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Acer Bets Big On Linux

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the cheap-linux-laptops-on-the-way dept.

Hardware 354

Stony Stevenson writes to tell us IT News is reporting that Acer is betting big on Linux, looking to push Tux on many of their upcoming laptops and netbooks. "The company is already heavily promoting Linux for its low cost ultra-portable netbook range out later this year, but senior staff have said that Acer will also push Linux on its laptops. [...] Acer sees two killer apps with Linux on computers: operation and cost. Its flavour of Linux will boot in 15 seconds compared to minutes for Windows, and the open source operating system can extend battery life from five to seven hours."

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Operation and Cost? (5, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670399)

Operation and cost are killer apps?

Re:Operation and Cost? (5, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670545)

When I moved to mostly use Linux, cost of the distro I chose was not an issue. Linux for me gave me things that Windows does not. It's more secure (having to be super user to install or run certain things) means nobody else can run things that can harm the system, it runs on lower spec machines (even though mine is up-to-date), and is more flexible in setup (ie. I an not restricted to a certain typeface or size for for example tool bars).

Linux for me does not yet have a killer app, K3B (CD/DVD burner) and Amarok are better than anything in Windows, but for a start, there is nothing like Photoshop, and no killer video capture and editing software, and for some, games are important too.

Re:Operation and Cost? (3, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670675)

What's killer for me is that mplayer is on there in full working order.

I've found that I can throw ANY format I want at it, and it can always create OGM's, MPG's, or AVI's. No if's and's or but's from it. It just works.

Since there's multiple video decoders and renderers, I can play everything even if some video (like... video from the bad div3 hacked up codec) doesnt play on one player.

In windows world, if it crashes on 1 program, it will crash on another (since they almost all use the windows codec system).

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670819)

mplayer and VLC both work just fine on windows. There is even a wrapper available to inject the FFMPEG codecs into the windows codec system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ffdshow [wikipedia.org]

Re:Operation and Cost? (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670913)

Dont get me wrong. I use Windows and Linux and know about cross compatibility of each and ported programs.

VLC's nice for handling horribly mangled video and audio frames, but mplayer is super speedy. They both have their pluses and minuses.

In Linux, I can process VLC on one machine and port the visualization to another machine (we have 1Gbps wired network here at home). I can also set up rendering jobs when the machine comes live (or from a DVB card ^_^ ).

From my knowledge, scripting Windows to do those sort of operations would be hard, if not nigh impossible. One would need a full scripting language, like bash, to do such. It would require Interix (?) to get that kind of compatibility, not to mentrion being set back by a 100$ or so... And I get that already from Linux.

Re:Operation and Cost? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671443)

One would need a full scripting language, like bash, to do such.


Not that I'm trying to argue for the Windows crowd, mind you, but you have two options:
  1. Cygwin [cygwin.com] , which includes bash and it won't cost you a single pennny.
  2. Python [python.org] , which can do almost anything you can imagine. It also runs on Windows and will cost you $0.

Re:Operation and Cost? (0, Redundant)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671221)

The best part about MPlayer is the MPlayer Plug-In which allows you to watch apple movie trailers in full screen.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

hav0x (984818) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671431)

I totally agree, just love the mplayerplug-in. plus it works with anything i throw at it.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671289)

What's killer for me is that mplayer is on there in full working order.

I've found that I can throw ANY format I want at it, and it can always create OGM's, MPG's, or AVI's. No if's and's or but's from it. It just works.
You mean apart from DRMed content.

Re:Operation and Cost? (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671441)

I buy only what's on sale. I dont buy what's licenses for X amount of time.

Therefore, I do not consider DRM stuff to even be on the market. After what Google, Microsoft and such have already proved, companies that hock such setups are guaranteed 100% unreliability rate. Are they planning to keep the license servers up for 50+ years? I doubt it.

Re:Operation and Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670729)

Isn't there a reworking of GIMP to make it act like Photoshop?

