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ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Share

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the year-of-linux-on-the-arm dept.

Operating Systems 296

Charbax writes "Last April, Microsoft argued that it controlled the netbook OS market for devices sold in certain Microsoft-friendly US retail stores, while ABI Research claims that Linux actually has 32% of the worldwide netbook market, and that its market-share is growing. At the recent Netbook World Summit in Paris France, Aaron J. Seigo, Community leader at the KDE Foundation, and Arnaud Laprévote, CTO at Mandriva Linux, give us their estimation for next year's Linux market share (video) in the consumer laptop market. Their estimation is that Linux will dominate in ARM-powered laptops and that those may take over a significant share of the overall laptop market by their significantly cheaper prices (as low as $80), longer battery life (as long as 20-40 hours on a small battery using the Pixel Qi screens), as well as lower size and weight. Running some of the Chromium OS builds for ARM available shortly and having a full browser experience on those cheaper and better ARM-powered Linux laptops could make it a significant mass market success to shake up the Intel and Microsoft consumer PC/laptop monopoly in its boots."

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First (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415162)

Yeaaahhh!!!!

Re:First (-1, Offtopic)

lolwhat (1282234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415204)

Interesting post, is it yours too?

ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Share (0, Offtopic)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415192)

Like I heard some kids say last year, I would rather have a crap laptop with the internet than a nice laptop without (said about a Christmas present last year that was a disappointment)

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

farlukar (225243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415442)

Like I heard some kids say last year, I would rather have a crap laptop with the internet than a nice laptop without (said about a Christmas present last year that was a disappointment)

And what does “having the internet” have to do with the OS?

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415618)

Good point, my train of thought was along the lines of a cheap internet machine for many (especially the youths). At these prices (ARM processors are cheap) it could be a cheap fashion accessory.

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

snikulin (889460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415666)

I would argue that "Internet" for kids is mostly Flash

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415586)

That's nice. Can you even get a laptop/netbook/whatever without wifi these days?

Now, if they meant always on, if I had a kid I'd much rather give him a nice $1000 laptop rather than a crap laptop and $500+/year cellular data subscription.

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

cl0s (1322587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415680)

you can get Netbooks now a days for $199 + 2 year contract. Still I would say its a waste, get a smart phone so you can tether to your laptop.

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415870)

So it only costs $1200 or so? That's one hell of a Christmas present.

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (0, Flamebait)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416320)

Now, if they meant always on, if I had a kid I'd much rather give him a nice $1000 laptop rather than a crap laptop and $500+/year cellular data subscription.

LoL, you would give a child a $1000 laptop... You must be some kind of idiot...

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416554)

You've heard the phrase "college kid" have you not? What's wrong, would you not trust your child with a computer to take to college? You must be some kind of idiot. Of course, you sound like you're somewhere in the under fifteen range. If so, I can certainly agree that you shouldn't be trusted with a laptop.

I am french as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415194)

Do I also have such a shitty english?

Re:I am french as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415696)

Yes.

Except Chrome OS is shit. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415230)

I've showed a few friends and relatives some of the virtual machine builds of Chromium OS. These are "everyday people". A couple of them are school teachers, one is a doctor, one a pharmacist, and the other a college student. None of them are overly technical.

Basically, they all said it was shit. They didn't like how they couldn't play their existing games or use their existing apps, for instance.

Only the college student uses GMail. The rest of them use Outlook or Thunderbird and their ISP's email system, so they didn't see any benefit there.

One of the teachers already has a MacBook from her school, and says it works perfectly fine at the Starbucks when she gets her morning coffee. Plus she can use all of her other apps.

None of them said they'd use Chrome OS on a regular basis. It just didn't do anything useful for them.

Re:Except Chrome OS is shit. (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415344)

I won't say it's shit, but I agree, it looks more like an internet cafe web terminal than an everyday OS.

