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View Full Version : * Microsoft bolsters Windows by slapping Linux-equipped Netbooks



sulekha
April 8th, 2009, 05:39 AM
Hi all,

see this http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/200915/3393/Microsoft-bolsters-Windows-by-slapping-Linux-equipped-Netbooks

Stupendoussteve
April 8th, 2009, 06:00 AM
It wouldn't surprise me if it was true. A lot of people don't know computers, buy the cheaper Linux version, and are probably very lost when they turn on their computer and don't see a Windows logo.

I do think much of his post is, of course, marketing hype. It's not about the superior Windows experience, for example. People are often willing to deal with the monster they know rather than learning something new, even if it's better.

Giant Speck
April 8th, 2009, 06:04 AM
More pointedly, ChannelWeb reports that Microsoft communications manager Brandon LeBlanc has penned a post on the official Windows Blog (http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsexperience/archive/2009/04/03/windows-on-netbook-pcs-a-year-in-review.aspx) in which he reveals customer return rates in relation to Linux-based Netbook systems are four times higher than the rates attributed to Netbooks equipped with Windows.

Well, if Mr. LeBlanc would actually do some research, he'd know that the "four times higher" Linux netbook return rate refers specifically to MSI netbooks, and not all netbooks in general. Other netbook manufacturers have said that the rate of return for Linux and Windows netbooks are nearly the same.

SomeGuyDude
April 8th, 2009, 06:20 AM
Yeah but it makes sense. Anyone that has used a computer before will expect the new one to have Windows on it, take it home, change their minds and take it back for one that "works right".

Now, I'd be curious to see what happens with users who have never used a computer before.

Mr. Picklesworth
April 8th, 2009, 07:50 AM
This is largely because "Netbook" has been quietly redefined from '8-9" ultraportable device with super simple hardware to cut the usual price of that form' to '10-11" computer with unnecessarily crippled components because it is trendy.'

The netbooks as we know them were killed for some reason. I suspect Microsoft's restrictive Windows XP distribution (to only machines meeting a particular spec) was a sneakier move than we thought.

In fact, notebooks as we know them have been increasing in size at a rapid pace. All I'm seeing lately is 16-17" or bigger beasts with similarly useless battery life. Have these people gone mad?!

Nice thing with Linux: We use decent user interface toolkits, thus text is entirely readable on high resolution 8" screens.

BXL
April 8th, 2009, 12:10 PM
This is largely because "Netbook" has been quietly redefined from '8-9" ultraportable device with super simple hardware to cut the usual price of that form' to '10-11" computer with unnecessarily crippled components because it is trendy.'

I don't like the marketing term "netbook", it's just a value for money Subnotebook, nothing more and nothing less.

I am using my Eee PC 701 since Jan '08 but I am planning to replace the 701 and my 15" Inspiron with something in the 10-12" (1280x800) range. My Eee is nice, however it has its limitations and that's mostly the size of the screen. For Internet and Email it's perfect but for editing documents or working with larger spreadsheets, I am still stuck with my old 15" Dell.

Just because "evil" MS and Intel defined those "netbooks" as devices with 10", Intel Atom, 1 Gig Ram and up to 160 Gig HD it doesn't mean that those specs are bad, in my opinion its a decent (not perfect) hardware platform which is sufficient for most (not all) applications. Imo perfect would be:

- ULV processor (Atom or core solo)
- 2 GB RAM
- 10-12" 1280x800 matt screen
- 32 - 64 GB SSD
- WLAN & UMTS
- touchpoint instead of touchpad

most likely such a system would cost around €700-€800 and actually I believe it's worth every cent ;)

ddrichardson
April 8th, 2009, 12:22 PM
This article is fairly typical at the moment but misses a big point. I was in Comet with my mate last week looking for an Acer Aspire One. Had to be pink because his wife likes pink. So there's two blue aspire one's on display and one is £180 and one is £230 - difference is 512 Mb RAM and a copy of Windows (maybe a hard disk too I don't remember). First thing he says (bearing in mind he is computer illiterate is "50 quid, christ is that how much windows costs?".

No matter how much MS crows about returns, it's absolutely nothing to do with the UI as the keep intimating. From repairs I've made recently on these machines, the BIOS on the Linux version is more prone to the bug where it fails to boot and needs the BIOS reflashed but no-one is complaining the interface is poor.

