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In Australia, XP Cheaper Than Linux On Eee 900

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the money-changes-everything dept.

Portables 319

KrispyDollars writes "It sounds crazy to say this, but the XP-based version of the Eee PC 900 (the new version with the 8.9" screen) will actually be considerably cheaper than the Linux-based version. At the official launch today, the company told journalists that 'Microsoft has been a longstanding supporter of Asus' to explain the price discrepancy. And — get this — only the XP-based machine will be sold at mass-market retailers, while the Linux-based model will be consigned to computer stores."

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12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336802)

At the official launch today, the company told journalists that 'Microsoft has been a longstanding supporter of Asus' to explain the price discrepancy.
It might also be nice to quote the prices ($600 Vs $650) and the physical discriminator which is (and this is from TFA): "the XP model has just 12GB of storage, while the Linux version has 20GB."

I'm pretty sure the only reason the pricing is different is due to the storage factor. I've suspected for quite sometime that Microsoft basically gives away XP & MS Works with Dell computers and now that the price of hardware is dropping, they're going to have to. Works is a real piece of work, FYI ... my signature heavily applies to that software in this case.

Is it ok to chastise Asus for denying customers the choice of OS independent of HDD size? Yes.

Is it ok to go on a rant about Microsoft's hidden costs? Definitely, in fact I'm sure there's going to be a few +5 insightfuls with that theme.

Is it ok to wig out and claim that Microsoft is cutting deals with Asus to insure the downfall of Linux? No. You're wasting your time--spend it more constructively coding open source or lobbying for your company to use open source.

Asus is free to do as they please and if Microsoft thinks it's a good business move, let them. The funny thing about open source is that you don't have to promote it to end users. It's slowly and steadily being adopted. The end state is open source for everyone everywhere; it's unavoidable; it's just a question of when it happens (and no, I'm not going to personify software or data as 'wanting' to be free because it's about what improves the community not what software 'wants'). As long as Microsoft isn't doing something shady to keep Linux out of the Enterprise, they can do whatever they want. I don't even know how they could do that. If you look at the trends, whatever is adopted by the Enterprise is usually adopted by the single consumer in due time. DoD is starting to mandate open source also.

Ubuntu 8.04 was a marked improvement over 7.10. Aero was on par with XP. Microsoft has parked themselves at the head of the pack and are now relying on Business and Marketing to promote a Technology. It's a good sign of bad times for Microsoft.

So why is everyone fretting? Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Please, don't be one of those guys who preach about open source in a RMS religious zealot style to end users who just want their goddamn iPod to work on their home machine (Oh, by the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my shuffle Just Worked when I attached it to Ubuntu 8.04). You're doing more harm than good.

The Standard M$ Deal. (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336818)

They make sure you pay too much no matter what you buy. XP is worth less than Xandros but we all know that Xandros costs less. Perhaps this is part of the M$ "patent deal" with Xandros but the details don't matter. All of Oz is being screwed by a predatory US company. As a US Citizen, I appologize for the failure of our laws.

Re:The Standard M$ Deal. (-1, Troll)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336854)

Yes, this stinks out loud. This kind of thing was less blatant with other commercial OS like OS/2 but that was eventually proved. There's no need for proof this time.

Re:The Standard M$ Deal. (-1, Redundant)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337852)

This post about anti-trust [slashdot.org] deserves to be at the top of this discussion. There is no "new" Microsoft and the world of computing still suffers monopoly pricing despite their being free replacements.

End Twitter Posts Now (-1, Troll)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336992)

They make sure you pay too much no matter what you buy. XP is worth less than Xandros but we all know that Xandros costs less. Perhaps this is part of the M$ "patent deal" with Xandros but the details don't matter. All of Oz is being screwed by a predatory US company. As a US Citizen, I appologize for the failure of our laws.

On behalf of Slashdot, get the hell out of our community you threadjacking schizophrenic crackberry addicted redundant waste of time.

You are not adding anything to the conversations here!

Seriously if I wanted people twittering their lives to me one hundred and forty bytes at a time, I would go to twitter. Do you think anyone would appreciate it if I went to twitter and tried to post long cohesive thoughts and somehow attach them to the most popular posts? I don't think so.

Please for the sake of my sanity, leave Slashdot as Slashdot and Twitter as Twitter. Otherwise I propose CmdrTaco answers in kind and rigs up a way for every single new post on Slashdot to be parsed into 140 bytes and delivered to Twitter as user Slashdot.

It's like you said. (-1, Troll)

Mactrope (1256892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337146)

why is everyone fretting? Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

What, did twitter spoil the smell for you? Please don't pretend to represent anyone but yourself when you flame RMS in the very same post.

Re:It's like you said. (-1, Flamebait)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337606)

/waves at twitter's sockpuppet, one of many.

Re:It's like you said. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337766)

Erris (531066), gnutoo (1154137), inTheLoo (1255256), Mactrope (1256892), twitter (104583), willeyhill (1277478)

I'm still finding some from time to time. Can't believe he subscribed to slashdot for 2-3 of those... What this guy's life looking like, I have no idea.

Re:End Twitter Posts Now (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337536)

eldavojohn, what makes you think you own Slashdot, or can speak on behalf of others here? Your opening post is rubbish, surprising the amount of mod points it's got.