Re:Except Chrome OS is shit. (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415426)

and it doesn't even come with support for a coin validator....
*shakes head in disappointment*

Re:Except Chrome OS is shit. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415402)

True. At least put Xubuntu on it, minimalist, fast and you are not restricted to privacy-invading inefficient online web-apps.

An ARM Netbook running Chromium is a waste of perfectly good hardware. Its like buying a 1 litre beer bottle with only 10mL of beer inside in it. (sorry I hate car analogies)

Re:Except Chrome OS is shit. (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415468)

I don't think browser-only is the way to go, but I don't think the lack of existing apps or games is the problem. Look at the iphone and the app store. A desktop-class browser (minus the flash and java) plus games, apps, and utilities designed for the device plus an app store could be a success.

Re:Except Chrome OS is shit. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415926)

Why is this guy modded funny? What he says is true. Most people are not geeks. The only thing they think when they buy some app or game at Best Buy and then it won't install on Chrome or Linux is "that's shit, I'm going back to Windows, which at least works".

Re:Except Chrome OS is shit. (5, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416570)

I think you're missing a very, very big point here, and that is that even if there is a Windows 7 port to ARM, those people would still not be able to play their existing games, or use their existing apps, because those games and apps were written for x86 architectures. So the when the ARM netbooks come out, you will have your choice between Linux and the vast majority of Linux's apps, or Windows and the vast minority of Windows apps.

OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415314)

Linux is expected to dominate ARM-based netbooks because Windows doesn't run on ARM, full stop. That math's not hard.

The question is whether ARM-based netbooks will sell at all. It doesn't really matter what OS a netbook is running. Nobody buys any kind of computer to run an OS. They buy computers to run apps. You can argue all you want that Mac OS X is more elegant than Windows, or whatever -- but if you couldn't get a word processor for it, nobody would use it.

Chrome OS runs on a Linux kernel, but it offers exactly one app: a Web browser. If an inexpensive device that does nothing except access the Web is attractive to people, they will buy them. I don't really see how that will "shake up the Intel and Microsoft consumer PC/laptop monopoly in its boots," (sic) though. A Chrome OS device is not competitive with consumer PCs or laptops.

So sure, we can expect market share gains for Linux in the future -- in the same sense that Linux has dominated the market for home wireless routers, a market where Windows is a total failure. As single-use embedded systems, Chrome OS devices seem like a natural opportunity for Linux, which is already gaining popularity in the embedded systems market.

I'd be more impressed if Android (which also runs on the Linux kernel) made real inroads into the smartphone market. I keep hearing how many models of Android phones are coming, at the same time I keep hearing how disappointed developers are with the Android software market (in other words, nobody's buying).

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415424)

I expect that if ARM netbooks take off, then running own apps on a simple linux server at home will also perhaps take off. Everyone has a dsl connection, and a dynaci DNS is a no brainer. Then with the advent of JS common etc for server apps and nosql databases; installing your software on your home Ubuntu Linux server will be a drag and drop exercise. i can image many people running their own Google like apps at home. gmail, documents, etc Ged

Seriously? (4, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415474)

Then with the advent of JS common etc for server apps and nosql databases; installing your software on your home Ubuntu Linux server will be a drag and drop exercise. i can image many people running their own Google like apps at home. gmail, documents, etc Ged

You must not have to support ANY family or friends when it comes to their PCs.

Most are not capable of doing such a thing. And frankly, if they were, they wouldn't bother. Hell, *I'm* capable and wouldn't go to such trouble. Just give me a netbook that runs what I want and I'm a happy camper.

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (2, Insightful)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415852)

Yeah sounds simple and fun to us geeks but try explaining to the average joe what a server even is.

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415568)

The question is whether ARM-based netbooks will sell at all

They well could do. As I said below 2008 showed that if a laptop is cheap enough it will sell. I don't know about Google's approach, it would get some kid on facebook , so for many it would be good enough.
I hope they do well, then every other company will come out with there own Linux offering.

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416326)

They well could do. As I said below 2008 showed that if a laptop is cheap enough it will sell.

