Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Portables Microsoft Software Hardware Linux

The Truth Behind the Death of Linux On the Netbook 406

eldavojohn writes "Groklaw brings us news of Microsoft holding the smoking gun in regards to the death of Linux on netbooks. You see, the question of Linux on netbooks in Taiwan was put forth to the Taiwan Trade Authority director, who replied, 'In our association we operate as a consortium, like the open source consortium. They want to promote open source and Linux. But if you begin from the PC you are afraid of Microsoft. They try to go to the smart phone or PDA to start again.' It's simple; fear will keep them in line. PJ points out, 'So next time you hear Microsoft bragging that people prefer their software to Linux on netbooks, you'll know better. If they really believed that, they'd let the market speak, on a level playing field. If I say my horse is faster than yours, and you says yours is faster, and we let our horses race around the track, that establishes the point. But if you shoot my horse, that leaves questions in the air. Is your horse really faster? If so, why shoot my horse?'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Truth Behind the Death of Linux On the Netbook

Comments Filter:
  • by hansraj ( 458504 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:28AM (#28401259)

    Taking the whose-horse-is-faster analogy from the summary, if you decided not to challenge me to race your horse with mine because you are afraid that I might shoot your horse instead of my actually shooting the horse then you can't really claim that you have a "smoking gun" about my evil intentions.

    All that is quoted in the article is that someone said they are afraid of Microsoft. That in itself doesn't even come close to a smoking gun against microsoft. Unless "smoking gun" now just refers to something that is just a circumstantial evidence.

    I despise MS tactics and personally suspect that there might actually be some truth to whatever is being implied here, but come on, this article is nothing but preaching to the choir.

  • by ClaraBow ( 212734 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:31AM (#28401269)
    Linux has come a long way and it is ready for the average user. Yes, Joe-six-pack can use linux with a 15 minute tutorial in the basics. I just want to scream knowing that Microsoft is still undermining the market and retarding progress!
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:36AM (#28401317)
    more like microsoft just up and killed your horse and then claimed it won the race that they would otherwise have lost
  • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:39AM (#28401341) Journal

    Having RTFA I can say that there is a lot more to it then just an off hand remark by a Taiwanese executive. No one seemed to be showing off Linux products. Any hype that companies like AMD, Intel and Acer made about using Linux seems to have dried out completely. And there sits MS, fat and confident that they can continue to tell hardware companies what to do and they'll just fall in line.

    Hyperbole? Maybe. But history *does* seem to suggest otherwise...

  • by gTsiros ( 205624 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:39AM (#28401349)

    he kills your horse so his horse is the only one left standing.

    you are free to go on worrying which one would be faster.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:41AM (#28401363)

    You obviously don't understand the business dynamics of what M$ has nor the lack of technical expertise of the average user - they just want familiar applications that "just work" - and Linux still has a way to come in that regard (i.e. drivers, etc.)

  • Gibberish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blackpaw ( 240313 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:43AM (#28401369)

    The summary was pure gibberish. I only deciphered it because I had fair idea of what was intended in the first place.

  • The real reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asavage ( 548758 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:51AM (#28401425)
    There are two reasons why it is hard to get a linux netbook these days. First, Microsoft panicked and started letting the netbook manufacturers put windows on for next to nothing. Second, even the better manufacturers put a barely usable Linux on the netbooks that wouldn't allow you to install any software without using the command line, broke the wireless when you installed software updates, etc. Some of the manufacturers didn't even include working webcam drivers on their Linux netbooks.
  • by zak317 ( 1581267 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:52AM (#28401437)
    I'm wondering who's holding the smoking gun? Microsoft or the customers who buys netbooks? Because I know a lot who don't know Linux and don't want to see nothing else than Windows everywhere...
  • by downix ( 84795 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @09:55AM (#28401451) Homepage

    >they just want familiar applications that "just work"

    Then they want Linux or a Mac, which both offer this, and not Windows, which doesn't.