You think nothing wrong when the XP model can be offered at a LOWER price than the Linux one? Just bcos you say so, we should believe in the good intentions of Microsoft and Asus?

The Slashdot community thrives on debate, so don't try to impose your views as gospel truth.

Thank you.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (5, Funny)

Se7enLC (714730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336858)

It's kind of fun in a way. There will be two models: The cheap model for windows users, and the luxury model for linux users :-)

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (5, Insightful)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337362)

It's just like Linksys have done with its WRT54G series...

If you want to buy a cheapo WRT54Gv5 version of the wireless router, you get it packed with VxWorks, some kind of crappy and proprietary OS installed in DLink routers. If you want to have a stable and reliable router, you go with the WRT54GL (L for Linux), which is the "deluxe" Linux version.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337672)

Just don't get it confused with WRT54GLA. That version sucks.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (5, Interesting)

Poltras (680608) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337696)

I sincerely wouldn't call VxWorks crappy... for instance, it's the only OS to have left the earth, which is something. For one who have worked with VxWorks, I can only say that it is so modular and low-level that the end result is as crappy as you want it to be, but not as VxWorks have made you crap it. You have to admit that Linksys crapped the Linux base version (without hacking) too ;)

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (2, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337922)

Because VxWorks is so crappy, it's flight-certifiable.

It does show the cost of Windows. (4, Interesting)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336932)

Perhaps, without Microsoft interference, Asus would have a $400 12 GB model and a $500 20 GB model. That would more closely match the US prices and falling hardware prices.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (4, Interesting)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337006)

So the Linux version has 8 GByte of flash disk more and costs $50 more? Even with today's hardware prices, the Linux version seems like the better deal to me.

If only the XP version is available at "mass-market retailers", that is a bit suspicious but understandable. Users with little experience may be better off if a salesperson explains the difference to them. Competent salespersons tend to be rare at supermarkets.

Overall, I don't see much evidence of shady deals here.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (5, Insightful)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337538)

Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. Asus is protecting themselves by only giving the XP version at superstores. Otherwise, they'd have a bunch of confused users wondering why they can't run iTunes on their new computer.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (5, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337602)

Please, don't be one of those guys who preach about open source in a RMS religious zealot style to end users who just want their goddamn iPod to work on their home machine
There are 3 ways to make things "Just Work":

1.(The Apple way) Be able to control everything, from the metal to the display. If you can make everything the way you want it to be, you can make things work by design.

2. (The Microsoft way) Be able to contol everyone, from the hardware manufacturers to the software developers. If you can make everybody make things the way you want them to be, you can make things work by fiat.

3. (The F/OSS way) Be able to know everything, from the hardware registers to the software code. If you know everything about the components you use, you can make things work by hacking.

The reason RMS is so adamant about making things free is because we, as end users, have no other way to make them work for us.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (5, Informative)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337694)

> I've suspected for quite sometime that Microsoft basically gives away XP & MS Works with Dell computers ... Microsoft doesn't "give." Here's what they did prior to their conviction as a monopolist (from the United States vs Microsoft findings of facts):

Page 29:

One of the ways Microsoft combats piracy is by advising OEMs that they will be charged a higher price for Windows unless they drastically limit the number of PCs that they sell without an operating system pre-installed.
Page 33:

An aspect of Microsoft's pricing behavior that, while not tending to prove monopoly power, is consistent with it is the fact that the firm charges different OEMs different prices for Windows, depending on the degree to which the individual OEMs comply with Microsoft's wishes. Among the five largest OEMs, Gateway and IBM, which in various ways have resisted Microsoft's efforts to enlist them in its efforts to preserve the applications barrier to entry, pay higher prices than Compaq, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, which have pursued less contentious relationships with Microsoft.
Page 34:

For example, Microsoft attaches to a Windows license conditions that restrict the ability of OEMs to promote software that Microsoft believes could weaken the applications barrier to entry. ... In addition, Microsoft charges a lower price to OEMs who agree to ship all but a minute fraction of their machines with an operating system preinstalled.
I don't know how much has changed since their conviction, but I would assume that, even if they aren't allowed to do exactly that anymore, they've just found workarounds to achieve the same results (as evidenced here).

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (4, Funny)

francisstp (1137345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337722)

As long as Microsoft isn't doing something shady to keep Linux out of the Enterprise, they can do whatever they want.
Star Trek: Enterprise has been cancelled dude.

I don't agree with that at all (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337870)

"Works is a real piece of work, FYI ... my signature heavily applies to that software in this case. "

While Microsoft justifiably gets ripped for their bad software (Hello Windows Vista, the Biblical Plague of operating systems), the fact is they make some really good software too. Sharepoint is popular for a reason. Office had marketing help beating out Wordperfect Suite, but frankly, it was better than WS. Windows Server 2003 was good, and Server 2008 looks like it may be great. So it's not like Microsoft doesn't do anything right. And Works has always been one of their better products, IMHO. I think that had they not pushed Office so heavily in the 90's, Works would be more popular today, even for small businesses. It's always been light, fast, and stable for me. In the mid 90's, I did most of my college work in Works... term papers, spreadsheets... it's simple, easy to learn, and cheap, all of which are great virtues for a student. Before the advent of free office alternatives like Open Office, if you didn't have access to MS Office (which was still expensive), Works was by far your best bet. Otherwise, you just had typewriters or simple text editors like Notepad and Wordpad on Windows. I used Works 3.0 for DOS, Works 4.0 on Windows 95, and then Works 4.5 on Windows 98. I've got fond memories of using them. I loved the old unified base code model that MS used for Works from 1.0 to 4.5; it made Works incredibly fast on just about any hardware.