That's exactly right. If Microsoft's own history shows one thing, over and over, it is that "cheap and good enough" will win out over "expensive, slick and over-engineered".

Of course, MS would be aware of this. So we'd expect them to try and leverage their market position to make linux netbooks go away, either by persuading retail chains not to stock them, or OEMs to stop selling them.

Hmmm....

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (2, Insightful)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415646)

Typical netbook apps (Firefox, OpenOffice, Pidgin) are already ported to ARM Linux, so ARM netbooks may fill the niche that used to be occupied by ASUS eeePC 701 and similar devices. As x86 netbooks move to "small, inexpensive laptop" niche, ARM devices may fulfill the role of "small inexpensive device for web browsing/word processing". Their competitive advantages over x86 netbooks are lower price and better battery life.

The best thing about ARM-based netbook (and the worst thing for an average consumer) is that you cannot put Windows on it. So, every ARM netbook sold is a plus to overall Linux market share.

Suggest looking to Japan (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415868)

Linux is expected to dominate ARM-based netbooks because Windows doesn't run on ARM, full stop.

The small internet appliance market sort of started in Japan, so it might be worthwhile to look at what's happened to the trend there. The same application and comfort level issues existed there and yet the netbook and appliance market has continued to grow, and continued to poach traditional PC and laptop sales.

30 years ago I used to hear people ask,"What would I do with a PC?" 15 years ago companies would tell me they get along just fine without the internet and electronic mail. I heard the same thing about iPods and iPhones. So when average users don't see the utility of new technology, that doesn't mean you should close the book on it.

I've noticed over the years that price and efficiency eventually win out. Every time Linux netbooks break a price barrier, $150 then $100, you'll see more people take an interest.

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (3, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416004)

Also, Linux has tons over tons of apps that run on ARM, as opposed to any other OS out there. I mean my portage repository has 13,628 packages. Nearly all of them run on ARM. And that is only the main repository! (With over 180 smaller ones.)

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416328)

The question is whether ARM-based netbooks will sell at all. It doesn't really matter what OS a netbook is running. Nobody buys any kind of computer to run an OS. They buy computers to run apps. You can argue all you want that Mac OS X is more elegant than Windows, or whatever -- but if you couldn't get a word processor for it, nobody would use it.

Good point, but you mix a couple of factors together. Nobody would buy an OS that didn't offer a word processor, no, but sometimes the particular word processor it offers isn't important. Some people do buy a computer to run Word, but most buy a computer to do word processing. If you can offer equivalent functionality then they'll go with the machine that otherwise best serves their needs. Since both Windows and OS X offer word processors, some people do buy Macs because of the OS.

Chrome does offer a word processor - Google Docs. Whether it (and all the other apps people use) works sufficiently well to provide equivalent functionality to Word, Open Office, Works, or whatever is important, but so is the OS.

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416330)

The question is whether ARM-based netbooks will sell at all. It doesn't really matter what OS a netbook is running. Nobody buys any kind of computer to run an OS. They buy computers to run apps. You can argue all you want that Mac OS X is more elegant than Windows, or whatever -- but if you couldn't get a word processor for it, nobody would use it.

"This archive contains 27841 software packages." Yup, there's clearly no software available for ARM. (That's from the Ubuntu Karmic ARM port -- Debian also has a port and I'm sure some smaller distros do also have one).

Porting is not (typically) a problem for open source software.

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416344)

Doesn't Windows Mobile (WinCE) run on ARM?

I can see Microsoft slappin' the "Microsoft TAX" on these ARM netbooks by sticking their Mobile OS  on it, with a few tweeks... >_<

Re:OS is nothing. Apps are everything. (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416352)

I'd say it'll have a niche, I just wouldn't count on it being a really huge one, or it being their "main" PC by any stretch. I for one would pay less than $100 for one, just to have a little laptop to surf when I'm at the doctor's office, but I doubt I would get on the thing more than an hour a week, if at that. But most guys here seem to act like if the ordinary folks were just exposed to Linux, or that if you can find the perfect "Average Joe" distro, that suddenly Windows would find itself on the ropes. But it ain't the OS, hell working PC repair since the days of Win 3.x I can say that most folks don't know WHAT OS they are running, it is the little programs I call the "gottas".