In fact most people seem to really like the Acer's layout - as a long term user, I replaced it but this thing has to be the must have gadget of the moment. Honestly, they're everywhere.

3rdalbum
April 8th, 2009, 12:47 PM
I never liked how bulky and heavy regular notebooks are, but I love the small size and low weight of netbooks. I'd never buy a notebook or a laptop as they just feel like oversized, underpowered dinosaurs.

I returned my mobile phone and my DVD recorder because they don't have the Gnome interface I'm familiar with. Not really, but it goes to show you that people would be perfectly happy with Linux netbooks if there was no Windows alternative. I bet if somebody made a TV with a Windows-style interface, it would sell by the bucketload and take marketshare away from other TVs due to "familiarity".

ddrichardson
April 8th, 2009, 12:53 PM
I bet if somebody made a TV with a Windows-style interface, it would sell by the bucketload and take marketshare away from other TVs due to "familiarity".
I'll take that bet because I reckon they wouldn't accept it. This is the reason that netbooks are called netbooks they're trying to market an appliance rather than a laptop where many people expect Windows.

Swagman
April 8th, 2009, 01:06 PM
Clever marketing By MS.

But then thats the one thing MS is VERY good at.

The netbooks with windows on it are higher specced for only about £50 extra.

Joe Numpty knows sod all about O/s's but the higher spec for a few quid more makes sense to them.

Sealbhach
April 8th, 2009, 01:19 PM
I would never buy a netbook with a screen smaller than 10". I've seen the little 8-9" in stores and to me, the screen looks not much bigger than an iPhone screen.

Agree with an ideal size being 10.5-11.5".


.

ddrichardson
April 8th, 2009, 01:30 PM
Joe Numpty knows sod all about O/s's but the higher spec for a few quid more makes sense to them.
I don't think that's always true when £50 is more than a quarter of the price.

BXL
April 8th, 2009, 01:44 PM
I don't think that's always true when £50 is more than a quarter of the price.

Take the Dell Mini 12 as an example. The Ubuntu version for €399,- comes with the Z520 and a 60 GB HD, the XP version for €449,- has the Z530 and 80 GB. If you order those options for the linux version, you have to pay €529,-

Everyone who compares the prices would buy the XP version, even if he later installs Linux.

ddrichardson
April 8th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Take the Dell Mini 12 as an example. The Ubuntu version for €399,- comes with the Z520 and a 60 GB HD, the XP version for €449,- has the Z530 and 80 GB. If you order those options for the linux version, you have to pay €529,-

Everyone who compares the prices would buy the XP version, even if he later installs Linux.
Given the current strength of the Euro, then what your saying is a different scenario where the Windows version is 1/8th not 1/4 - that's what I'm seeing with Netbooks such as the A110L, stacked next to the similarly specced Windows version, people just see a 25% pricde increase for the privilege of Windows.

The vaas number of people I know that have bought them have been as gifts and the sub £200 price becomes very relevant here.

BXL
April 8th, 2009, 02:09 PM
@ ddrichardson

what I am trying to say is that people look what they get for their money and if the specs are better why should they buy the cheaper linux version if the Windows version has a better value for money?

If it would be the opposite, people might look more seriously for an alternative to Windows.

gnomeuser
April 8th, 2009, 02:12 PM
Take the Dell Mini 12 as an example. The Ubuntu version for €399,- comes with the Z520 and a 60 GB HD, the XP version for €449,- has the Z530 and 80 GB. If you order those options for the linux version, you have to pay €529,-

Everyone who compares the prices would buy the XP version, even if he later installs Linux.

Actually I would buy the Linux version.. out of spite, I refuse to pay the Microsoft tax but I will grant you that most people are not as insistant on making a statement when they buy hardware.

I also agree it is endlessly annoying that they cripple the Linux versions hardware. Here I can only get the EeePC 70x series with Linux the modern versions are with XP only. If I wanted the Linux version of the Aspire One when it arrived here I have to content with less ram and less storage. I couldn't get the 1 gb ram version with a 160 gig harddrive with Linux. That's just poisoning the well.

caravel
April 8th, 2009, 02:24 PM
The problem with these netbooks is that they often ship with distributions such as Linpus Lite. Which are very restrictive and feel more like using a mobile phone that using a PC.

ddrichardson
April 8th, 2009, 02:29 PM
@ ddrichardson

what I am trying to say is that people look what they get for their money and if the specs are better why should they buy the cheaper linux version if the Windows version has a better value for money?