  • OEM laziness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:00AM (#28401487)

    I can't remember where I read this, but from what I understand the reason Linux died on the netbook was because the netbook makers didn't bother to install the right drivers for various hardware components and didn't configure them properly. This resulted in many Linux netbooks getting returned.

    OEMs tend not to want to write their own software or do much configuration. Their business model has traditionally been to assemble commodity components, load Windows on them, and maybe the odd driver not included in Windows.

    It will take a polished corporate effort such as Moblin or Android to get a non-Windows OS on netbooks.

  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:01AM (#28401491)

    The first netbooks; the ones so successful they started the entire trend; were based on Linux. It is very strange that we have quite a few of the first people posting here people claiming that nobody tried Linux based netbooks. That no one is "showing off" Linux products now is likely because Microsoft made it clear to them that they had better not.

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:07AM (#28401535)

    This is a good example of what I find is one of the least desirable traits of the Linux community in general: a tendency to blame everyone else for any failure, whether it's the user who's too stupid or Microsoft who's too mean.

    Fairly widespread deployment of Linux on netbooks was a great opportunity to get some real user feedback and identify problems that could be addressed, but instead all that comes of it is whining about Microsoft. Sure, MS has a bad track record and I have no doubt they tried their best to use their influence in this case, but it appears the Linux community is completely squandering the chance to address real end user issues and making excuses instead, just like MS does.

  • by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:17AM (#28401601)

    All that is quoted in the article is that someone said they are afraid of Microsoft. That in itself doesn't even come close to a smoking gun against microsoft.

    I suspect whoever controls (or fails to control) monopolies there might disagree. When a monopoly has purchasers afraid to do business with competitors, the fundamental supply-and-demand mechanism at the heart of the capitalist trading system is completely undermined. Also, being "afraid of microsoft" is vastly different from being afraid that microsoft's products might be a better choice.

  • by PinchDuck ( 199974 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:23AM (#28401637)

    Whereas Microsoft is a corporation with focus, clarity, and direction. Linux seeped into the netbook niche because it was the best alternative at the time. Any new computing device that needs an O/S and hasn't yet gotten a proven business model for making money is a perfect platform for Linux. It plays to Linux's strengths. The netbook craze caught MS completely unawares, and Linux was very successful for a year or so. Then MS focused on that segment, clarified their offerings, and went directly at the manufacturers to make sure that XP was a viable option on that platform. In other words, the market morphed to a situation that played to Microsoft's strengths. No conspiracies or dead horses here, just the standard business cycle. I hope to pick up a netbook, and I know to get one that has Linux, but most people just don't care, and are familiar with XP. They see the familiar "Start" button and gravitate towards that. To each their own.

  • by ( 1563557 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:36AM (#28401731)
    There is also a cart-and-horse problem in that software runs on hardware. If hardware companies make bad decisions or bad hardware, it either a) puts undue burden on software companies, or b) fails out of the market (ie, PS3).

    Maybe GNU distributions should consolidate and form a mega-corporation if they actually want to compete. It seems like GNU is fractured beyond repair and the zealots are becoming whinier and whinier by the minute. If *you* want GNU to be the next Microsoft, quit arguing amongst yourselves about which GUI is better, which editor is better, which distribution is better, which package system is better, etc, etc, etc...

    If I ran a software mega-corporation you had better believe that I would put as much influence as possible in the hardware companies' direction to ensure my product has the proper tools it needs to run better than my competition's.
  • by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:36AM (#28401735)

    If you were posting to a story about how easy it is to install Linux on a Netbook, you would be right. Because it doesn't come pre-installed, Linux has a big problem: installing any operating system on a computer is difficult and requires searching for drivers etc. etc. However, you are posting to a story about netbooks with pre-installed linux. This means that the users never have to look up the drivers because they are already there when they buy the computer. Go to Windows support forums for people doing fresh installs and you will find exactly the same problems as you described. However, almost nobody does a fresh install of windows; they just reinstall from the image which came with their computer; so they basically don't experience these problems.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:56AM (#28401889) Homepage

    Take a look at the Netbook discussions from a year ago. Limpus, Netbook Xandros.... weren't quality. The Linuxes that shipped with Netbooks weren't really good enough in particular in terms of software choice and package availability. Almost every /. person who bought one ended up putting on a different Linux. That means an OS install. And those OS installs were complicated because of obscure hardware which often required specialized driver packages.