Re:Operation and Cost? (3, Informative)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670817)

Yes there is. [gimpshop.com] However, from what I understand the bigger problem is that GIMP doesnt understand CMYK color formats.. though I could be wrong there.

Re:Operation and Cost? (2, Informative)

websitebroke (996163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670989)

Yeah, no CMYK or 16 bit TIFF support. Supposedly, this will be changing soon. Otherwise, I'm perfectly happy with GIMP

Re:Operation and Cost? (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671159)

The lack of CMYK color is the least of GIMP's problems. I applaud the effort, but I still find it unusable (and that's all that I care about; if you can work with it then you've just saved $600++ but I can't).

Re:Operation and Cost? (0, Redundant)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671243)

don't start

Re:Operation and Cost? (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671523)

*sigh*

I gave both Photoshop 6 running very stable under Wine and The GIMP (sans Gimpshop) to my wife, who is a semi-professional photographer but has never used any photo editing applications and is a complete computer n00b.

I said pick the one that looks the easiest to you.

She picked The GIMP.

She's still had some learning curve, but she's also tried learning Photoshop, and that one seems just as hard to her.

Photoshop only seems easier to use because you've used it for a long time. Photoshop is difficult to work with, especially for a n00b.

Re:Operation and Cost? (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671403)

Most users don't even know what CMYK is. Sure the makes a difference to graphic designers, but that's a very small percentage ( .5% ) of the population.

Re:Operation and Cost? (5, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670793)

The 'news' value is that a huge, major OEM of Windows is drifting towards Linux support, which means that driver availability, support, integration, and application components get a new protagonist, and a powerful one at that.

Ideological reasons aside, it's a major deal for such a huge OEM of Microsoft to have committed to the 'enemy' camp. And as Acer is very influential in Asia, it also means that others will likely follow suit in a 'herd' effect.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671061)

And as Acer is very influential in Asia, it also means that others will likely follow suit in a 'herd' effect.
It's a good thing they won't follow suit in a Hurd effect. :P

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

greenpete (1295397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670813)

Nothing like Photo shop?! Most Linux distro's come bundled with GIMP which is a fantastic competitor to Photoshop! I agree with you on the video capture and edit point though it is still very possible.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671353)

There's a of of simple and pro stuff that isnt done.

I believe they made a GIMP with 32bpp support, but something as simple as drawing simple shapes is needlessly complex. Photoshop has simple tools for simple shapes.

But it IS getting there. And if GIMP does work for you, then use it!

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671559)

Cinepaint (Film Gimp) uses higher definition formats. I'm not sure what it uses but if it's good enough for making movies I can't see anyone complaining.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670915)

IMHO, Linuxs' failing is not that it doesn't have killer apps (such as Amorak - it's the only program, including iTunes, that doesn't make my iPod crash a few dozen times per charge). On the contrary, most of the applications I've seen in linux are shining beacons of well-thought out design and well-executed coding. The major problem is that all these wonderful programs seem very fragmented. Every program wants you to do things in it's own peculiar way, and whenever you need to fix something, it's always straight to the confusing (albeit powerful) console/CLI.

The only other problem I find is that many of the slightly-less popular programs can be nightmarish to install and configure (I'm still having a recurring dream involving RP-PPPoE).

Re:Operation and Cost? (3, Informative)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670937)

Photoshop CS2 installs perfectly under Wine and they are working on CS3.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671095)

Is it as fast (not that Photoshop is fast, but relatively speaking) or as stable? Do all of the features actually work correctly? I've installed plenty of things under Wine, but often times the software wouldn't run properly after the fact.

Re:Operation and Cost? (2, Interesting)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670725)

I wonder what they mean by "operation". Do they mean "ease of operation"? A lot can fall under that category. Security (no getting bogged down with spyware/viruses/etc), quality of the GUI, ease of updating, longer battery life--those all might fall into that category.