If it would be the opposite, people might look more seriously for an alternative to Windows.
You're missing my point, value for money becomes more subjective the lower the item cost. People can often justify a £200 purchase yet think £250 is too much. In the example I scited it was £50, a 25% increase, for 512Mb memory and Windows. That's not value for money.

What you're saying is probably rue as you head up the price scale.

abyssius
April 8th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Microsoft still has the ultimate trump card - they can easily afford to give away Windows for free. Remember how they originally used IE to counter Netscape Navigator. As Linux-based net-books begin grabbing market share, MS will make a deal with the vendors so they can sell Windows-based net-books at exactly the same price as Linux-based net-books. This will remove the main incentive for an uninformed consumer to try a Linux-based net-book, rather than stick with their familiar Windows OS.

SomeGuyDude
April 8th, 2009, 02:46 PM
Actually I would buy the Linux version.. out of spite, I refuse to pay the Microsoft tax but I will grant you that most people are not as insistant on making a statement when they buy hardware.

Me, for example. I<snip>

And that's what I've been saying for probably a year on this board. MS has a natural advantage in that their OS and the commercial software that runs on it earns money for the hardware manufacturer. Everyone gets all surprised that when you take two computers with the same hardware from HP/Dell/whatever, the Linux one costs significantly more. The reason is end-user, "but Linux is free!"

BXL
April 8th, 2009, 02:55 PM
@ ddrichardson

I know what you mean, but in Germany (don't know 'bout the rest of €URO-Europe) this magical border is €299,-. We get Netbooks, both with Windows as well as with Linux for below €300,- but mostly the XP-Versions have better specs than their Linux-counterparts.

mikewhatever
April 8th, 2009, 02:58 PM
You're missing my point, value for money becomes more subjective the lower the item cost. People can often justify a £200 purchase yet think £250 is too much. In the example I scited it was £50, a 25% increase, for 512Mb memory and Windows. That's not value for money.

Well, apparently, according to the stats, people are willing to pay the 25%. Why argue against the obvious?

Methuselah
April 8th, 2009, 03:07 PM
At first I was ready to concede quite a bit to these reports but it seems clear now that much of this is Microsoft marketing and end user/OEM targeted FUD rather than news.

There's a saying: "First they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win." I think that's what we're seeing play out.
I wonder how many people are hearing a bit more about Linux through Microsoft's free publicity?

As someone else said, I believe the return figure quoted to be innacurate and to refer to one particular distributor (with a bad implementation at that).

The last time I checked (FEB 2009) DELL stated that their Ubuntu mini-9s account for a rather significant 1/3 of their sales and that the return rates are comparable to the windows version.
http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/24/1637240&from=rss
I beleive ASUS also stated that return rates on linux machines have not been unusually high.
Newsflash MSI, customers will still return crap.

Finally, a guy on the OP's linked page said something I say all the time in these 'windows is owning the netbook market' threads.
I have to quote him since I agree so much:



Who can argue with statistics - but some facts must not be ignored.
This market segment was pioneered using Linux and Microsoft was forced to keep on selling Windows XP as Windows Vista does not run on netbooks (it requires too much memory and processing power).
Microsoft was also forced to drop their prices by a massive margin.

Remember this is not round 1 between Windows and Linux on the desktop - this is probably round ten and this round Linux came out swinging and stronger than ever. Ten years ago Linux was dead on the desktop - now things are starting to change - slowly but surely.


It will be interesting to watch microsoft try to transition this market to windows 7 and to see how that plays out.
Will they be willing to license it as cheaply as Xp and will it necessitate yet more bulky harwdare than currently exists?

Johnsie
April 8th, 2009, 03:12 PM
My 701 has Ubuntu on it... but when I upgrade I will probably dual boot just like on all my other machines. I don't see the point in having just one operating system on a pc that is capable of running several. Different operating systems have different capabilities and software available. There is no way I am going to cut my choice by limiting myself to one operating system. I will buy the Windows version just to get the license.

ddrichardson
April 8th, 2009, 03:23 PM
Well, apparently, according to the stats, people are willing to pay the 25%. Why argue against the obvious?
Do you have a link to these stats? Because he mentions them but doesn't show them.