You see every average Joe and Jane I've worked for has had 1 or more programs that according to them they "gotta have", period. And they ain't gonna care how pretty or secure your OS is if it can't run the "gotta", well it just ain't gonna be real useful to them. Like the retired graphic artist down the hall, who even though he has a nice new AMD XP box I built, had to be taught by me how to use a KVM switch and have me build him a NOS 1.5GHz Win2K box because his new AMD wouldn't run his "gotta", Macromedia Xres. The girl whose PC I just fixed brought her camera software, which turns out she has carried over through 3 cameras now, because that software is her "gotta".

So you see it isn't that Linux is bad, or that folks just need to be exposed, it is the "gotta have" software that keeps folks in Windows. A lot of my customers are looking at either sticking with XP or getting Windows 7 Pro simply because their "gotta" won't run on Windows 7 without XP mode, and without their "gotta" it just isn't that useful to them. So while I'm sure it will sell some to guys like me that know what ARM is and just want something cheap, I don't know how well that will translate to Joe and Jane. I have a feeling that they are gonna have to warn folks at retail or have a lot of these things get returned when folks that don't know about anything but Windows, which there is quite a few of those, believe me, try to install their "gotta" and find that Windows x86 don't run on Linux ARM. And if they lock it down with Chrome I don't think even I'd take it. I want to choose what apps I have and have the option to change distro, thanks anyway.

As long as I can run the apps I want, cool. (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415318)

I run Linux full time, with an occasional Virtualbox WinXP session running (for one stinking application).

If I can run everything I currently run on my x86-based netbook/laptop, I'm all for it.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can run everything I need just yet.

Forget the "Cloud" - it doesn't interest me.

Re:As long as I can run the apps I want, cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416116)

Virtual machines rely on the underlying architecture being the same. You can't run a virtual machine on arm for an os that thinks its on x86.

You'll have to find a replacement app.

Re:As long as I can run the apps I want, cool. (1)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416362)

Actually you can, but then the "virtual machine" is called an "emulator". With qemu you can install ARM Linux on a VM running on Windows x86_64. The performance is abysmal, though.

Christ, AGAIN!? (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415328)

We keep seeing this story over and over and over again.

WHERE ARE THE NETBOOKS!?

Please, direct me to a ARM-based Linux netbook I can buy from a store right now. Any one. Even if I have to climb the dominating tower of Atom-based Windows netbooks to reach them.

Can we all agree to put a moratorium on this story until the product it's talking about *actually exists*? Thanks.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415364)

I wanted to say exactly this.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415444)

I agree. Where the hell are the arm based networks with a graphics card, and 64 GB SSD. NVideo Ion & Ion2 is nowhere to be seen. I think there are 4 laptops in existence only. The market for these is huge i think. I have been waiting a year for a decent one to come to market.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415454)

The Archos 5 Internet Tablet.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416008)

Go and ask 20 random people in Best Buy or Wal Mart who Archos is. If we weren't posting AC I'd send you a dollar for every one person who knows they make electronics, but you'd need to send me a dollar for every "Who?" or "What?" response. I think I'd be at least $19 richer at the end of the day.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416282)

Not a netbook.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416564)

Mine seems to be defective. The bottom part with all the buttons is missing, and i can't fold it in half to close it.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415460)

Good point. In 2007 we heard the ARM netbooks would hit in 2008. In 2008, we heard they'd be huge in 2009. In 2009, we heard maybe they'll be here in 2010. Somebody sell me a Snapdragon based netbook for a reasonable price and I'll buy it.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

Eluan (788868) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415464)

I remember seeing some ARM netbooks in one of those china importers, but (surprise) it ran Windows CE by default!

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (4, Funny)

dgym (584252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415518)

But we were all told about the 10 ARM netbooks that would appear on the market by Q3 2009. It is now Q4 so they must exist, and you must be wrong.