For me, cost is the #1 "killer app." Following a close second is apt-get update && apt-get upgrade. The security, peace of mind, wide selection of applications, and community support are also huge selling points for me.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

k3r3nsky'sr3v3ng3 (1246876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670783)

For Acer, yes. Using Linux will allow them to continue selling their lower-end laptops, and position themselves in a lower price bracket. Personally, I'm rather exited about this as I have been running Linux (Ubuntu or Mepis) on a aspire 3620 (512 MB RAM, Celeron 1.6, GMA 915) for awhile now. Unfortunately, after two years of hard abuse, (dropped it at least five times and even spilled Gatorade (an electrolyte) on it) I may have to replace it soon (before the next school year).

Re:Operation and Cost? (4, Funny)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670851)

Apparently the word "Application" has been broadened to mean "quality attributes" on a relative level when abbreviated, meaning that "low cost" and "ease of operation" (both being high quality) are "Killer Applications". I guess you could *see* how this word slip happened, being that "killer applications" are often considered "quality attributes" when marketing operating systems, mobile devices, or software/hardware packages.

[/logic]

Oh, woe is you, English Language, woe is you. Torn to shreds by marketers and businessmen. Somewhere, George Orwell is crying.

[/poetic]

I'm fine with some marketing terminology abstraction, but I'd like to say , "Hey Guy! Get a dictionary!". He could have just said "killer selling points".

Re:Operation and Cost? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670973)

[/retard]

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

Jens Egon (947467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671133)

Selling killers?

Are you talking about gladiators?

Re:Operation and Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671315)

"I'm not your guy, friend!"

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670985)

Operation and cost are killer apps?

I'm assuming "Operation" is a video game based on the popular board game, and "Cost" is some sort of accounting/budgeting application similar to Microsoft's "Money". Either that, or the article author doesn't know what the phrase 'killer apps' means.

Re:Operation and Cost? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671043)

"Applications" doesn't have to mean software, even if the usual code monkey slashdotter like myself would generally think so.

Having said that, the word is almost never interchangeable with "features" (apps can usually be called features, but it's not so clear-cut the other direction), but not necessarily the reverse), which would have been a much better word to use here.

Re:Operation and Cost? (3, Funny)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671139)

sudo apt-get install operation cost

Let me know if that works!

I'm really looking forward to the Acer Aspire One. (1)

Gigiya (1022729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670419)

Looks a lot nicer than the Eee.

do what now? (0)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670459)

Its flavour of Linux will boot in 15 seconds compared to minutes for Windows

It's been years since **any** OS has taken minutes to boot up on modern hardware. My Vista notebook, XP x64 desktop, both are up and running in under 30 seconds. My quad-core RHEL box is in the same ballpark.

Re:do what now? (3, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670511)

Ubuntu takes ~1.75 minutes to boot on my laptop and Vista a little longer.

Re:do what now? (5, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670531)

I wouldn't just count the time it takes to get a login prompt in vista. After you enter your login and password I'd say it takes at least another 30s before the hard drive stops rattling and you can get firefox up and running.

Re:do what now? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670685)

I wish it was only 30 seconds on my machine. My work laptop is a couple year old Dell D610 (Pentium M, 1.83 Ghz with two gigs of ram) and it takes 4 - 5 minutes for it to boot up to a state where I can lanuch an app. Personally, I blame all the shit that Global IT has running on startup (Symantic protection agent, norton antivirus, asset management, etc.)

Re:do what now? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670903)

Hell, my Lenovo T61, hardly an underpowered machine, has the same damn problem, and I've disabled all things I *think* should be causing the drive to thrash (eg, prefetch, indexing).

Thanks god for Ubuntu...

Re:do what now? (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671103)

It's most likely the third-party apps causing that. I mean, 4 - 5 minutes? That's insane.

My Acer laptop boots to a login prompt within about 30 seconds, and once I'm there, I'm only about 5 - 10 seconds away from using my computer.