Microsoft made some hellish software, but Works was not among them. I've still got Works 6 on a home PC that my son uses for school papers as well.

Re:12 GB HDD Vs 20 GB HDD (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23338100)

"Is it ok to wig out and claim that Microsoft is cutting deals with Asus to insure the downfall of Linux? No. "

If it is anti-competitive it is.

"The funny thing about open source is that you don't have to promote it to end users. "

Yes you do, this is WHY it's getting adopted, promotion.

"So why is everyone fretting? Just sit back and enjoy the ride. "

That's a great way for the ride to come to an end.

How to be a true nigga (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23336822)

If you live in the ghetto and there's a lot of crime and you're poor, just keep having sex without birth control! That's right, if you thought birth control was expensive, just wait until you pop out 3-5 kids that you know damned well you can't afford! But that's okay, you can always go on welfare, that way you can have the government use force-or-the-threat-of-force (confiscatory taxes) to take someone else's money away and give it to you to support what you knew you could not afford. Isn't that wonderful! And if most people who do this happen to be black, don't you dare point this out, because why that might harm their self-esteem and OH NO we can't have that! If you then blame Whitey for your lot in life and for the fact that you refuse to make better choices, then and only then are you a TRUE NIGGA.

Re:How to be a true nigga (-1, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337730)

Go ahead and mod me down for responding to this offtopic troll. I deserve it for biting. In fact I'm modding myself down with the "no karma bonus" box.

If you live in the ghetto and there's a lot of crime and you're poor, just keep having sex without birth control!

I live very near the ghetto and there's a lot of crime, but I'm middle class, you elitist piece of shit.

That's right, if you thought birth control was expensive, just wait until you pop out 3-5 kids that you know damned well you can't afford!

I was married ten years before I realized that there's no such thing as being able to afford kids. I now wish I'd had them when I was 25 instead of 35.

But that's okay, you can always go on welfare

No you can't; not in the US anyway. In case you've been asleep for over a decade, in 1996 Congress passed and Clinton signed welfare reform into law. Ir abolished the entitlemen AFDC, welfare with the goal of subsidising families and replaced it with TANF, which has the goal of getting poor people into the workforce and has a two year limit on benefits, five years lifetime. There is no longer welfare in America, Bubba. Tell your lord and savior Rush Limbaugh, would you?

And if most people who do this happen to be black, don't you dare point this out

Actually, most people who were on AFDC were as white as me, and I have hazel eyes, you stupid racist dumbass.

Go troll a non-tech forum with your stupidity. Judging from the troll you used, I suggest this one [democratic...ground.com] . Hiint: I've never been to that site.

-mcgrew

ps: FOAD.

How? (1)

SD-Arcadia (1146999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336838)

What the hell, is MS subsidizing them (ie giving away XP and then some) just so they use their OS?

Re:How? (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336898)

Looks that way, doesn't it? Microsoft seems to be trying to spend the competition away. The only logical thing to do is buy the cheaper XP machine and put Linux on it.

Re:How? (4, Insightful)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337386)

And thus your purchase will raise the number of "customers who preferred the professional quality of Windows(TM)".

To me, the whole point of the eee is that it finally lets linux and windows have an unbiased competition with the market for judge: people won't just keep windows because it's preinstalled ( except of course taking linux still means "switching" to something less familliar).

If I was australian and wanted to buy one, I'd throw in the extra cash to show that linux users exist as a demographic.

Unless you refuse the EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337556)

And get a refund for Windows added in to the deal!!!

Whahahahahaa!

Re:Unless you refuse the EULA (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337744)

but MSFT still counts that as a sale of windows.

stop buying windows period.

Re:How? (3, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337716)

To me, the whole point of the eee is that it finally lets linux and windows have an unbiased competition with the market for judge


And this demonstrates that we will never have unbiased (or fair) competition as long as one of the competitors is Microsoft.

So play 'em at their own game. Hold installfests in the parking lots of places selling the things. Whoop it up. FOSS isn't driven by "market share," it's driven by the passion of its developers and users. It isn't going anywhere.

Microsoft may be able to point at some meaningless marketing numbers and say "see, people are choosing Windows, even when Linux is more expensive" and I bet some PHBs will even think that statement makes sense. Doesn't matter, Microsoft will run out of money eventually and FOSS will still be there.

Don't buy either. (0, Troll)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337608)

You know both are overpriced when Windows is cheaper. Buy OLPC, a used laptop or some other worthy competitor instead. Any money spent on a bad deal just encourages bad deals in the future. Let both Asus and Microsoft take a bath on this one.

Of cousrse they're subsidizing (4, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336946)

These PCs have nowhere near the power of a full fledged desktop. The EEE scares MS because it showed that Linux could be user friendly, secure, and cheap- at regular OEM prices, a $400 laptop wouldn't be profitable with an $100+ OEM license for Windows and a $30+ license for works.

