ballmer - you want me to choose an OS that you've tried to kill off at least twice, and I'm pretty sure won't be updated after the end of this year? No thanks - I'd rather have something that's maintained. What's wrong with Vista on netbooks - ooh that's just too easy.

Asus deserve a slap for (a) supporting this, and (b) shipping the EEE with a crap distro to start with.

On a positive note, I actually quite like the Windows7RC I downloaded - it's actually quite usable. Unlike Vista which, imho, is just a piece of crap - albeit in a prettified package. The only downside of Win7 on netbooks is something I read about a limit of 3 apps (and you're allowed an AV product on top of that). With my little AAO I can run as many as I've got memory for - oh and no AV needed - ha, ha!

My Linux v's Windows story - I bought a T-Mobile 3G stick the other day. Put it on my WinXP box and did the install and then rebooted. Nope, still not working. Tried a couple of other things - still no joy. Eventually had to Google (borrowing someone else's machine) and discovered that I was supposed to delete one of the devices it just installed and then let it readd it. Wow - that's user friendly (sarcasm).

On the other hand - got my Ubuntu 9.04 AAO and plugged in the stick. It came up with a little note about detecting a 3G stick and would I like to configure it. Told the s/w I was using T-Mobile and zap, I was connected.

As they say, YMMV (but note Linux-flamers - no, I did _not_ have to recompile the kernel!)

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Happy

Don't care.

My Asus has its standard Xandros, with a full desktop enabled, SSD instead of hard disk.

It works marvellously, and I have made Skype video calls from tavernas in Greece to prove it.

There is no need to change it, so why should I care?

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Anonymous Coward

If you want to complain to ASUS

.... do it here.

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Stop

that video is so...

After managing to watch 1/3 of that piece of blatent MS propaganda, I am so glad that my 701 4G is running xandros... What a complete piece of tripe.

It would appear that ASUS has been tossed a massive slice of cash to push the netbook users onto XP.

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@J

Lots of people ask me for advice about which computer to get, too, but none of them have ever followed it.

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Crapos for craptops?

<<Simply put, if you want to run linux, why not buy a computer instead.>>

You simply miss it. A laptot isn't a computer, as a toaster isn't an oven.

Christ-in-shitty-nappies, I've 5 PC^H^H computers at home. The eeepc JUST BLOODY WORKS. I couldn't give a tinkers cuss what the fuc*k it's based on. Reads my mail, checks my news, Skype OK, I can write the occasional document...If I want more, I fire up one of my other machines.

When I get home.

Maybe

In an hour or two, depending on the leaves on the line/wrong kind of snow/number of dead Brazilian electricians in the carriage.

Sodding hell, run DOS if you want that "Experience" that MS was talking about so much.

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Gates Horns

User base

Depends on the user base.

Any PC I build / use now I will put Linux on. Even my work PC I put vista into the recycle bin and installed Fedora (luckily I have the freedom to do that :) ) I have an Acer Aspire One with the Linpus install, and am happy enough with it.

However:

My Dad asked me should he get his partner a netbook, I insisted that he got one with XP on.

Linux just isn't there for beginners.

For example - In XP, you download a program, you double click it, it launches and installs. Probably actually a bit too easily for these "comet cursor" / "my web search" spyware things. But none the less, it just works.

In Linux you have to find it, change permissions, then execute it, that's if you're lucky and it's built for your kernel. Otherwise, you have to configure and build it, then you find you are missing dependencies. So you have to try and find the dependencies, and try and install those and so on. Then, it's still not guaranteed to add itself to your applications menu (gnome, KDE etc).

I do enjoy it, don't mind building my software from source, and the likes of YUM make it easier, Ubuntu seems to be making inroads into the home market, but I wouldn't want a beginner to go through it.

Linux is a bit like Alfa Romeo, it's what I happily use myself, but wouldn't recommend to family members.

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Anonymous Coward

Why does this drag on?

Everyone knows that any version of an OS produced by Microsoft has been, presently is, and will forever be garbage prone to crashes and viral infection. The unfortunate truth is that as long as major corporations continue to use Microsoft, the end user will be saddled with Microsoft for decades to come. (After getting laid off from SUN back in September, I eventually landed a lower paying recession-era job with AT&T...and yes it's Window's XP all the way...) Did I mention it sucks? If I don't want it crashing during the day when I am working, I make sure I do a full shutdown every night before I leave.)

And in case you didn't already know the truth, there may be one corporation that is worse than Microsloth, and yes, you guessed it, it's AT&T.

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Linux

Ummm

Isn't this just a smear campaign by Microsoft?

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Coat

Can't help wondering

whether half Joe Public's problem is that he looks at a word which is obviously "lye-nux" but which its techies insist is "linnux". No such problem with "windows". (Other problems, yes, a thousand times yes, but not pronunciation.)

Sorry, it's me sinnus trouble making me ... all right, I'm going ...

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Linux

@ Sir Wiggum

"In XP, you download a program, you double click it, it launches and installs

In Linux you have to find it, change permissions, then execute it, that's if you're lucky and it's built for your kernel. Otherwise, you have to configure and build it, then you find you are missing dependencies. So you have to try and find the dependencies, and try and install those and so on."

You got it all wrong mate. In windows, you have to find the program on the web, pay for it (or find it for free but run a couple anti-malware tests on it), download it, find the downloaded file, click on it, wait til it installs, reboot your computer and if you're lucky it will be compatible with your version of windows and your anti-malware settings. If not you're welcome to enter the Service Pack Spiral of Death (say Hi! to your good buddy WGA), and/or disable your anti-spyware (yeah, great!). Of course, all this means a few reboots along the way. Then, if you're lucky, it might work.

In Linux, you have to open your package manager and click install. That's it.

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Terrible news for all lovers of freedom

Asus are behaving very BADLY by ditching the OS that gave them their ability to launch the Eee PC and its initial success. I think the way the Xandros OS is setup needs to be improved, but bullying tactics by Microsoft, convincing Asus that their Linux installs are not working for people, is not the way to go. Microsoft should keep out of the netbook world, just because Vista was crap and no one wanted it, the netbook makers are now putting XP on them, whereas Linux is up to date, great, and if properly designed for the specific netbook, a very good OS.

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Flame

F*** Microsoft

My favourite website (which no longer exists) used to be at a 4 letter word starting with F followed by microsoft.com.

It listed all the various free alternatives to MS crapware, but it seems that MS is trying so hard now to dominate the world completely.

a new website should be setup along the lines of http://www.microsoftisevil.com -- the domain name is there but no site yet.

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Black Helicopters

@ Jason Yau

"Isn't this just a smear campaign by Microsoft?"

Not at all. After all, it's not MS fault if open source devs kill their wives, and try to disrupt the economy by forcing an OS that can't connect to the internet on unsuspecting (but otherwise brilliant) customers. By the way, did you notice that the credit crunch shortly followed the rise of FireFox? Coincidence? I don't think so.

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