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In Australia, XP Cheaper Than Linux On Eee 900 319

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

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  • by Coopjust (872796) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @10:06AM (#23336946)
    These PCs have nowhere near the power of a full fledged desktop. The EEE scares MS because it showed that Linux could be user friendly, secure, and cheap- at regular OEM prices, a $400 laptop wouldn't be profitable with an $100+ OEM license for Windows and a $30+ license for works.

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

    I'm typing this post on an EEE 4G now, and I'm really pleased with the built in Xandros. Lightweight, Word/Excel/PowerPoint compatible, not prone to viruses. If I was in the market for a new EEE for the price difference and the ability to dual boot with no additional cost I'd probably buy the Windows version and put Ubuntu on it. I have a few Windows specific apps still...
  • by nguy (1207026) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @10:14AM (#23337076)
    Besides which it probably cost them more to implement it than MS since I bet they had to hire an entire Engineering staff, at least one FTE plus support folks.

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

    Standard Linux distributions basically just boots on the Eee PC (I installed Ubuntu on mine) with essentially no extra work or customization, and installing it is a few clicks.
  • Re:Hear hear (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @10:21AM (#23337144)
    That may appear insulting to an experienced Linux guru.

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

    Of course, it should also have an easily accessible terminal emulation so the gurus can hack on their config files ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2008 @10:58AM (#23337672)
    Just don't get it confused with WRT54GLA. That version sucks.
  • by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @10:59AM (#23337694)
    > I've suspected for quite sometime that Microsoft basically gives away XP & MS Works with Dell computers ... Microsoft doesn't "give." Here's what they did prior to their conviction as a monopolist (from the United States vs Microsoft findings of facts):

    Page 29:

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

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

    For example, Microsoft attaches to a Windows license conditions that restrict the ability of OEMs to promote software that Microsoft believes could weaken the applications barrier to entry. ... In addition, Microsoft charges a lower price to OEMs who agree to ship all but a minute fraction of their machines with an operating system preinstalled.
    I don't know how much has changed since their conviction, but I would assume that, even if they aren't allowed to do exactly that anymore, they've just found workarounds to achieve the same results (as evidenced here).
  • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @11:13AM (#23337922) Homepage Journal
    Because VxWorks is so crappy, it's flight-certifiable.
  • by i4u (234028) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @11:17AM (#23337992) Homepage
    NewEgg started to take orders on the new Asus Eee 900 PCs and the new Eee PCs are ready to ship.
    ASUS Eee PC 900 12G XP and the ASUS Eee PC 900 20G each sell for $549.99. If you prefer Windows XP you get 8GB less of flash memory. Besides that difference both Asus Eee PC 900 are the same.
    More details [i4u.com].
  • Re:Hear hear (Score:2, Informative)

    by domatic (1128127) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @11:24AM (#23338094)

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



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

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

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

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

    * As long as you don't touch the tweaked QT or kdelibs they are using, you can install any package built for Debian Etch that you like. I have an Etch buildhost I use for anything nifty I want but don't have.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2008 @11:29AM (#23338194)
    it's the only OS to have left the earth,

    Wrong, you fail it



    Linux Out of the Real World
    July 1st, 1997 by Sebastian Kuzminsky in

            * Industry News

    Debian Linux has taken flight aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia.
  • by QX-Mat (460729) on Thursday May 08, 2008 @11:41AM (#23338364)
    Regulation 1/2003

    Unfortunately it's in Austrlia.

    Try it here, I dare you.

    Matt
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2008 @06:58PM (#23344244)
    I think the APC Mag has it facts wrong.

    Checking the ASUS online store in Australia.. http://www.asusnotebook.com.au/eee-pc.php

    I see the following:
    Both models have 20GB of storage
    Windows Version is $799 AUD
    Linux Version is $649 AUD
    If you pre-order now.

    So I think they have not checked their facts!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2008 @08:28PM (#23345084)
    You are missing the many times RTEMS [rtems.org] has left the Earth. Ignoring numerous satellites that are or were in Earth orbit, we have the Venus Express [mps.mpg.de], Electra [rtems.org] circling Mars, and the Dawn [rtems.org] mission on its way to the asteroid belt. And later this year RTEMS is running on both the Herschel and Planck payloads.

    I am sure RTEMS users can attest to more applications but those cover this end of the solar system.

    GNU/Linux is not the only open source software that is out of this world. :-D
  • by donaldm (919619) on Friday May 09, 2008 @08:39AM (#23348662)
    The problem with the EEEPC 900 is the price since it's approaching the price of a low end laptop. It should be interesting if the they sell. Still if you are willing to look around you may get a better deal although I think the magic number from the Australian purchase point of view is less then AU$500.00. The 7" EEEPC sold well (Linux version) world wide and I think this shook Microsoft to the point that they spent millions on getting XP to run on it.

    From my personal perspective I have no interest in this type of PC preferring full sized laptops but I do know my son's girlfriend has the Linux one and she is very pleased with it. As I have said before the magic threshold of approx AU$500.00 may make or break the choice of buying one.

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds

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