I'm pretty sure this is a Microsoft stunt to make their market share look better. If you can't make geeks buy Windows, then make sure they don't buy anything at all because of all the sweet smelling vapourware on the perpetual horizon. Then again I'll blame them for most things, including a sock I lost.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415668)

I'm pretty sure this is a Microsoft stunt to make their market share look better. If you can't make geeks buy Windows, then make sure they don't buy anything at all because of all the sweet smelling vapourware on the perpetual horizon. Then again I'll blame them for most things, including a sock I lost.

That's nothing, when Vista came out I lost a pair of underpants... while I'd been wearing them!

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (5, Informative)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415526)

Here's one (and I have the SmartQ7 model): http://www.smartdevices.com.cn/ [smartdevices.com.cn]

Nice and cheap.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415690)

Where to purchase: http://en.smartdevices.com.cn/Buy/ [smartdevices.com.cn]

I'm not in China, Singapore, or "Hongkong".

Sorry. I should have specified "in the US." How about this: when I can get one at Best Buy, THEN post the story.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416030)

But then how many people here do you REALLY think shop at Worst Buy?

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (3, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416118)

FWIW, the story talks about "Linux Market Share" of netbook sales. Given that "China, Singapore, and "Hongkong"" have a much larger combined population than the US, availability of the devices under discussion in those markets *does* have the potential to significantly affect "Linux Market Share" of netbook sales.

To make a bad analogy, let's suppose that we had a story posted on Slashdot that claimed "In Korea, only old people use email.". Would it then be at all relevant for you to say "Show me a young person "in the US" who doesn't use email, or don't post the story?" No. Nor is it relevant now to gripe about non-availability "in the US" of a device which is purported to have some percentage of the *worldwide* market.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (5, Interesting)

c41rn (880778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416194)

Well, you can't buy this one in BestBuy, but you can buy it in the US. I'm planning to order one after I recover monetarily from christmas. It's an ARM based notebook running Linux, and it converts in to a tablet. http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/ [alwaysinnovating.com]

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416388)

You can't drop $150 on an ARM based notebook? Oh right, that thing costs $399... Not quite what we're talking about here.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416490)

Here's one (and I have the SmartQ7 model): http://www.smartdevices.com.cn/ [smartdevices.com.cn]

Where to purchase: http://en.smartdevices.com.cn/Buy/ [smartdevices.com.cn]

I'm not in China, Singapore, or "Hongkong".

Sorry. I should have specified "in the US." How about this: when I can get one at Best Buy, THEN post the story.

If you had cared to search before you posted... http://www.allpmp.com/ [allpmp.com]

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415674)

Here's another: Touch Book [alwaysinnovating.com]

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415704)

All the netbooks I ever bought were Linux based ones, even though none of them runs the original Xandros anymore. But with Ubuntu Netbook Remix they are going strong.
Why you can't get hold of a Linux based netbook is beyond me. It wasn't hard for me. I just entered "linux netbook" in the search field of the online store of my choice, and there they were.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416198)

He asked for "ARM-based Linux netbook", not any Linux netbook.

Re:Christ, AGAIN!? (1)

mrphoton (1349555) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416230)

I saw this windows CE netbook on sale in the UK: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=257308 [maplin.co.uk] Maplin is an electronics/gizmo store, but I have seen one or two others on sale in medium sized chains. I has been on sale for a year or so so I guess it can not be doing too badly.

Vaporware (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415360)

I hope I'm mistaken. Is there actually an ARM-powered netbook model in the market?

Re:Vaporware (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415506)

Yes
http://www.google.com/products?q=ARM+Netbook+-atom&hl=en&aq=f

i want an ARM netbook, but... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415366)

There's no way I'm believing Linux has a 30%+ market share of netbooks right now. You can hardly find any to buy, and people want to run what they're familiar with, meaning they want Windows.