Arkenzor
April 8th, 2009, 03:34 PM
This is the reason that netbooks are called netbooks they're trying to market an appliance rather than a laptop where many people expect Windows.

This is precisely the problem to me. Netbooks (even the early 8''-9'' category) are perfectly capable of being "real computers". Heck, they've got specs that were normal on middle-range laptops five years ago, and computers already worked perfectly well back then. I welcomed netbooks in the first place because they were trying an alternate (IMO better) evolution route for computers, going down the "smaller and cheaper for the same specs" path rather than "faster, bigger and heavier for the same price".

And since they could be used as complete machines, selling them with an OS supposed to make them look like appliances simply means artificially reducing their value. A hip "three easies" vision is no excuse for this; if I decided to sell 15'' laptops with a mobile phone-type OS on them because they'd be "easier to use" people would call me a complete idiot.

What early netbook manufacturers have done is take machines that could have caused a revolution in the way people buy hardware, and turn them into "Easy to use, easy to learn, easy to play" toys that could never compete on functionality with a normal laptop. I do think most normal consumers are smart enough to realize that and choose the alternative option: pay a few more dollars to get a real desktop OS.

The "new generation" of netbooks are built on that aknowledgement, and try to be small but complete, useable computers on their own. But this generation, except for lower-end versions aimed at the people who actually liked the "appliance" idea, runs XP.

As for the reason why netbook vendors didn't start putting desktop Linux distros on their machines rather than switch them to XP, it probably boils down to the fact that they don't care about Linux at all. They used it for their early models because Windows couldn't be nerfed enough for what they were trying to do, but if we're talking real computers they'll just preinstall XP like they've always done. I actually feel very stupid for having once believed that Asus was trying to increase the public awareness of Linux.

My conclusion is that, while this article may be complete propaganda, the figures it provides would still be perfectly understandable.



Honorable mention goes to Dell for selling a netbook with Ubuntu. Now to see if I can actually catch a glimpse of one in a shop somewhere, unlike their Ubuntu laptops...

Swagman
April 8th, 2009, 04:17 PM
I actually feel very stupid for having once believed that Asus was trying to increase the public awareness of Linux.


You and me both

BXL
April 8th, 2009, 04:46 PM
@ Arkenzor

I have more the feeling that Asus completely targeted the wrong consumer group. They can be happy that the Eee wasn't a complete failure.

The Eee PC was targeted at Kids and elder People. However computer geeks, IT enthusiats and professionals were the first costumers. Some of them got it due to Linux, some since they searched an inexpensive subnotebook, mainly for system maintenance. The next who purchased the Eee were web affine people who wanted something small (and "cute") for blogging, twittering etc. on the go. That's when the Eee became trendy and Intel created the definition of "Netbook". Remember, the name Netbook appeared some time in spring 2008.

When I got my Eee in January '08 I once took it to a cafe, it didn't take 10 minutes and half the people in the cafe wanted to know what kind of laptop I had and where they could get one. As fare as I remember there was a waiting period of 2 or 3 months at that time for the Eee 701 (in Germany). The first competitors turned up in summer '08, I think it was the MSI Wind (called Medion Akoya) or the Acer One.

cmat
April 8th, 2009, 06:00 PM
They need to stop shipping custom distros and go with full desktop Linux. Windows next to those crappy smartphone-like distros is an unfair comparison and makes linux as a whole unattractive. I guess these companies feel safer supporting and in-house OS since customers need to do a bit more work than they are used to (Google, gasp!) to get support for Ubuntu, SUSE, or whatever.

But wait until the next batch of ARM netbooks gets released this June. This is when the architecture/application port war begins. Microsoft can't take an iota of competition since something at only 0.8% market share seems to consume plenty of their resources to suppress. Linux is their only threat, not Mac. Linux runs on the same hardware Windows does.

Methuselah
April 8th, 2009, 06:09 PM
But wait until the next batch of ARM netbooks gets released this June. This is when the architecture/application port war begins.

Yeah, if anything that moves away from the x86 compatible platform takes hold, that's an entirely different ballgame.
I don't know much about the ARM netbooks myself though.
Any links?

mikewhatever
April 8th, 2009, 06:15 PM
Do you have a link to these stats? Because he mentions them but doesn't show them.