Re:do what now? (2, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671127)

Exactly. Of course, most of that seems like the fault of the 5000 other programs that feel they need to run at startup. Antivirus stuff seems like the worst offender, but hey, its Windows so you can't boot without it!

Re:do what now? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671371)

Absolutely - I can typically get to the Windows desktop far quicker than a Linux one. I believe that the desktop environment is one of the last things Linux loads, after all the background processes - by the time I'm in K (or Gnome, or Ice or whatever else I'm using at the time) everything seems ready to go. Contrast this to Windows, where it can be anything from 30 seconds to a few minutes after the desktop appears before it is usable, depending on the number of background processes still to load. (And allow me to preempt any 'it's not usable, even then' jokes.)

Re:do what now? (5, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670535)

Well, perhaps these notebooks won't have hardware powerful enough to boot Vista in less than a few minutes.

Besides, Linux can be tweaked. Acer may tweak both the kernel and the userland to optimize it just for their hardware; they would not be able to do that with Windows of any flavor.

Re:do what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670583)

You've obviously never run Windows XP Media Center Edition!

Re:do what now? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670605)

I just witnessed a brand-new Toshiba laptop/luggable with full Vista take over 10 minutes to boot. I suspect crapware. I wonder if Linux will ever fall to that plague?

Re:do what now? (4, Interesting)

cephah (1244770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670623)

I beg to differ. I have a Pentium 4 3.0 GHz (I still consider that modern hardware) and it takes me over five minutes from I turn the computer on 'till everything is up and running in XP, and I'm not a typical user. I've disabled many bloated services and my taskbar do not have the 20+ icons you usually see novice users having. In comparison, I'm dual booting and it takes less than a minute for me to boot Ubuntu (not that I'm trying to troll here but it was mentioned in the topic).

Re:do what now? (3, Insightful)

Trashman (3003) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670865)

Since you didn't mention it, based on your account, I'm guessing that are running with with 512MB of RAM (or less.) or you have Spyware loading up somewhere.

My AthlonXP 3200 2.2Ghz w/ 1GB of ram boots XP in a little over 1 minute, from a cold boot.

Re:do what now? (3, Interesting)

Chirs (87576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670671)

My HP desktop takes 30 seconds just to get through the BIOS startup.

Re:do what now? (3, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671021)

My HP desktop takes 30 seconds just to get through the BIOS startup.
My at home Dell does the same thing. I don't know what the grandparent is smoking, but when I boot up my work machine in the morning, I go get a cup of coffee and come back to it still loading. It's a Dual processor dual core Xenon with 8GB RAM running XP-64.

Re:do what now? (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671041)

And my Dell laptop is up to desktop in about 45s from cold. Not hibernating (issues with the sound driver for Intel HD Audio in Linux... doesn't un-sleep properly.)

When I had it running under Vista (when it left the factory), it was about 1m30 to boot. Under XP MCE 2005, it was about 1m15... I still dual boot with XP, because the bluetooth control software for my Nokia phone is XP-only, and because some of the games I play do not work under WINE.

A lot of what goes into determining your boot time is factors like hard drive speed, and how many services you have running... admittedly, a 30s POST is bordering on obscene, but that could have something to do with your hardware configuration (master/slave conflict, maybe?), or you could be in need of a new BIOS.

Re:do what now? (1)

zhiwenchong (155773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670841)

I agree, and I'm not sure boot times are all that relevant these days.

I usually just put my notebook to sleep instead of shutting it down. (the only times I shut it down are for system updates and stuff). So, it's "instant-on" for me.... but then again I have an Apple notebook. But I suspect it's the same with most other notebooks.

Even on my Dell desktop (running Ubuntu 8.04), it only takes 3-4 seconds to wake up from sleep.

Re:do what now? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670859)

You forget that we are talking about low-end notebooks: the article specifically mentions the perceived market advantage Acer will incur in the $200 price range, since a Windows license adds about $50, which is a large percentage of that cost.