What I want is something Microsoft doesn't want me to have: an ARM netbook with a high res screen and a 20 GB SSD. So far the screen res is too low on all the netbooks I can find, and for some reason they all have spinning disks. Load it with a distro that doesn't suck, and which effectively supports the gfx chip and wireless network, and I'm there.

Re:i want an ARM netbook, but... (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415582)

My understanding is that Asia accounts for the largest portion of the netbook market. Due to price constraints, Linux comes pre-installed on more netbooks there than in the U.S. and Europe, and that's the source of the 30 percent figures you hear.

Of course, nobody is bothering to track how many of those Linux installs get wiped and replaced with a pirated copy of Windows five minutes after the boxes are opened.

Re:i want an ARM netbook, but... (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415734)

Of course, nobody is bothering to track how many of those Linux installs get wiped and replaced with a pirated copy of Windows five minutes after the boxes are opened.

With the ARM-based laptops, I'll stick my neck out and guess it's "zero".

Re:i want an ARM netbook, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415744)

Probably lot less than those Windows Installs for Linux I'd say. :p

They have already proven Linux doesn't get returned more than Windows.

Re:i want an ARM netbook, but... (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415714)

You can hardly find any to buy

I think that's why Apple opened there own stores.
Even with their longer history, higher public awareness and slicker GUI interface.

Re:i want an ARM netbook, but... (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416132)

I don't believe it either. I suspect however that people buy them with linux on them only to get the lower price and then wipe and install windows.

See? We told you! (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415370)

It's the Year Of The Linux Desktop^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Netbook!

Re:See? We told you! (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415894)

Well you know you can just use ^W to wipe the whole word, don't you ?

Twist your ARM (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415372)

I have a netbook, there are two points that would be nice. A better resolution in the more or less screen screen space, and for it to have a dual-core processor. Yes I know you can get that and more in a laptop and even for a similar price, but the size of a laptop is why I got a netbook. Dual core is nice to work on something without the computer running like it's in molasses. Would be nice to run compiz and other stuff without it bogging the netbook down.

Re:Twist your ARM (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415998)

>netbook
>compiz

you're doing it wrong

Re:Twist your ARM (2, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416298)

Maybe you need an ultraportable. I've got a 12.1" HP DV2 (AMD Neo CPU), which is kind of an hybrid between an ultraportable and a netbook. The CPU only has one core, but way faster than most Atoms.

The main problem is power consumption and therefore battery life. With a TDP of 15W, it lasts way less than a regular netbook.

ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Share (3, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415398)

This is not hard to believe because 2008 showed that if a computer is cheap enough it will sell regardless of well known OS.
I would how ever like to warn against complacency. There are warts in Linux that do not get fixed, such as the flickering screen in Ubuntu boot and shut down, despite attention from distro's (others, such as suspending a computer, are only on a minority of chip sets and can be fixed when working with a Manufacturer) It seems that Linux needs a business to focus on it and ensure that the customer experience is fully taken into account (with deference paid to hackers and community organisations such as Gnome, Kde etc).
One thing to ask your self is would Apple (or other unnamed companies operating in the OS space) allow such a case of the above screen flickering, or would it be dealt with even if the X server had to be replaced (if that is the problem)

Re:ARM-Powered Laptops To Increase Linux Market Sh (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416220)

I don’t think your argument is valid, as nobody will pay the 2000% price toll to get from a $80 smartbook with a flickering screen to a $1600 one from Apple (assuming usual Apple pricing) without that problem.

If I just have to live with flickering on startup and shutdown, and for that get a $80 smartbook... then I’ll buy a sixpack of ’em. ^^
Nobody cares about that, except Apple fanboys and art majors.

Besides: Don’t you think that when they are the manufacturer of the hardware and the software, they will get such a tiny problem fixed? ^^

qFir9st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415404)

$80 is a lot (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415448)

I can just heat some tap water if I want vapor and hot air. Let me know when I can buy a Linux laptop that runs 20 hours on one charge and doesn't cost more than $80.