To keep people using XP, MS is probably giving away (or close to it) the licenses to ASUS. Combined with the fact that the Xandros is a commercial distro that Asus needs to provide updates for and the additional 8GB of space in the Linux version, it's not terribly suprising.

I'm typing this post on an EEE 4G now, and I'm really pleased with the built in Xandros. Lightweight, Word/Excel/PowerPoint compatible, not prone to viruses. If I was in the market for a new EEE for the price difference and the ability to dual boot with no additional cost I'd probably buy the Windows version and put Ubuntu on it. I have a few Windows specific apps still...

Re:Of cousrse they're subsidizing (5, Funny)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337086)

And my "s" key just broke (hyper sensitive) on my EEE, which is why cousrse is a word. What an excellent testimonial for the product. ;)

Re:How? (4, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337252)

It wouldn't be surprising. I worked for Fujitsu Siemens for a while and they got paid by Microsoft to put the "Fujitsu Siemens recommends Windows XP Pro". Depending on where they put it varied the amount of money they got, so they slowly moved it from "high up the page" to "in the header".

It wouldn't surprise me if there was a similar offer here, plus another offer for selling only the Windows Eees in "select retailers".

Hear hear (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23336844)

From TFA (RTFA, it's damn small):
"the Linux version is suited to users who desire an icon-driven and easy point-and-click interface â" well suited for children or users with limited computer experience"
They are actively mocking the Linux community. I say fuck EeePC. I am waiting for MSI Wind.

Re:Hear hear (3, Informative)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337144)

That may appear insulting to an experienced Linux guru.

But for many years it used to be Microsoft's best selling point in comparison to Linux:
Windows and Microsoft applications in general are easy to get started with. Only recently, Linux distributions (especially Ubuntu) have managed to catch up in that regard. If you want to sell to a wide audience, an "easy" interface is good.

Of course, it should also have an easily accessible terminal emulation so the gurus can hack on their config files ;-)

Re:Hear hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337412)

You sure windows is easy? Each install is customized by the OEM in a different way. Basic tasks like mastering a cd require examining whatever shiny looking and unusable GUI they came up with. The mac used to be easy, maybe still is. Windows never was. You just started with that, maybe.

Re:Hear hear (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337490)

I was thinking the same thing. The fact that Linux is now touted as the 'easy' OS to use is rather insulting to Redmond I would think.

I am concerned that those unfamiliar with Linux will see this and conclude that Linux is expensive rather than ... .er... FREE.

MS has done a good job of making Windows look like the best choice, and IMO this should be investigated using lawyers and stuff as it makes no sense whatsoever if you look at it from the point of view that MS would never stoop to any dirty tricks. Of course, if you are even a tiny bit cynical you can't help but see that this is obviously a questionable business deal that needs to be investigated by those that would destroy monopolies.

Re:Hear hear (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23338034)

Tell me now, when MS and Apple are sold because they are more user-friendly and point and click oriented, then they get to sit on shelves of every shop.

And when Asus touts about Linux being user-friendly and point and click oriented, then how come it is still MS sitting on the shelves?

There is no mocking of MS - they are the ones at gaining edge.

Re:Hear hear (2, Informative)

domatic (1128127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23338094)

Of course, it should also have an easily accessible terminal emulation so the gurus can hack on their config files ;-)



Ctrl-Alt-T brings up an xterm and there are two tools called "Easy Mode Editor" and TweakEE that allow other things to be changed including changing the xterm to something nicer like Konsole.

I've considerably tweaked the one I'm using. OpenOffice 2.4 instead of the included 2.0. I built the latest MPlayer from Debian Unstable on an Etch* machine with all codecs and so-forth enabled and installed that as well as various nice things for the sysadmin on the go. Unlike most Macs and Windows machines, it recognizes my USB-to-RS232 dongle immediately and I have a dterm binary sitting on it for configuring switches and the like. It is excellent for little jobs like that since the unit is so "toolbag friendly".

I also ditched the XP-like Icewm them since it is waaay to hard on the limited screen real estate. I'm currently running a very plain but functional theme that saves 32 pixels or so of the limited screen height.

Asus doesn't tout it as such but it is really quite friendly to the experienced Linux user. It is even friendlier if you can endure what it takes to remove the unionfs they use to idiot proof it and go to a straight ext2 partition.

* As long as you don't touch the tweaked QT or kdelibs they are using, you can install any package built for Debian Etch that you like. I have an Etch buildhost I use for anything nifty I want but don't have.

Forget the cost of production (1, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336868)

What is it with people. If Linux is better than MS window then surely you won't mind paying more to get it? why are you so fixated on how much people are making and instead no fixated on simply what it's worth to you? so What if linux costs them less to Buy?

Besides which it probably cost them more to implement it than MS since I bet they had to hire an entire Engineering staff, at least one FTE plus support folks.

Re:Forget the cost of production (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337034)

Go easy on the Linux people. The Microsoft Corporation, who they believe to be run by total imbeciles, has drank their milkshake for the 10,000th time in a row.

Every new thing on the horizon has been proclaimed to be the downfall of Microsoft. Cheap PCs, no way they'll be able to compete with Linux on those! They've now been added to the failure pile alongside handheld devices, Live CDs, servers, the desktop in general, laptops in general, any kind of office software you might imagine, etc etc.