    It wasn't ready.

    Linux has been ready given a strong backing for a decade. What it lacks though is the sort of strong backing. Something like Mandriva's OEM Netbook Linux pairing with a Dell would have been perfect. But then where are Dell's cost savings?

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:58AM (#28401907)

    The mod just demonstrated my point far better than I could.

    Ironic, considering the article is about Microsoft trying to suppress dissenting opinions.

    Since Linux is developed by the community, as long as that community refuses to look at it critically, it will find widespread use only in that same community. Which is really too bad. I've been using Linux for various things since about '94, and it's been great watching it develop, but when my girlfriend bought a netbook a couple of months ago I really couldn't recommend Linux over XP to her.

  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @10:59AM (#28401911) Homepage Journal

    more like microsoft just up and killed your horse and then claimed it won the race that they would otherwise have lost

    Obviously you should have made a better horse, if it were so easy for Microsoft to have killed it.

  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:02AM (#28401933) Homepage Journal

    Does anyone remember BeOS?

    I do and I actually wrote a couple of things for it. For the most part, BeOS torpedoed itself when they switched from BeOS 5 to that whole Network appliance push they were trying to make. BeOS had a viable business selling copies from their download site. If they would have just stuck it out, I think they would have been able to make a go at it, especially considering that the entire value proposition of having an operating system designed to work with massive numbers of CPUS turned out to be remarkably right.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:05AM (#28401947) Homepage

    Microsoft has a reputation as a gun slinger. It is a well earned reputation. The OOXML ISO incident only happened recently and the list of crap Microsoft has pulled is longer than I will ever know. If you think for a moment that fear is not a weapon Microsoft wields, then you haven't been paying attention.

  • WTF? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:13AM (#28402009)

    That summary made no sense. I read it twice and still couldn't figure out what point the author was trying to make so I wasn't even interested in the linked article.

  • by RDW ( 41497 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:20AM (#28402059)

    It's more like consumers wanted horses, but were (briefly) offered zebras. The netbook companies made much of how the zebras looked pretty much like horses, and could do most of the things that horses could. The zebras were healthier and more resilient than the horses, ate less (you couldn't fit much hay in the early netbooks), and were cheaper to buy. And back then, microsoft was trying to sell a new breed of pretty horse, which they wanted people to like, even though the new horses were slower than greedier and more expensive than the old workhorses. But consumers weren't quite convinced by the zebras. They were used to working with horses, they had one at home, and another for the kids to play with, and some of their horse tackle didn't fit the zebras. And then the netbooks got a little bigger, so they could easily feed a horse, and Microsoft realised that if they bred some more workhorses from the old stock that people were used to, and sold them cheaply to the netbook companies, then everyone would lose interest in the zebras. And so everybody was happy, except the Mac users, who still didn't have a netbook for their leopards.

  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:39AM (#28402203)

    They have marketing power, but not technical excellence nor stable robust business grade software.

    They don't? So... Exchange/Outlook, Active Directory, SQL Server, Visual Studio... those are all figments of my imagination?!

    I suppose for all of those you can point out a "better" open source package.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:58AM (#28402345) Homepage

    Linux is an alternative that would make those problems worse not better. If stability is a feature you want, for end user apps, Linux is a terrible choice. Windows may very well be the best choice around in this regard. It is like criticizing Microsoft for having insufficient advertising and offering Linux as an alternative.

  • by Mad Leper ( 670146 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @11:58AM (#28402347)

    Very true. When netbooks first appeared, the FOSS community was convinced that this would herald the end of Microsoft as there was no way M$ could adapt fast enough for this new market.

    Well, consumer demand for XP and the exceedingly poor performance of Linux on these same netbooks lead to a flood of returns, and the manufacturers responded. Even OSX on netbooks proved more popular that any flavour of Linux and that requires more effort to set up than any Linux distro.