ARM slow (3, Interesting)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415450)

an ARM guy came to our institute to demo their $150 ARM system, it had Ubuntu on it, and while it could play 1080p HD video, the GUI was remarkably slow for normal tasks. Responsivity matters, and my Atom netbook certainly feels faster than that ARM+Linux.

Re:ARM slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415624)

Thank you for this post. It makes things a lot simpler to decide -- I went with an atom-based netbook and ubuntu, and was wondering if I was missing anything by not going with an ARM-based netbook (ie speed, battery life, etc.)

I'm no big fan of Windows but I'm not sure that I would want to leave it completely behind. Just in case I need to use photoshop (I'm a coder but we're still expected to be able to open .psd files) I configured the netbook as a dual-boot and upgraded the RAM to 2GB.

Then again, for $150, I might just buy one as a disposable machine. Last week I was on call during a pub crawl, and had to bring my netbook with me (ssh on an iphone is not great). Were it not for a friendly bartender halfway along my route, I would have never recovered my netbook the next day.

Re:ARM slow (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415662)

It can be slow(ish) and incompatible with Photoshop, MS Word and Call of Duty. I don't care, as long as it runs a web browser, a terminal and an email client for a full day on one charge (with headroom for an aging battery) and doesn't cost more than $200. Oh, and I have to be able to actually buy it too. That seems to be the primary problem with these things.

Re:ARM slow (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416256)

Well, your choice. $150 and slow, or $600 and fast. Or anything in between.

And nobody will argue, that having the choice is a bad thing. :)

I, for one, will just buy a dozen of those for $150, and build a Beowulf cluster and a Password Swordfish style screen out of them! :D
They will *still* have a better price/performance ratio than your PC. ^^

Chrome OS (5, Interesting)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415452)

With all the hype about Chrome OS recently, I think people are forgetting that Ubuntu and Debian also have ARM ports, so you can pretty much run anything on an ARM. Of course, that wouldn't be any different from the current situation, so it probably doesn't really matter.

Re:Chrome OS (3, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415608)

FWIW, Chrome OS draws code from Ubuntu, among other projects.

Re:Chrome OS (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415844)

Yes, for all intents and purposes, Chrome OS is just a stripped down version of Ubuntu. For all of you wondering why Chrome runs so well on X11. [slashdot.org] Now you know why.

Re:Chrome OS (5, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416014)

Doesn't change the fact that it is a non-standard distro that doesn't even have X11.
I'll stick with Debian, thanks.

What about our software freedom? (4, Insightful)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415490)

Most (if not all) of those ARM devices have proprietary graphics cards, so the only way to maintain our software freedom is to use framebuffer (when possible at all).

It'll mean nothing [to dominate the ARM devices market] if our software freedom has bow before the shackles of a few companies.

Re:What about our software freedom? (4, Insightful)

Entrope (68843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415912)

A lot of these netbooks don't have graphics cards at all -- they have frame buffers and graphics accelerators that are part of the same system-on-chip that contains the CPU. (That level of integration is one of the key reasons the hardware can be so cheap.) Your point stands -- if the only way to get decent graphics acceleration is through an NDA or closed-source libraries, its extensibility and maintainability are significantly impaired.

On the bright side, both TI's OMAP series of chips and Intel's Poulsbo design use the PowerVR SGX core, so if anyone cracks that nut it should yield benefits for a lot of end users.

Re:What about our software freedom? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416316)

You are most certainly wrong here. From what I heard, they will use nVidia Terga GPUs, for which it will be pretty easy to have a driver.
Besides: What is all that talk about “software freedom”? It’s just a driver. If you really thought that to the end, you would have to only use hardware with all the specs available! And which are buildable with openly available tools, whose specs are available too, etc, etc, etc. Basically the ability do dig stuff out of the earth, to build machines with it, that build machines, that build your laptop, where you can put your free software on.

Everything else is just ignorance.

Re:What about our software freedom? (2, Insightful)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416572)

You are most certainly wrong here. From what I heard, they will use nVidia Terga GPUs, for which it will be pretty easy to have a driver.