Since the notebooks are low-end, we expect them to have relatively poorer specs. So, Windows (and everything) will take longer to boot--a minute seems reasonable. They are arguing that because they custom-tailored Linux to the hardware specifications, and because of inherent advantages in the Linux model, it boots more quickly. Sounds fine to me!

Is it an Acer? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670873)

I'm willing to guess, however, that it's not an acer. You're not likely to see quad-core on them, and last time I played with a brand-new acer (abouy 7 months ago) it came with Vista, the full Norton suite, and a whopping 512MB of RAM.

Trust me... boot-time was not pretty on that machine.
Acer is likely shooting for the upper-low-end consumer (those that want a semi-fast CPU, more than say an "eeePC", but still skimp on many details), and their machines as they come simply don't run well with bulky operating systems.

Having run Ubuntu on a few of these, I'd say it does handle better than Vista though, but part of that I can attribute to the lack of Norton and all the other crapware as well.

Re:Is it an Acer? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670957)

My Vista notebook is a $300 HP. Probably comparable. It does have a gig of RAM, however. The quad core was the RHEL box.

Re:do what now? (1)

koalapeck (1137045) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671081)

Indeed. Takes my PC less than 20 seconds to boot into Vista, and the hardware isn't anything special.

Re:do what now? (1, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671109)

Even more so, why even boot a computer at all anymore? My 5 years old lap-top can stay 2-3 days in sleep mode, and wakes up from it in 5 seconds. My desktop machine can wake up from -hibernating- in about 15 seconds (though I prefer sleep mode, especially since Vista's implementation is pretty cool).

The only time I see a reboot is when windows update requires it... (and even then I don't really feel it, since I reboot the machine when I'm going to bed)

Re:do what now? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671201)

OS X usually takes a couple minutes on my MBP before it's ready for me to use. Of course, I have a ton of crap that I have run at boot time that slows it way down, but it's still a lot slower than I'd care for. Thankfully, my reboots are typically limited to major software updates and dealing with stupid printer drivers that force one every other blue moon (fuck you, Kodak).

Re:do what now? (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671207)

It's been years since **any** OS has taken minutes to boot up on modern hardware. My Vista notebook, XP x64 desktop, both are up and running in under 30 seconds.

The thing I notice about Windows is that it *looks* like it is up and running, but it takes another minute or two before it actually does anything.

Re:do what now? (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671385)

The modern Dell XP rig in our office takes about 40 seconds to desktop and then about a full minute to actually do the things tell it to.

Re:do what now? (1)

MeMeMeMe (1073430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671417)

My MS-DOS system has a rather speedy boot too! :-)

Re:do what now? (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671499)

Wow, very impressive! BeOS booted from the GRUB screen to a *fully* responsive GUI in 14s on my Celeron333 with 128Mo of RAM, and BeOS was a modern OS (memory protection, GUI, etc) without much difference with Linux or Windows for desktop usage.

It's nice to see that you only need a quadcore to boot more than twice slowly (remember those 14s included the time to startup and autologin into the equivalent of KDE or Gnome). ;-)

'Article' ? (-1, Offtopic)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670477)

I'm counting a subject line and exactly 9 full sentences below that.

Ah well, not that it matters if you don't read it anyway, and comments will surely be more interesting than the story (as usual).

I'm not suprised (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670487)

Having experienced Vista on a $500 Acer laptop (click, wait several minutes, click, repeat ad nauseum.) I can well understand why they are going with Linux. Vista is completely unusable on these machines!

Acer. Uh uhuh. (3, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670575)

I was looking for a laptop about a year ago (I ended up getting a Thinkpad after a nasty return process).

I went to the Circuit City cause I had a cc from them and I get points and all. I started looking at the brands offered: Gateway, IBM, Sony, Toshiba, some noname brand I didnt recognize, and acer.