So be easy. This is yet another sad day in a long series of sad days.

Re:Forget the cost of production (2, Funny)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337102)

Sorry, but I just can't resist...

The Microsoft Corporation, who they believe to be run by total imbeciles, has drank their milkshake for the 10,000th time in a row.


Balmer: I... drink... your... milkshake!
[sucking sound]
Balmer: I drink it up!
Linux people: Don't bully me, Steve!

Re:Forget the cost of production (2, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337076)

Besides which it probably cost them more to implement it than MS since I bet they had to hire an entire Engineering staff, at least one FTE plus support folks.

Are you kidding? Getting Windows to run on a new piece of hardware is a shitload of work. Among other things, out of the box, Windows lacks a lot of drivers.

Standard Linux distributions basically just boots on the Eee PC (I installed Ubuntu on mine) with essentially no extra work or customization, and installing it is a few clicks.

Re:Forget the cost of production (4, Insightful)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337190)

This is very true, but...

It's all about public perception. The Linux machine can't run Windows apps (at least I don't think WINE's included, and WINE's never a good answer to that problem anyway.) Therefore, it's worse in many people's eyes.

So, now, the Linux machine is more expensive, and perceived to be worse.

This is not good if you want Linux to succeed in the marketplace.

Re:Forget the cost of production (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337662)

Really? There are 2 laptops (the 900 series), one with XP and one with Linux. The XP has less disk space and costs less. The Linux version has more disk space and costs more. Not only that, but I'd bet the linux version is significantly more responsive. I'd say it looks like if you want the "better" version of the laptop, you want to get the one with Linux. This may actually be good marketing :) Plus, there is no such thing as bad publicity. I think the fact that this laptop has linux at all is absolutely awesome. I love it when my friends say how Linux is so obscure no normal user would ever use it. The Eee is the first really awesome product I can show that them that brings Linux to the masses. Not only that, its apparent that Asus invested quite a bit into this, which shows the public that Linux is now ready for general consumption, even if its still considered a "premium" (hehe) product.

Re:Forget the cost of production (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337984)

So the linux one should be cheaper, as it runs less software?

A herring incarnadine... (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337238)

If Linux is better than MS window then surely you won't mind paying more to get it?

Red herring. This isn't about us, it's about Microsoft buying market share.

Ask slashdot (0, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337876)

Red herring. This isn't about us, it's about Microsoft buying market share

If a straw man is trolling for red herring, what bait does he use?

Re:Forget the cost of production (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337270)

Where as with Windows then they can hire 100 tech support monkeys for a single bag of peanuts, as all they need to know is "read this script that says 'have you tried rebooting? It's probably something you installed. Connectivity seems fine to us. You'll need to take it back to the place you purchased it from.'" compared to actually knowing what they're doing ;)

Re:Forget the cost of production (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337304)

This is a tangibly priced item, not art. Paying much more than cost is wasteful.

Re:Forget the cost of production (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337642)

If Linux is better than MS window then surely you won't mind paying more to get it?

More than what? Ubuntu, for instance? Just because the price of Windows has been artificially inflated for years, that doesn't mean that Linux vendors need to adopt the same pricing strategy.

why are you so fixated on how much people are making

Let me answer that by selling you a packet of gum. For you, I have a special low, low price of ten million dollars, but I'll settle for everything you own in the world, plus ten percent of any future earnings. Sound fair?

Most people take a healthy interest in not being ripped off. In some circles that is called "good business sense". It's something that's allowed to individual people, and not just corporations, strange as that may sound to some on this board.

so What if linux costs them less to Buy?

I agree. The real issue here is about a monopoly abusing its market power to make it harder to find competing products, thus stifling competition. The actual software is a complete red herring.

Re:Forget the cost of production (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337830)

What is it with people. If Linux is better than MS window then surely you won't mind paying more to get it?

Because Linux is free and Windows isn't. Rainwater is better than tap water, you pay for tap water, surely you won't mind paying more for rainwater?

I bet they had to hire an entire Engineering staff

If gambling was legal here Id take you to the cleaners on that bet. BTW, which division of Microsoft do you work for? Me, I work for the marketing division of GNU.

Even if MS subsidizes.. (4, Insightful)

UPZ (947916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336886)

People can install Linux/Ubuntu for free. It's just going to add additional step, but Ubuntu installation is becoming easier.

Shameless plug for a local by a local (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336888)

If you live in the East of Melbourne (Australia not Florida), I highly recommend Bitronics. [bitronics.com.au]

I've bought all my stuff from them for well over a decade. They opened a shop when I lived in Bayswater, had doom parties, piles of second hand stuff, kept the local teenagers busy, ect. They become pretty big now and lost a bit of that garage feel but they are still light years ahead of ASUS. I've lived by the beach now for ~3yrs but still browse online and pick it up from the warehouse. Not even sure the same guys own it but they will sell you a naked PC, pre-configured, built to order, pre-installed distro, distro on disc, windows, whaterver your poision,,,err...passion.

I've had problems but I've had them fixed without fuss.

Disclaimer: I've been a proffesional developer for ~20yrs. The only relationship I have with bitronics is as a customer, caveate emptor, shop around, and all that.