    This so called "smoking gun" is really just what the parent poster has described, a desperate effort by the FOSS community to blame someone else for their failings.


  • I have not RTFA and in this case I don't think I need to.

    Netbook manufacturers are going to skim the cream. That's been the pattern for all high tech innovations for more than 20 years. It means that that you first work the most profitable price points, then as those markets get saturated, you aim at the lower price points.

    People willing to pay $500 - $900 for a netbook expect to get MS Office and probably MS Outlook on it. They may well add a dual boot with Linux after purchase, and they might end up spending most of their time in Linux, but for that price a Windows OS and the ability to handle Excel and PowerPoint files perfectly are an expectation. Failure to meet that expectation is a deal breaker.

    So long as there is good profit to be made in selling these high end machines, the less expensive netbooks in a manufacturer's line-up are going to be positioned to encourage consumers to buy the more expensive ones. They will have fewer features, of course, but more important to this discussion is that they ABSOLUTELY CANNOT CAUSE THE CONSUMER TO DOUBT that the top of the line netbook is the best product available. Manufacturers certainly don't want showroom discussions that compare their $750 wonder with all the MS bells and whistles with a $250 Linux with FOSS machine. That would be cutting their own throats.

    Savvy sales persons are willing to talk up how Ubuntu could be easily installed as a dual boot on this $999 machine since its got the big hard drive, and that yeah, you might see more battery life, and yeah, it would probably be more secure when you are surfing on the wifi of your favorite coffee shop. Don't expect them to volunteer that info, but a good salesperson will spout on that if asked.

    But that's as far as Linux penetration of the showroom is going to go, until the high end market is saturated and the $200 - $300 price point becomes the most profitable for manufacturers. Then things are likely to change, because then the license fees to Microsoft cut too deeply into the smaller margins.

    There is no conspiracy here; simply the same market dynamics that have been at work in computer sales since the mid 1980s. Linux is undoubtedly being installed on a lot of netbooks after purchase. But until showing your overpriced netbook in the Golf Club's lounge is no longer a status symbol for the PHBs, Linux on a netbook is detrimental to the health of the manufacturers. Our turn will come.

  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @01:45PM (#28403021)

    No, it is more that Linux points at their cash cow and they pay ASUS to continue with Windows. Of course Asus invests in Linux, because they are not stupid.

  • by alukin ( 184606 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @01:46PM (#28403027) Homepage Journal

    There is no market with Windows. There is MONOPOLY. Ugly and rotten monopoly that even US government does not dare to fight. All the world pays M$ taxes with computer hardware. There is no choice at all in every computer store. So guys, what market you are speaking about? Only few people around the globe managed to get money back for unused Windows on their computer. It is the situation if you dare to look at it with sober eye.

  • by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @01:53PM (#28403061)
    But consumers weren't quite convinced by the zebras.

    Kudos for your choice of analogy. I was getting very tired of cars. ;-)

    But this all reminds me of an axiom I used to hear all the time back in the '80s when I was making a good living out of contracting on all sorts of non-mainstream big-iron machines:

    "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM."

    I happen to know of a middle-manager at a then well-known Burroughs site in London who did indeed get fired for doing exactly that. But my point is that as a crushing monopoly, IBM's dominance expired, and there is no reason to assume that one day Microsoft's will not do likewise. I'm not saying Microsoft will go bust (neither did IBM), but there must inevitably come a time when MS will have to re-evaluate its position in its marketplace.
  • by beej ( 82035 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @01:55PM (#28403079) Homepage Journal

    This is a good example of what I find is one of the least desirable traits of the Linux community in general: a tendency to blame everyone else for any failure, whether it's the user who's too stupid or Microsoft who's too mean.

    Damn right!

    Sure, MS has a bad track record and I have no doubt they tried their best to use their influence in this case you are blaming Microsoft? ;-)

    Let's look at it this way, via a hypothetical conversation:

    ASUS: "We designed an ARM-based Android netbook."
    MS: "We don't support ARM."
    ASUS: "It's OK; we have Android."
    MS: "What percentage of your netbook product line runs XP?"
    ASUS: "About 95%."
    MS: "If you release the ARM netbook, we'll raise your price per unit from $15 to $100."
    ASUS: "Well, I guess that's the end of the ARM netbook. Can we somehow make a public apology?"
    MS: "All too easy."