Gateway looked nice but wasnt feature laden for what I wanted (only had 1g ram).
I saw what the current IBM's looked like, but couldnt afford it at the time.. but I wanted it.
Sony: Root-kit fiasco. Hell no.
Toshiba looked nice but was a little too flimsy for my taste. It felt the cowling on the lip of the base was going to pop off.
Nonames: Had little lights in the laptop you could turn on and off in the bios. They were bargain basement cause they had as low as 512MB ram. Pass.
HP. I got suckered in buying a dv9660us because it was sleek, seemed to run nice, and had most of the ports I needed. In the end, the nice sensor bar failed for the second time and I demanded my money back. I used this money to buy a T61 decked out ;D I'm happy now along with my 8-10 hr battery life

Acer: Looked decent and clean. There were a lot of switches on the body turning on and off components via ACPI calls (like turn on and off wifi). There was one though... The bluetooth switch. It was on all the models but NONE HAD BLUETOOTH. How shoddy was that? The switch just sort-of glided back and forth like when a mechanical microswitch fails. This thing felt cheaper than the cheapest no-namer.

If their new line is under 300, I'd consider it. Because thats I can afford to lose.

Re:Acer. Uh uhuh. (3, Informative)

Randon (982444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671251)

Actually, I bought that Acer laptop at CC for (450.00 I think) and have been very happy with it for the money--no problems for the year I've had it (except that the internal wifi card won't work under Linux). The bluetooth switch is useless (it works on their high end laptops), but the wifi hardware switch has come in handy a couple of times when I've had to boot Vista but wanted to keep Vista off the network. As far as I can tell, the switches are there to let you conserve battery power by explicitly disabling the wireless networking hardware.

Re:Acer. Uh uhuh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671621)

I have the button too \o/

My acer story:

I bought an aspire 1511WLMi about 4 years ago. The specs looked fairly good A64-3000+ (at the time, the Athlon64 was pretty good), 512Mb ram, 60Gb HDD, geforce fx5700go... The price was fair for the hardware, so I bought the brick.

The harddrive died after 5 months or so (repairs take 3weeks+, I couldn't miss it for that long so I replaced it myself). After that the dvd-drive broke down, the case started cracking naturally (known issue), the thing ran hot (it seemed they used some sort of plastic as cooling transport between the cpu and the cooler (arctic silver solved that one)) etc etc. They obviously didn't have _any_ linux support.

I still use the brick, but everytime I see it, it makes me feel bad...

So now I hear something good about acer and I actually wonder if I should review my opinion on this evil company. I guess I'll just buy a Lenovo soon.

moral of the story: don't trust acer, carefully see what they have built before you buy it!

Will this be the year? (2, Funny)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670585)

Will this be the year of linux on the UMPC?
Alternate troll:
Is linux ready for the UMPC?

Operation and Cost (1, Redundant)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670621)

Are killer apps?

I know Microsoft has a stable release of the latter, with good market penetration. Maybe ACER can edge in on the market for the former.

Battery Life (3, Informative)

Facetious (710885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670637)

the open source operating system can extend battery life from five to seven hours
Here I sit, typing on my Ubuntu running Acer TravelMate 4674WLMi that won't last two hours unplugged. I really hope the above quoted sentence is true.

Re:Extended Battery Life is a killer feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670797)

That would be a major selling point for me.

Re:Battery Life (1)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671277)

I had a laptop that ran XP for the first year I owned it. The battery lasted maybe 2 hours if I was lucky. I loaded up Ubuntu and to my surprise I got at least another 30 minutes of run time and the thing ran MUCH cooler. My guess is the CPU spent more time idle in Linux than in Windows.

Here's the article :D (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670643)

Acer has stated that it will be pushing Linux aggressively on its laptops and netbooks..

The company is already heavily promoting Linux for its low cost ultra-portable netbook range out later this year, but senior staff have said that Acer will also push Linux on its laptops.

Acer has already started selling Linux in its Media PC business but this should now spread, according to Gianpiero Morbello, vice president of marketing and brand at Acer.

