On May 27, 9:26 am, Roy Schestowitz <newsgro...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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> Asus to release desktop Eee PC on June 3
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Earlier this year, riding high on the success of its ultra-portable Eee PC,
> | Asus revealed plans to launch a whole family of Eee products including a
> | small form-factor desktop machine dubbed the E-DT.
> Linux only. Then, there are all those motherboards with Linux on them. Over ten
> million to be sold per year!
> How can Microsoft respond?
> The XP Dumping Programme at $18 apiece is available
> for artificially-crippled laptops only.
Don't underestimate Microsoft. They do have tactics, which they have
been allowed to continue to use under the Bush administration, which
makes it very hard for Linux to establish a strong foothold in the OEM
This isn't the first time a motherboard maker has offered Linux as
part of their package. The first time, that I can remember, was back
in 1999, when COREL offered a motherboard maker Linux licenses at 50
cents/board, and millions of these motherboards were ordered by OEMs
and Kiosk dealers alike. The problem was that Microsoft's OEM license
agreement forbade ANY interference with the Microsoft controlled boot
sequence. Furthermore, the OEM licenses were sold in bulk, which
meant that selling a machine without Windows didn't save you any
money. In fact, if you didn't meet your minimum commitment order, you
could even LOSE money, since the discounts you received depended on
your ability to honor a minimum commitment order, usually calculated
to be far more licenses than you could actually sell with the
Since the licenses were non-transferable, the OEMs couldn't sell them
to other OEMs or retailers. Since Microsoft maintained tight-fisted
control over the configuration, the OEMs couldn't pre-install the
Linux OS, and were even forbidden from enclosing the Linux
distribution disk provided by the Board maker, as part of their
Microsoft has become very successful by aggressively and creatively
enforcing their copyright, trademark, and logo licenses, and using
these licenses and rights to control what can be said about Microsoft,
what can be said about competitors, and what can done with the
licensed products. This aggressive use of these licenses, almost
since the first days of the "Revised Copyright Act of 1976", which
went into effect in 1977, were critical to the success of Microsoft.
One of the problems for Linux is that there isn't anywhere near as
much aggressive protection of copyrights, trademarks, logos, and
patents. I know the cash register runs Linux, but the only way to
know for certain is to see the cash register "reboot", which very
rarely happens, because Linux is so reliable.
About 80% of the web sites use Linux and/or UNIX as part of the server
solution, yet only Microsoft demands that it's logo be displayed on
the web page, even if it's only playing a minor role in the overall
service being performed.
This year, however, Microsoft has a big problem. Vista isn't a "hot
seller" and the OEMs know it. Microsoft has been able to make
misleading but not illegal statements to the SEC in it's filings, by
claiming that the XP sales were actually "upgrades to Vista Business
Edition" that were then downgraded to XP Professional. The OEMs
aren't stupid. They know that these PCs are shipping with XP
Professional, and they know that if Microsoft tries to pull the plug
on XP, that Mac and ASUS could become the new dominant players, with
OS/X and Linux based desktop machines and laptop machines that are
"good enough" to compete with Vista.
Corporations still hate Vista, and many have adopted corporate
policies banning the deployment of Vista within the corporation. Many
corporations have also opted to purchase permanent licenses to XP
which will allow them to deploy XP on employee machines.
Microsoft may end up in a very weak position at the bargaining table
as the negotiations for the OEM licenses resume in June. They may
find that OEMS are unwilling to put up with any more hostility toward
Linux, possibly even requesting a "VM License" at a price $2-3 more
than the current OEM licenses, so that they can install Windows XP Pro
(or Vista Business Downgrade) as a VM rather than as the primary OS.
If the Democrats take back the White House, Microsoft will still be on
the skewer, and it's very likely that one of the first acts of the new
Attorney General will be to demand an extension of the settlement, and
replacement of most of the compliance officers and technical board,
and a much more aggressive enforcement of the actual rulings of the
Appellate court, including demands that Microsoft stop interfering
with OEM efforts to include LInux in their desktop and laptop
The EU is also getting MORE aggressive, not less, and has been
watching very carefully as Microsoft attempts to intimidate and bully
government officials into dropping mandates to distribute official
documents in Open Document Format, rather than in MS-Office
> Linux is Part of Asus’s Long Term Plan
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Asus announced three new Linux products.
> | I would even go so far to say that if Asus keeps up its support of Linux, it
> | may be the company that is credited with bringing Linux on the desktop to the
> | masses.
> Asus' little Eee 900 laptop is a big improvement over its predecessor
I've seen the EEE 900, and also the new HP 10 inch laptop. Both are
very limited as Windows machines, but entirely functional as Linux
machines. Given that these machines are often purchased as "second"
computers, that can be used on airplanes, restaurants, and other
venues where a heavy laptop isn't practical, the Linux laptop is
proving to be the ideal mix between PDA, Cell Phone, and Laptop
computer, at a price that is competitive with most PDAs and "Smart"
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | When the original Eee PC came out last year, Asus pretty much had the
> | ultra-portable laptop market to itself, and the funky little Linux machine
> | was a huge hit.
> | [...]
> | I tested a Windows XP model to see how much it differed from the original
> | Linux model.
> | I much prefer the Linux.
I went to J&R to look at the XP version, it was seriously
disfunctional. The Linux version had games, a full office suite, and
media applications as well as a number of other good educational
programs. The Windows version was just a bare-bones Windows XP
system, with minimal functionality. I think it had Works on it, which
is pretty minimal as well. Since it gobbled up nearly all of the
storage, there wasn't much room for personal documents.
> Feeling the heat at Microsoft
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | A couple of years ago you reiterated that IBM was Microsoft's biggest
> | competitor and you said not just on the business side, but overall. If I ask
> | you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?
> | Ballmer: Open...Linux. I don't want to say open source. Linux, certainly have
> | to go with that.
Open Source and Linux-based technology has been creating chaos for
Microsoft lately. At this point, corporations are not willing to pay
big bucks to upgrade their exisitng Microsoft software, and are
looking elsewhere for "new and improved" technologies. Vista might
appeal to the Game market, but the corporate market is looking for
ways to get WORK done better. Linux has collaboration tools that
Microsoft still can't beat. OSS software such as FireFox, OpenOffice,
and collaboration solutions such as CVS, Thunderbird, and other OSS
applications are now putting pressure on Microsoft's Windows, Office,
Access/SQL Server, and support contracts.
For Ballmer, the challenge has been to find some way to squeeze more
$billions out of existing customers, who don't want any new
functionality being offered by Microsoft, and are looking very
seriously at Linux/Unix including Mac OS/X and ASUS technologies to
provide the "Next Generation" solutions that will help them reduce
travel, reduce the need to commute, reduce the need to maintain on-
site staff and related support costs.
Some companies, like IBM, have been able to cut their secondary costs,
including travel, real-estate, heating, air-conditioning, and commute
related costs by as much as 40% in some divisions, simply by embracing
Open Source technology and adding some minor enhancements.