Re:Shameless plug for a local by a local (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337424)

I live Lincolnshire, east of Melbourne, Derbyshire, you insensitive clod!

Re:Shameless plug for a local by a local (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337748)

I'm tapecutters sense of shame and will add it to his list. ;)

Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux model! (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336904)

We all know that a lot of price conscious Australians will buy the cheaper model and load Linux on it. :) I know I would.

When I buy computers in general, I buy it with the smallest drive and least amount of RAM possible. I know I'm going to upgrade anyway, but the prices the OEMs charge for RAM upgrades and larger drives is ridiculous. Buying with the intent of upgrading is a nice way to save some money if you have the skill and confidence to open it up.

By the way... probably not a correct place to put this new information, but yesterday I came across something that shocked the hell out of me. On Dell's support site, I discovered that not only is there a DOS/Windows BIOS update utility for the Precision M4300, but a Linux version as well!! That has got to be the first Linux BIOS update utility I have ever seen. Perhaps others have seen this, but it was a first for me and Dell is doing it. Unfortunately, my Latitude doesn't have the Linux BIOS update method available yet so I'm still booting from flash drive DOS for updates, but perhaps it's only a matter of time.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336972)

Personally, I'd pay an extra $50 for the extra hard drive space, even if both versions used Ubuntu. What is the big deal here?

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (0)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337228)

Oh, I don't know, probably since I could buy a 160GB hard drive for $50. Somehow, paying $50 for 8GB seems like a bit of a rip-off.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337322)

A 160GB flash drive is NOT $50.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (0)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337532)

Very well, I could buy a 60GB External hard drive for $50. Unless you want to tell me these laptops don't come with USB ports. In which case I would call them over glorified paperweights.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (1, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337650)

"Very well, I could buy a 60GB External hard drive for $50. Unless you want to tell me these laptops don't come with USB ports. In which case I would call them over glorified paperweights."
Or we might tell you that you can buy all of the External Hard Drives you want, and it would have quite literally nothing to do with this discussion. You clearly don't know the many differences between internal bootable FLASH storage and an external USB device, FLASH or otherwise. For example, data throughput is orders of magnitude greater for the former over the latter. There are many others. Just accept that you made a serious error and either educate yourself so you won't make it again, or stop posting ignorant comments and go on with your life. Seriously.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (0)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23338028)

Ah yes, that's right, because the majority of consumers actually understand the throughput difference between an internal hard drive, an external hard drive, or a solid state drive. Let alone they would actually notice or care on the difference.

If the 8GB of extra storage space will make or break a machine for a user, I highly doubt 20GB is going to be sufficient for the user in the first place, and that's even taking into consideration loading a flavor of Linux on the 12GB model. Either consumers don't use much space, or they consume a lot.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337896)

Sort of defeats the purpose of the ultra-portable if you are going to be lugging around a full-sized laptop drive with you everywhere.

Not to mention the battery hit.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (1)

porl (932021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337440)

it's a solid state drive, not a hard drive.

porl

(apples != oranges); (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337568)

"Oh, I don't know, probably since I could buy a 160GB hard drive for $50. Somehow, paying $50 for 8GB seems like a bit of a rip-off."
I know what you mean. Can you believe people are paying $5000 for 8 diamonds, when they could easily buy 160 lbs. of coal for the same price! (Hard Disk space is NOT equivalent to FLASH storage in many ways, including cost)

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337560)

"What is the big deal here?"

The key phrase in the OP is "price conscious Australians", in another post I recommended a local mob who will sell you whatever you want including naked PC's and parts, I did that because like you $50 is no problem, I pay that for a teenager to wash the car at the shopping center every now and then. But I've been fortunate and the computer industry has kept me warm, fed, and in a clean car for ~20yrs now. The last 10 was mostly just me and my daughter, the last 5 just me, the beach, and my "lady friend" who lives down the road.

However it didn't start out that way, 30yrs ago I lived in a trailer with my wife and 2yro son, 25yrs ago I bought an Apple IIE for $80 second hand, it didn't have a monitor so for a while the battle over TV time was like.....the war, I wore an onion on my belt....which was the style at the time...you couldnt get those white ones, you could only get those big yellow ones...now where was I...oh yeah,....... get off my lawn.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337166)

I believe the default kernel actually has a bios update driver for dell systems... I've certainly seen it during configuration, but haven't tried using it. I do have an older dell laptop here, so i might see if it works on that.

Props to dell tho, for having a standard way to update their bios, rather than every manufacturer releasing their own crummy dos based update program which expect to boot from floppy and requires you to make your own dos based boot disk.

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337202)

IBM made all their bios and other firmware updates on their x86/x86_64 server-class machines linux-compatible a while back (apparently their suppliers really hated being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but it was IBM and they couldn't say no. It also helped their windoze side, because the work is much the same - for years, vendors had been trying to pass off DOS-based updaters as "windows" updaters, but they certainly aren't on NT-kernel windows systems) .

Very handy if you're running a linux cluster and want to update 1024 nodes!

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (2, Interesting)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337258)

Check this wiki page [dell.com] .