"We have shifted towards Linux because of Microsoft," he said. "Microsoft has a lot of power and it is going to be difficult, but we will be working hard to develop the Linux market."

Acer sees two killer apps with Linux on computers: operation and cost. Its flavour of Linux will boot in 15 seconds compared to minutes for Windows, and the open source operating system can extend battery life from five to seven hours.

At the same time, the company expects that the price differential of Linux will make the offering attractive for consumers at the low-cost end of the market.

"Microsoft's operating system typically costs around £50 per unit," said David Drummond, UK managing director at Acer. "On a £1,000 PC that is peanuts, but on a £200 computer it is a major issue."

It's Inevitable! (5, Interesting)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670645)

I'm glad to see this type of product coming to consumers with a marketing force behind them (Acer, ASUS, Dell etc...)This product is perfect for my parents, grandmother and myself!

Before the M$ bash fest starts let's make this clear. These companies are not using Linux distros because they hate Microsoft or any of that other nonsense. It is purely a financial decision. They can make more money with Linux while at the same time offer the consumers a product that can be judged by its functionality and other merits. Not by a third party having their branding all over it.

If these companies could make more money using M$ operating systems, they would in a hearbeat.

Ok... now that we are clear, The Ubuntu fan boi in me wants say. Sweet it's finally the year of the Linux DeskTo... Lapto... NetBook?

hmm. (3, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670659)

At the same time, the company expects that the price differential of Linux will make the offering attractive for consumers at the low-cost end of the market.

"Microsoft's operating system typically costs around £50 per unit," said David Drummond, UK managing director at Acer. "On a £1,000 PC that is peanuts, but on a £200 computer it is a major issue."

that is until MS reduces the price of windows (OPLC) send in the big guns (Ballmer, Gates) or tries a underhand tactic like target the large corporate buyers. with a sack full of cash and a lot to use expect them to utilise every dirty drink in the book.

though, on balance, I think the winds are turning on this issue, and frankly - its about bloody time.

disclaimer? me & linux - eight years and counting.

Re:hmm. (1)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671287)

It will be interesting to see if Dell takes this same mindset in the next few years. With the market pushing for smaller and cheaper devices, their "alliance" with Ubuntu might be increasingly important. Even if the marginal cost of Windows to the OEM gets pushed to $25, that's still (obviously) a lot higher percentage than Ubuntu: 0%

Ambiguous statement alert. (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670661)

"... the open source operating system can extend battery life from five to seven hours"

Does this mean that it can extend the life of the battery between five and seven hours LONGER than normal, or does it mean that it can extend the life of a battery that otherwise would last five hours to seven?

The former is really good to hear. The latter has me wondering... which laptops normally can get 5 hours of use from a battery? I'm lucky if I get 2 on mine.

Re:Ambiguous statement alert. (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670875)

On my Dell Vostro 1500 (I have the 9 cell battery, aka "The handle"), I can get about 4 1/2 hours with the display turned down to about 1/2 brightness. This is WinXP.

Re:Ambiguous statement alert. (1)

cbeley (1071560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671171)

I have the Dell Vostro 1400 also with the 9 cell battery and with on-board graphics. I get around 5 to 6 hours on the lowest to medium brightness. It's pretty nice in that regard. I'm running gentoo linux by the way.

Re:Ambiguous statement alert. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670949)

which laptops normally can get 5 hours of use from a battery?

My Toshiba Libretto managed it.

Re:Ambiguous statement alert. (1)

comm2k (961394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671195)

which laptops normally can get 5 hours of use from a battery?
HP/Compaq Evo n620c with two batteries (one in multibay), Intel Pentium M - 1.5 GHz, lasts around 7-8 hours. YES!
Why (except for size) get those Atom-thingies if something from 2003/2004 can do the same with pretty much same (or more?) speed, 14" screen and normal laptop keyboard. I find it ridiculous that CPU power usage or battery technology has only improved *that much* over the last years.