No, I don't, I am sure you can google it though. The reports that Windows XP currently dominates the netbooks market are over a month old (see the links), and imo are not surprising. After all, who wants Linpus or Xandros on a netbook? Dell gets a + for going with Ubuntu, but their pricing schemes are just ridiculous.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/study_windows_clobbers_linux_on_netbooks_with_over _90_share
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=linux_and_unix&articleId=9130676&taxonomyId=122&intsrc=kc_top

BXL
April 8th, 2009, 06:30 PM
A very interesting article on computerworld.com. Especially this comment regarding the return rate of MSI Winds:


Solis said in a March research note that Taiwan's MSI had not yet shipped a Linux-based Wind at the time of the comment to the magazine. When it did, it did not "adapt" the operating system for the netbook's smaller size -- a key ingredient to Linux's acceptance by consumers, Solis wrote.

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9131204&intsrc=news_ts_head

I found following article of Preston Gralla n computerworld.com regarding those 90% Windows share in the netbook market: http://blogs.computerworld.com/study_windows_clobbers_linux_on_netbooks_with_over _90_share

One interesting point is who publishes which figures:


Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc., which together account for 90 percent of the netbook market, are using the rival Linux software on about 30 percent of their low-cost notebooks.

There are more Companies who sell netbooks with Linux like Toshiba or Dell, but quoting Acer and Asus gives those numbers at least some credibility.


According to our numbers the percent [of netbooks sold with Windows] is over 90% for the last three months (November, December, January), when sales actually began to happen (these are US numbers only). Before that there were very few sales and Linux was a much higher percent.

Preston Gralla only quotes Stephen Baker, Industry Analysis for NPD. However we don't know how NPD got these numbers. Are they based on official sales figures of Dell, Acer, Asus and Toshiba or on what basis did they collect the required data to make such a statement?

As long as source for those figures is not transparent, can we really believe them?

ddrichardson
April 9th, 2009, 12:14 AM
No, I don't, I am sure you can google it though.Why would I want to? I've seen all of these pieces and none of them seem to carry any sources or hard data to base an opinion on - if someone wants to state a fact then they need to present the proof! If they state an opinion and say so then you know where you stand.

I'm not anti-Microsoft but this has a lot of the traits of the beginning of the final phase of their standard marketing tactic: extend (well, they didn't care about netbooks until the middle of last year, certainly not with XP); embrace (continue XP post support phae out for mobile devices and offer manufaturers levy); and now we're in the extinguish phase (spread stories without evidence which are pure conjecture to destabilise support in the opposing product whilst reinforcing that Linux is not "proper" Windows).

ddrichardson
April 9th, 2009, 12:25 AM
They need to stop shipping custom distros and go with full desktop Linux. Windows next to those crappy smartphone-like distros is an unfair comparison and makes linux as a whole unattractive. I guess these companies feel safer supporting and in-house OS since customers need to do a bit more work than they are used to (Google, gasp!) to get support for Ubuntu, SUSE, or whatever.

Again, these devices are not intended to be laptops - they're envisaged as internet devices that can play solitaire, read email and do a little light word processing. If you aim at this market and need to keep costs down, while hoping for fast on/off times and reliability then Linux is a very sensible choice. I know lots of people in this category that love Linpus Lite because it seems simple and sensible.

Not to mention that a simple, difficult to alter interface keeps support to a minimum - locked down standardisation is a big help with script based support.

If people are migrating to Windows netbooks then whats the advantage to them dumping their current Linux investment to start again on another distro?

BXL
April 9th, 2009, 12:49 AM
Again, these devices are not intended to be laptops...
They are fully functional laptops. The only reason why they are marketed as "netbooks" and internet devices is that they cannibalize the market segment of traditional laptops which are over-sized, mostly over-prised and for most applications also overpowered.

ddrichardson
April 9th, 2009, 01:10 AM
They are fully functional laptops. The only reason why they are marketed as "netbooks" and internet devices is that they cannibalize the market segment of traditional laptops which are over-sized, mostly over-prised and for most applications also overpowered.
Without an optical drive, I wouldn't call them fully functional laptops.