Re:Awesome! That means a less-expensive Linux mode (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337840)

When I buy computers in general, I buy it with the smallest drive and least amount of RAM possible. I know I'm going to upgrade anyway, but the prices the OEMs charge for RAM upgrades and larger drives is ridiculous. Buying with the intent of upgrading is a nice way to save some money if you have the skill and confidence to open it up.
The RAM is upgradable (and you don't have a choice in how much it comes with; that's fixed at 1GB for the 900), but the SSD is not upgradeable (except for, I think, the 8GB 710). Therefore, the doubled SSD size (I suspect the 4GB will be a restore device, like the 0.5GB of the "4GB" 710 that I own, where I only really have 3.5GB to use) is really quite important. I had to shoehorn things a bit to get all the stuff I wanted out of the Ubuntu repos (which is admittedly quite a bit; I'm pleasantly surprised how much can actually fit onto 3.5GB), including and especially getting an SD card to put projects on. So although you can and probably will upgrade the hard drive in a standard PC, the SSD size in the EEE is very important.

As an early adopter of the Eee PC (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336944)

(the 701 model, to be clear), I have this to say to Asus: I understand what is your level of commitment to Xandros Linux on your computers, so I hope you will be happy of losing one of your customers. And perhaps some 10-20% of other potential customers, too.

The Eee PC was my first step out of the MS upgrade treadmill nightmare, and you want to pull me right back? Sorry, no can do.

Re:As an early adopter of the Eee PC (1)

n0dna (939092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337250)

While I understand your point, they're not going to notice the loss of customers over the focus shift from Xandros.

They will however notice the loss of customers due to charging $600 for a 2nd gen $300 machine.

It's because ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337062)

... ASUS had to pay SCO the $699 licensing fee, you cock-smoking tea-baggers.

Could this actually be good for linux? (5, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337090)

One of the most common reasons cited for not adopting Linux, is that people perceive things that don't cost anything as being worthless...

In this case, the Linux option is more expensive, and demonstrably superior (larger storage, boots quicker, comes with a much wider selection of applications). How many people will consider the extra $50 worth it for a significantly better package?

Also perhaps people might like to buy the cheaper windows version, and then "pirate" linux to get some of the additional features only usually available on the more expensive model?

In my country, we call that dumping (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337108)

Yes, yes, I know that the hardware is different (12GB drive vs 20 GB) but does anyone really believe that the whole move is anything other than an attempt by MS to prevent Linux from gaining a foothold in the portable PC market? Linux has, because of driver issues, mostly, enjoyed much less penetration in the notebook PC space. The EeePC's dramatic success in being accepted, with Linux OS, is almost certainly cause for alarm at Microsoft. The result, MS cut a deal that was designed to make it far more attractive (from a price standpoint) to go with a choice that includes Windows XP. The goal of this "dumping" is to prevent the continued penetration of Linux into this space.

Re:In my country, we call that dumping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337342)

The difference in price seems inconsequential. When I look at it and see 650 instead of 600 I don't pay it much notice - it's not a big leap. But when I see 20GB instead of 12GB, it's a tangible difference. I would choose the former, OS be damned.
 
As a disclaimer I'd like to note that I've always used and liked Windows. My knowledge of Linux is limited to two facts: it's an OS and costs nothing. For me this has nothing to do with Linux, but with the perceived value of the hardware, which I feel is higher with the 20GB version.

Good for ASUS (1)

fwarren (579763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337768)

Yes, yes, I know that the hardware is different (12GB drive vs 20 GB) but does anyone really believe that the whole move is anything other than an attempt by MS to prevent Linux from gaining a foothold in the portable PC market?

Good for ASUS. Microsoft is putting pressure on ASUS so what do they do? Easy. In the North America the Linux model with more storage space is cheaper than the Microsoft Model. In Europe the Linux model with more storage space is cheaper than the Microsoft Model.

In Australia what does ASUS do? To get Microsoft off of their back in Europe and North America. They throw Microsoft a bone and run the price of the linux unit up in Australia.

I would say someone in Redmond got their pocket picked...

Crapware? (3, Insightful)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337148)

Wonder if they're using the crapware discount sales model like how Sony and so many others used to do. Not sure if they still do though, haven't bought a PC for a while. If so then it would make sense the the Linux version is more expensive since there are few, if any, crapware titles for Linux.

Linux always cheaper than Windows (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337230)

When I buy a new system without Windows and install Linux on it, it's cheaper in the long run even if it costs more up front.

I don't have to waste time scanning for malware constantly or defragging my linux box, so I save time.
I don't have to buy additional commercial software and pay for license keys or trust closed binary warezed alternatives.

In the long run, no matter how much you pay in the store, Linux saves you money and time.

And I don't support a convicted monopoly who has a history of criminal activities across the globe.

Re:Linux always cheaper than Windows (0)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337908)

I don't have to waste time scanning for malware constantly or defragging my linux box, so I save time.

Who even does that on a Windows box anymore? I think it's great that you're off Windows for a decade or whatever, but beating that horse isn't any more valid than bashing Linux because it doesn't have a graphical user interface.

Linux (2, Interesting)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337240)

Is there any reason why you couldn't just buy the XP version and put a standard Linux distro on there? Has anyone done it? I haven't seen it on www.linux-on-laptops.com.

Re:Linux (4, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337388)

IMHO, the biggest reason is to give a clear message that you don't want Windows. People are scrapping their default Windows installs for Linux all the time, but this won't change the huge market share of Windows, which in turn affects hardware and software makers.