Battery Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670663)

I'm all for the Linux option but I think the extended battery life has more to do w/ the solid state storage for the Linux systems (as opposed to the mechanical HD for Windows systems) than the operating system itself.

Re:Battery Life (2, Interesting)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671411)

They mean when comparing two identical systems, one using a Linux OS and one using a Windows OS. In this case, the battery life is much greater with Linux, and the solid state storage which is most commonly found in ultra portables (with linux) adds even more battery life.

2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23670767)

2008 is truly the year of Linux on the desktop^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlaptop

It's a trick! (1, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670811)

Acer is going to ruin Linux's reputation with their crappy hardware! Only one company is clever enough to think of a scheme as devious as this one.

Microsoft!

Re:It's a trick! (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23670947)

That statement seems a bit over the top

Re:It's a trick! (1)

jlindy (1028748) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671279)

That statement seems a bit over the top
You've apparently never used an Acer ;)

Re:It's a trick! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671483)

I'm typing on an acer laptop now, the week I got it both brackets cracked. Opted for glue over warranty replacement and it's been running AMD64 gentoo fine ever since (4 years).

It's outlasted desktops built with more expensive and higher quality components, and it was dirt cheap. Not bad for such a shoddy POS eh?

Re: It's a trick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671327)

Did you mean:
It's a trap!

Tux? (3, Funny)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671147)

looking to push Tux on many of their upcoming laptops and netbooks.

That's GNU/Tux to you, freedom hater!

Re:Tux? (1)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671205)

Tux just wants to be free!

Long live the King$ (1)

freeasinrealale (928218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671197)

06/06/08. I hereby declare the end of the M$ hegemony. M$ is dead. Long live M$. Goodbye Bill.

It makes a lot of sense, surprised people noticed (3, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671333)

Linux is VERY customizable and can be trimmed down to a very small kernel. The number of utilities installed can be reduced as well. OS features not used, need not run.

On a laptop, Linux makes sense because if it has nothing to do, it sleeps. Windows, like rust, never sleeps. CPUs really do run cooler on Linux with a lower load.

Linux is free. It can be adjusted to fit your hardware. OpenOffice.org has ODF and it is an undisputed ISO standard. Linux plays nice on almost all networks.

Why WOULDN'T a company put this OS on a laptop?

Yeah..Winds of change (1)

ArdCoder (1119487) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671343)

Looks like GNU/Linux sort of has monopoly atleast on the low end laptop market. I would soon go in for my first laptop that runs LINUX. Still thinking which brand to go for though..

boot time comparison? (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671421)

I am wondering if they are comparing apples to apples on that one. If they took their fresh, clean, off the shell acer laptop and compared it to a fresh, clean, off the shell toshiba laptop, its not a fair comparison.

the toshiba will be filled with crapware that bogs down startup. if its a fresh windows install, this wouldnt be the case.

More of the chinese companies will do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671425)

No sense being beholden to an American Company. This way, there is little dependancies or money flowing to USA. Once Linux takes off, then it will be on to Software, while American firms stay stuck in Windows in the same fashion that many were in Dos when MS came out with Windows.

Laptops without a sleep function (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671479)

Never got the sleep function to work in any laptop from the Toshibas, to the Dells, to the Clevos. Can't believe anyone would try to sustain a business of Linux portables unless they were intended for desktop replacements.

Huh?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23671487)

...the open source operating system can extend battery life from five to seven hours.


Sure, Linux will let you use less powerful hardware, but I don't understand why running a different OS on the same hardware would appreciably effect battery life. Can somebody explain this to me?

Will Acer change directions and reap the cash? (4, Interesting)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 6 years ago | (#23671555)

Two Scenarios

1. Acer will stay the course, and refuse incentives from MS.
2. MS will give Acer such a good deal that they will announce "it turns out that Linux was a bad fit for most of our product line".

We will now see what kink of company Acer is.
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