    Now I ask you: is there any level of mind-blowing Android or Linux OS awesomeness that's going to change that outcome? Don't hold back; really cut loose with your imagination. The answer: no. There's no way they can make up all that expense with one new product.

    I could be mistaken. ASUS might have just spent all this R&D and Q&A money on a new kick-ass product, and showed it to the world, and only then realized that Windows didn't support ARM. Or maybe they got too much positive feedback, so they pulled it.

    Did you watch the video here []? This is one sweet machine that vanished. And from the looks of it, it's not because of the shit OS.

  • by Tenebrousedge ( 1226584 ) <tenebrousedge@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday June 20, 2009 @02:29PM (#28403323)

    Good post. I have a 900A linux Eee (posting on it right now), and I supplement its SSD with SD cards. 4GB is not a lot to run an OS in, but it's certainly possible with linux.

    However, the default OS shipped with this thing was pretty worthless, as well as bloated. It was clearly intended to be useful for only a few specific tasks. It was also not intended, apparently, that you store anything on the disk---including software updates. It preserved the original system as shipped, making it extremely quick and easy to revert to that image, but updating package X would create an entirely new copy of that package, rapidly filling up the disk.

    Fedora and Ubuntu both fit quite nicely into 4GB, and make for a much better solution. Dell and HP seem to have chosen the latter to much better results, but I am terribly excited by the Moblin project: the interface is extremely fast and intuitive. It's the simplified 'internet appliance' OS that Asus/Acer/MSI were looking for, but done right. If Intel can get the system manufacturers on board, I think there's a huge market for Moblin netbooks, with one caveat.

    The other thing that happened with the netbook market, besides what you mentioned, is that the sytem manufacturers immediately started trying to cram as much as they could into the form factor (and increasing the form factor) to the point that the distinction between a high-end netbook and a low-end laptop is fairly arbitrary. I believe that happened mostly because of the perception of netbooks as a general-purpose computer rather than an internet appliance. That's all well and good, but the original idea was for the latter, and I think that there's (as I said) a huge market for what would essentially be the iPhone with a keyboard, provided that it is priced low enough.

    If people are spending $300 or more on something that looks like a computer, they think they're getting a computer. They want a Computer, so that drives the market towards larger, more powerful, more expensive machines, and Windows. All of those things will hopefully prove to be unecessary.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @03:04PM (#28403595)

    Obviously you should have made a better horse, if it were so easy for Microsoft to have killed it.

    Horses have the inherent weakness of being able to be shot. The problem isn't the horse. Even MS's horse can be shot. The problem is that only MS has a gun.

    So, instead of finding out how each horse compares with the other on the racetrack (MS's horse would still most likely win, but it won't be a 95% (or whatever the actual value is) market share, which they get by default if they don't have to race), all we've found out is that horses can be shot, and MS has a gun.

    That's the problem with anti-competitive behavior. The market can't work if it never gets a chance to. If we want the best products at the best prices, we need fair competition.

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @03:28PM (#28403741) Homepage

    Couple of problems here

    • Whenever Linux and Windows netbooks were made equally available to the public, the public has mostly chosen Windows. For example, Linux and Windows netbooks were (and still are) readily available from Amazon, and Windows, and if you check the top sellers, Windows dominates.
    • The quote doesn't say anything about Microsoft pressuring anybody. As one of the commentators on Groklaw pointed out, is can quite reasonably be read as simply saying it is hard to be different from the vast majority, and so its better to start off in a market where there is more diversity, like PDAs and smartphonest.

    Another Groklaw commentator pointed out that: (1) people are familiar with Windows which makes them tend to choose it. (2) multiple distributions confuses ordinary computer users (there was no de facto standard distribution for netbooks). (A good fraction of the Linux users who purchase Linux netbooks through out the distribution that came on their netbook and install one of the more mainstream distributions). (3) There are still ease of use problems.