Re:Linux (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337680)

Plus you get double the SSD storage (16GB vs 8GB). :)

Linux easier to use than XP .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337284)

"the Linux version is suited to users who desire an icon-driven and easy point-and-click interface â" well suited for children or users with limited computer experience"

asus moves toward obscurity (5, Insightful)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337302)

At $600, this is not really such a good laptop. I know it's been mentioned before, but they just lost the impulse buyer. Now it's just another laptop, and really not a very good one. I'd say ok, at $400, but at $600 they have priced themselves out of the game.

Re:asus moves toward obscurity (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 6 years ago | (#23338176)

they just lost the impulse buyer
They still have the "I need a small protable laptop for basic work while travelling and I am so not gonna spend stupid money on a macbook air or thinkpad x300" buyers though. In fact, they're now more likely to get those since the screen has become more usable.

cost comparison .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337334)

What is Asus paying for each copy of Linux and Windows. What applications are included in each desktop. Are they full versions or time limited demos. What are the costs when these are factored in?

Get What Exactly? (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337348)

only the XP-based machine will be sold at mass-market retailers

There is no crime there! The retailer's job is to offer what the consumer wants with no regard about the wisdom of their choices. When Shuttleworth has enough money to advertise Linux everywhere like IBM did, then the retailer might go for it. Furthermore, the retailer specs the machines far more than the average consumer may comprehend.

While it's interesting to see that they are going cheap on storage to get the price point, it shows that Asus is still getting screwed by Microsoft. You can calculate the spread if you guestimate the OEM in quantity costs of the two drives.

Dell Vostro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337368)

Go for Dell Vostro 1310 , more value for our bucks, 13" 1280x800 and 80 Gb hard disk, about
the same price of the 8.9" EEE....

Re:Dell Vostro (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23338066)

Go for Dell Vostro 1310 , more value for our bucks, 13" 1280x800 and 80 Gb hard disk, about
the same price of the 8.9" EEE....


But instead of really long battery life, a drop proof solid state hard drive, you get a bigger heavier laptop with shorter battery life and maybe a 3 year hard drive life.

The small form factor, long battery life, and full features (Not a PDA) is the attraction for these machines. These features at this price point is nice.

asus feels the push of the atom generation cpu (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337432)

Asus is feeling the wind coming from the next generation of atom laptops that will have very simular specs to the EEEpc, and will be about the same price. Any deal with MS to lower the price of MS will be very welcome to Asus. 50% of people want XP on that kind of box.

However they made the mistake of giving the linux and MS boxes different specs. Why is a mystery to
me.

Did you note there is also a generation of 200euro laptops with linux on them, but with a non-intel compaible cpu?

Bills Would Reduce Federal Control of Marijuana (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337470)



Bills Would Reduce Federal Control of Marijuana

http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2008/05/08/bills-would-reduce-federal-control-of-marijuana.htm [about.com]
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.5843 [loc.gov] :
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.5842 [loc.gov] :

Contact everyone you know, this is the chance to get Marijuana DROPPED from being Schedule I

Please mod this up, this is historic!

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337494)

...does it run Vista?

Find the holes!!! (5, Insightful)

norteo (779244) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337666)

Suggested procedure: 1- Buy XP version. 2- Reformat and install Linux. 3- Ask M$ for refund for the unused SO. Q: Which one is cheaper now?

Re:Find the holes!!! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23337990)

After spending a month with the run-around, hair pulling nightmare that is trying to get a Windows refund, the Linux box is still cheaper.

apples oranges and the deeper message... (1)

wizstan (52463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337906)

two things...

These are the prices for two separate channels, apples and oranges, different discount rates etc.

If M$ has made a deal with ASUS on this to get the lower price think about the message they are sending to other manufacturers: "If you are succesful selling a Linux computer we will give you a better deal". If I'm Dell I'm thinking how I can ramp up the number of linux boxes out the door.

Eee should be light, not heavy, in OS (2, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337938)

I am not here to dis Windows XP. I like Windows XP.

However, the whole point of the Asus Eee PC is that it is a stripped down unit for common tasks, generally net-based. You write a letter or short text on an Eee, you surf the net, you check your email, maybe SSH into a UNIX host.

For this, even for longtime Windows users, a light implementation of Linux is probably better. There are fewer licensing issues. All necessary tools are built in. It can maximize the limited processor, memory and disk of the Eee.

I could see installing Windows 2000 on one, sort of, but in my experience, the overhead of Linux is a lot less because it does not have to support binaries from the past 3500 generations of Windows.

Please, let us return to sanity. You may want Windows XP on your full-size HP laptop, but on your Eee, go light.

See:
Asus Micro Laptop Brings Linux to Desktop [chrisblanc.org]

Asus Eee PC now on Sale on NewEgg (2, Informative)

i4u (234028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23337992)

NewEgg started to take orders on the new Asus Eee 900 PCs and the new Eee PCs are ready to ship.
ASUS Eee PC 900 12G XP and the ASUS Eee PC 900 20G each sell for $549.99. If you prefer Windows XP you get 8GB less of flash memory. Besides that difference both Asus Eee PC 900 are the same.
More details [i4u.com] .
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