Yeah, I must be wrong. Surely. That's why nVidia GPUs are fully supported by Free Software, and I wouldn't have to loose my rights to nVidias's proprietary software licensing. NOT! On all accounts. Nouveaux isn't really Free Software (it still carries blobs), and nVidias's drivers are as proprietary as it can get.

Besides: What is all that talk about “software freedom”?

It's my rights to run the software for any purpose, study, modify and distribute it. Software licensing that forbids any of these actions is just plain immoral and I can't accept it's terms and conditions.

It’s just a driver. If you really thought that to the end, you would have to only use hardware with all the specs available!

Just a driver, hey? Well, that just only hides that you have a horribly slow interface, perhaps not so energy efficient, without any bells and whistles! Is it still just? Not important at all?

And which are buildable with openly available tools, whose specs are available too, etc, etc, etc. Basically the ability do dig stuff out of the earth, to build machines with it, that build machines, that build your laptop, where you can put your free software on.

Please tell me where I can legally get nVidia's, PowerVR's etc... as Free Software [ff.org] so I can build it with openly available tools. Oh, heck... I don't need code, just get us those specs which are available as well...

Everything else is just ignorance.

And to say the best about you, you must be an ignorant.

ARM? (1)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415520)

YABA [thefreedictionary.com]
WTF is ARM?

Re:ARM? (1, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415678)

Young'un - may I introduce you to this neat service known as Google [google.com] ?

Arm powered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415576)

After spending all that time learning to touch-type, now we're supposed to operate a computer with one arm while powering it with the other arm???

Oh, wait...

Never mind.

Netbook World Summit, Wow (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415594)

Now we have special world summits for underpowered laptops. Innovation!

An atheist thanks the gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30415826)

For my amd64 higher-res netbook, since my 17" HD Turion 2-core lap failed dead this week. As for me, testing distros, nothing will replace my sidux. If it's not 64-bit, it's s***. Let's see something that fits in a hand, can read a like a paperback book, works as a phone, connects to any network anywhere, has connectors for all my old-school devices, and takes astrophotos through my telescope. And doesn't cost a defense budget.

Get it done or you're not engineers.

Where to buy? (3, Insightful)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30415916)

I see tons of hype lately of ARM based netbooks, desktops etc etc. yet i cannot find them for sale anywhere. Not newegg, not local stores etc. and google results tend to produce only reviews. No one sells, but lots of reviews sounds to me like most of these devices are completely vaporware.

And of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416034)

Intel and Microsoft will just sit still and wait this to happen. Windows Mobile works on ARM processors and Intel has their ARM-grade CPU (Atom series).

are there any arm netbooks available now? (1)

sucati (611768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416242)

see subject

The best potential is in the smallest devices (1)

the ReviveR (1106541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416254)

I think the breakthrough sector for Linux could very well be mobile phones/computers. This is an area where there simply isn't enough processing power to run Windows and even when there is, Linux will win hands down on battery life, ease of interface customization, support for non-desktop hardware(ARM) etc.

Platforms like Android, Maemo and Bada could very well start a landslide where most people end up using Linux daily. Once people get used to apps like mplayer and evince on their phones, moving to Linux on desktop will be that much easier. The increasing support for software development from major companies can be a huge boon. I also think that at least with Maemo we will see software designed for phones ported to the direction of Linux desktop.

Disclaimer: I've been using Maemo based N900 for three weeks now and the potential of the hardware & software stack makes me giddy. Every Linux geek should definitely try it =)

2010 will be... (1)

awyeah (70462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30416428)

... the year of Linux on the desktop^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ARM-Powered laptop.

MS will push WinCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30416548)

How this will go over is unsure since CE doesn't run Wintel is anyone's guess.

Menards had wince arm netbooks on black friday. I would have bought one if it ran linux.

OEMs want to push kit not software.

Branding a netbook 'android' may change things since people will have heard about the droid by the time this theses reach market.

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