You might be right but I don't think they sat down and said hey lets cannibalize the market segment for traditional laptops (which they manufacture).

Its more likely that research and focus groups suggested a gap for low specification, cheap Internet enabled devices that could make a profit in an area their laptops aren't selling in due to cost.

mikewhatever
April 9th, 2009, 01:28 AM
Why would I want to? I've seen all of these pieces and none of them seem to carry any sources or hard data to base an opinion on - if someone wants to state a fact then they need to present the proof! If they state an opinion and say so then you know where you stand.

I'm not anti-Microsoft but this has a lot of the traits of the beginning of the final phase of their standard marketing tactic: extend (well, they didn't care about netbooks until the middle of last year, certainly not with XP); embrace (continue XP post support phae out for mobile devices and offer manufaturers levy); and now we're in the extinguish phase (spread stories without evidence which are pure conjecture to destabilise support in the opposing product whilst reinforcing that Linux is not "proper" Windows).

Hope you are right, and apparently, there are similar sentiments comming out from Canonical.
http://blog.canonical.com/?p=151

MikeTheC
April 9th, 2009, 02:25 AM
Frankly, anyone who doesn't see this as Microsoft mindshare FUD is an idiot. They're seeing their marketshare getting nibbled on all fronts and they're scared.

Mr. Picklesworth
April 9th, 2009, 02:41 AM
Hope you are right, and apparently, there are similar sentiments comming out from Canonical.
http://blog.canonical.com/?p=151

Nice!
Kudos to Canonical (esp. Chris Kenyon) for providing a level-headed, thoughtful and actually truthful response. It would absolutely make my day if those tech magazines picked up on it :)

mikewhatever
April 9th, 2009, 04:12 AM
Frankly, anyone who doesn't see this as Microsoft mindshare FUD is an idiot. They're seeing their marketshare getting nibbled on all fronts and they're scared.

Keep it sivil, will you. Their market share is still nothing to complain about.
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/os-market-share.aspx?qprid=9

Mehall
April 9th, 2009, 04:20 AM
Brandon LeBlanc is someone who doesn't see it as FUD.

his tweets re: the issue:

@mehall thanks for pointing that out. Don't see how its possible to "spin" NPD numbers ;-)

I told him they were only counting brick and mortar, told him about Dell, and the 1/3 of mini's sold being Ubuntu Mini's for Dell, online at least, which wasn;t tracked by NPD, apparently.

He then wanted further substance.

Anyone on twitter who has more verifiable stats, etc for stuff re what Brandon said in his blog,

he is @brandonleblanc (and in the tweet, mention @mehall so I see the tweets too)

t0p
April 9th, 2009, 05:43 AM
I noticed in the run up to Christmas, mobile phone companies were selling mobile broadband and giving a netbook free with each dongle.

Most of the netbooks ran XP. I remember thinking: Linux has missed out big time.

BXL
April 9th, 2009, 09:43 AM
Without an optical drive, I wouldn't call them fully functional laptops.
Why an optical drive? Apps, updates etc. are available online, most of the data is stored on servers which can be accessed via ftp, ssh or vpns and CDs/DVDs are replaced by memory sticks and external hard drives.


Its more likely that research and focus groups suggested a gap for low specification, cheap Internet enabled devices that could make a profit in an area their laptops aren't selling in due to cost.

You're right, those research groups suggested a cheap laptop for kids. But look who is using these "netbooks" now... adults, T-professionals etc. In my opinion the "netbook" missed its target market by miles.

Even the price is not really an argument, since you get laptops with 15" for the same price as a "netbook". The main selling point for netbooks is that they are fully usable very small and portable laptops. Why should I carry a heavy 15" notebook when the Eee can do the same job (Email, Office applications, Presentations etc), takes less space and weight?

The rise of the netbook is mainly due to the policy of Notebook manufacturers: bigger, bigger, bigger. Since a couple of years I was looking for an alternative to those heavy and huge notebooks which are actually a complete contradiction to what they are supposed to be: a small portable and light computer to be used on the lap. These new "netbooks" are all what laptops/notebooks are supposed to be and that's why they are successful!

ddrichardson
April 9th, 2009, 10:45 AM
Why an optical drive? Apps, updates etc. are available online, most of the data is stored on servers which can be accessed via ftp, ssh or vpns and CDs/DVDs are replaced by memory sticks and external hard drives.
And this helps you watch a DVD in your hotel room how?