    PJs response was interesting. She accused the commentator of working for Microsoft, told him he needs to update his FUD because "Linux is way easier to use now than Microsoft stuff. No comparison", and tossed off a circular argument ("If they were as difficult as you pretend, why kill it?").

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @03:48PM (#28403857)

    The point is, it doesn't make the slightest difference what MS did or didn't do. The Linux community has had a decade and a half to come up with some awesomeness that they can convince people to use when they give it away. It hasn't happened? Why?

    I think the answer is that Linux developers develop Linux for themselves. If someone criticizes it, they rationalize away the criticism (or just attack the person), rather than try to improve the OS. THAT's why Linux isn't competitive with Windows except on servers, where there's a Linux geek to take care of them.

    If Linux were up to snuff for end user use and MS tried the "we'll raise the price from $15 to $100" trick then ASUS would just tell them, "well, we're getting Linux for free, and everybody likes it just as much, so piss off."

    The only reason MS could pull that trick, if they did is because Linux is not competitive with Windows. Rather than take feedback from this (or any other) opportunity and make it so, the Linux community has chosen to whine about conspiracies instead.

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @04:25PM (#28404069)

    I said I've seen Linux improve over the years, but only in certain directions. Linux improves in the directions that the developers of Linux find relevant, to themselves. Occasionally some rich guy comes along with a mission and decides to indulge his own personal vision, but in general it's just a grind towards what the average technically inclined geek wants.

    That may well be the limiting factor for open source community development. When developers develop for themselves, the result is a product that is only really usable by someone with the technical ability to code it (ie a very small minority). I certainly hope that's not true, but except for certain cases, such as Firefox, it certainly seems to be the case.

    It is certainly possible to be aware of what MS is up to AND to look at where Linux needs to improve. But that's not what the article is about, and it's not what most of the posts here are about. Just look at the title: "The Truth Behind the Death of Linux On the Netbook." MS did NOT kill Linux on the Netbook. Linux killed Linux on the Netbook. Do you seriously believe that if ASUS, Dell, whoever could get an equal or better OS for free to put on their computers they'd be the slightest bit worried about whether MS was going to raise the price for Windows?

  • by Waccoon ( 1186667 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:26PM (#28405475)

    Linux distros on netbooks were pathetic and often broken. They sold inbred horses with zebra stripes painted on them.

    Seriously, these are called "netbooks" because they are designed to be cheap Internet surfing machines. If they don't run every piece of Windows software out there, then that probably isn't a big deal. If Linux can't break into that kind of market, than it's obvious that the companies that prepared Linux did a horrible job, rather than faced anti-competitive pressure from MS, or faced retaliation from users who wanted Windows apps.

    This happens over and over again to Linux. Every time, it's the same excuses.

  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Saturday June 20, 2009 @07:28PM (#28405489)

    dude, Linux is being eliminated from getting on devices users can purchase so exactly how is the Linux community going to learn from this? And don't say that people can buy the Windows version and install Linux because once people do that, they are not generic consumers and the problems are about installing. Preloaded distro's eliminate 80% of the problems people complain about Linux, 10% of the complaint are basically because Linux is not Windows and they have no clue that there is a builtin app-store on pretty much every Linux system available. They complain about installing software because it's not like Windows. Duh, iPhone people don't complain that the iPhone isn't like Windows now do they? the last 10% could be real info about UI stuff and app issues but guess what, we don't get that feed back because normal users don't get the choice to get a netbook device with Linux on it. THAT is why you probably got mod'ded down since the article is about Microsoft putting pressure to stop OEMs from shipping Linux based products.


  • by Elektroschock ( 659467 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:02AM (#28410351)

    There is no smoking gun, there is a way the business is operated by Taiwanese hardware manufacturers. Asus credibly demonstrates that they don't depend on Microsoft.

    It is a bit like the nuke done right. Americans don't get that you don't have to actually destroy two cities as an act of atrocity.

    It is enough to blackmail Microsoft...

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.