Even the price is not really an argument, since you get laptops with 15" for the same price as a "netbook".
Which netbook are you talking about? I haven't seen a laptop in the UK under £300 but plenty of netbooks under £200.


The main selling point for netbooks is that they are fully usable very small and portable laptops. Why should I carry a heavy 15" notebook when the Eee can do the same job (Email, Office applications, Presentations etc), takes less space and weight?
How can you know why people are buying them? Granted what you're saying is very likely but generally in companies I've worked for if I need a laptop they issue it. I haven't seen any figures but anecdotally the most common reason when I'm asked about them is for a wife/child because they only go on the Internet and we can't get on the computer.


The rise of the netbook is mainly due to the policy of Notebook manufacturers: bigger, bigger, bigger. Since a couple of years I was looking for an alternative to those heavy and huge notebooks which are actually a complete contradiction to what they are supposed to be: a small portable and light computer to be used on the lap. These new "netbooks" are all what laptops/notebooks are supposed to be and that's why they are successful!
Theres truth in that but it doesn't detract that that wasn't the design rationale, thats something that has evolved. Personaly, battery life is the one thing I'm wishing there was a giant technological leap forward on.

BXL
April 9th, 2009, 11:43 AM
And this helps you watch a DVD in your hotel room how?
Don't tell me you carry your dvd-collection with you while traveling? And on most usb-sticks you could have a hole collection of series and movies without the need for a dvd.


Which netbook are you talking about? I haven't seen a laptop in the UK under £300 but plenty of netbooks under £200.
From my time in the UK I remember that computers were more expensive than in Belgium or Germany. In Germany the price range for netbooks is €299,- to €450,-. However, there are enough Laptops priced below €450,- with decent performance. Even the Dell Inspiron 15 starts at €399,-.


How can you know why people are buying them?
Well, it's just my experience when I talk to other people I know and who use "netbooks".


Personaly, battery life is the one thing I'm wishing there was a giant technological leap forward on.
Yep... I wish power management would be better under Linux. Just made the experience that the power management under 9.04 beta is worse than under eeebuntu 2.0 (8.10).

ddrichardson
April 9th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Don't tell me you carry your dvd-collection with you while traveling? And on most usb-sticks you could have a hole collection of series and movies without the need for a dvd.
What I do is irrelevant, what the market does is relevant. Most of the guys I work with take a handful of DVDs. The point is its about flexability - if I buy a laptop I expect to be able to watch a DVD on it.



From my time in the UK I remember that computers were more expensive than in Belgium or Germany. In Germany the price range for netbooks is €299,- to €450,-. However, there are enough Laptops priced below €450,- with decent performance. Even the Dell Inspiron 15 starts at €399,-.

As the euro is currently damn near the pound at the moment then I see why you're arguing so strongly, because your netbook market is about 33% higher than ours. £200 to £300 and laptops no less than £300.




Well, it's just my experience when I talk to other people I know and who use "netbooks".
Mine too, I guess markets are different.


Yep... I wish power management would be better under Linux. Just made the experience that the power management under 9.04 beta is worse than under eeebuntu 2.0 (8.10).The thing is that when you make all the tweaks it just doesn't reclaim more than about 10-15%. Battery technology has moved on but not at the same speed as demands.

SomeGuyDude
April 9th, 2009, 01:50 PM
Frankly, anyone who doesn't see this as Microsoft mindshare FUD is an idiot. They're seeing their marketshare getting nibbled on all fronts and they're scared.

Okay, guys? Can we please stop putting on the "FOSS blinders"?

A business is a business. Your MO is to a) make a product that will sell, b) convince people your product is the best. You said this like MS putting out some PR in order to do some damage control vis a vis potential marketshare losses is out of the ordinary for commercial enterprises.

I keep seeing these posts like "M$ is lying about Linux because they're seeing sales drop" etc. Uh... DUH. Haven't you guys ever watched a single commercial or read a business's promotional press release in your entire lives? That's what businesses do!

ddrichardson
April 9th, 2009, 10:08 PM
LWN (http://lwn.net/) has a post on this today, it might be a subscriber job so here's the link: http://www.bmighty.com/blog/main/archives/2009/04/lies_damned_lie.html