12.21.08

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Is ASUS Deliberately Discouraging GNU/Linux Now?

Posted in GNU/Linux, IRC Logs, Microsoft, OLPC, Windows at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

For a little bit of background, see:

Here is a portion of the IRC conversation that took place some minutes ago (some typos were manually corrected):

kentma Talking about eee, I’m looking at eee and acer aspire in Guelph Dec 21 15:35
schestowitz Microsoft EEEed the EEE too Dec 21 15:35
schestowitz Now they push for up-speccing Dec 21 15:35
schestowitz ASUS said they were closely tied up with Microsoft Dec 21 15:36
kentma There’re EEEs at a local store, but 678 for win XP version, and 778 for linux version Dec 21 15:36
schestowitz First they put Windows (like with the OLPC), then extend to pull out the ‘Linux; Dec 21 15:36
kentma That’s Cnd$ Dec 21 15:36
schestowitz Why the price difference? Dec 21 15:36
kentma But there’s an aspire for 378 which looks good Dec 21 15:36
schestowitz That’s the leading one. Dec 21 15:37
kentma I don’t know, the Windows version has a bigger SSD as well Dec 21 15:37
kentma 80g versus 40g Dec 21 15:37
kentma Still, I’m in on my N800 this morning.. With pidgin. Dec 21 15:38
kentma I’m amazed at home much the maemo repository has grown. Dec 21 15:39
kentma There’re so many apps for the N800 and n810, it’s extraordinary Dec 21 15:39
schestowitz Wait, but why is the Linux version more expensive? Dec 21 15:40
schestowitz It’s worth investigating because Microsoft is playing  dirty Dec 21 15:40
schestowitz This is not exactly new. Dec 21 15:40
kentma I don’t know, and worse, it even has the smaller drive, too. Dec 21 15:40
[...]
schestowitz So ASUS may then say that people don’t want Linux. Dec 21 15:40
schestowitz [maybe cause it's made more expensive and hobbled] Dec 21 15:41
kentma You have to pay a premium for the linux version, now.   It stinks of corruption. Dec 21 15:41
schestowitz Microsoft pressured ASUS a while ago and if they totally sold out, then it needs to be said. Dec 21 15:41
schestowitz The corruption occurred a while ago.. a form of kickbacks, IMHO. Dec 21 15:42
kentma Certainly, the prices are rising fast for the asus machines, and getting the linux ones is becoming yet more difficult.  It might be at the distributor level, though. Dec 21 15:42
schestowitz They raise if for Intel and Microsoft Dec 21 15:43
schestowitz With Linux they targeted low end. Dec 21 15:43
schestowitz As they go upwards with the specs, they punish Linux and pay more to Microsoft’s partner, Intel. Dec 21 15:43
[...]
kentma It’s daft, because the performance of windows on high end machines is not better than linux on low end machines. Dec 21 15:44
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8 Comments

  1. SubSonica said,

    December 21, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Gravatar

    True. Some months ago, the AA1 linux version was 349€ whereas the windows XP version with same specs was 399€, now they sell both at 349€. I bought an AA1 linux version, though (the one with SSD and half the ram) for 219€.

  2. pcolon said,

    December 21, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Gravatar

    OEMs have already seen and in ASUS case, tasted sales success, with preinstalled Linux machines. Now they seem to be caving in to MS running higher spec machines for less profit because windows can’t run on the lower spec ones. If OEMs want to continue appeasing a dying monopoly, they’re welcome to gut themselves. Others will just slide in and take their place.

  3. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Gravatar

    It seems ASUS might be one of Microsoft’s bitches.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Gravatar

    It has been for a long time, but some believed got reformed.

    Microsoft is throwing away a lot of revenue just to choke GNU/Linux and pressure OEMs not to offer a foothold to better operating systems.

    “They [Microsoft] have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.”

    Robert X. Cringely

  5. amd-linux said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    I dont know why you did not moderate my last comment, but again in brief:

    MS is paying per-license marketing subventions that make manufacturers use Windows – as they essentialy get payed from MS for every Windows license they sell.

    MS charges them lets say 19 USD per Windows XP Home license and pays them about 30 bucks per sold machine with Windows via a marketing contract. In essence, they they to crush competition via kick-backs.

    Bad thing for MS and shareholders: Even MS will run out of money one. day….

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Gravatar

    amd-linux, did any of your comments get trapped? I released one of yours about 2 days after it had been posted (we get lots of spam and false positives).

    Regarding Microsoft’s bottom line, they are close to debt (maybe they are already in it).

  7. amd-linux said,

    December 22, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Gravatar

    Dont know, maybe because I posted 2 comments within 20 minutes :-) ? Anyway.

    BTW, a spokesperson for Asus Germany told a reader of an EEE PC blog via email that Asus Germany is forbidden by a marketing agreement to sell Linux machines cheaper than Windows equipped machines so you can not get the same model with Windows or Linux – because then, the kick back trick would be transparent to the competition authorities ….

    With Acer, there seems no such deal in place, so you can choose the same model with Win XP or Linux, and getting the Linux version for the well known 30 Euros less…. which is the current Windows tax here in Euroland.

    In the US, MS obviously does not dare to do this – otherwise they would also bribe Dell the same way, which they are not doing, me thinks, when I see the last Dell Linux offers.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 22, 2008 at 4:28 am

    Gravatar

    Dell is based on kickbacks. it had them going with Intel too.

    The corruption in this industry is rampant and it’s time for intervention.

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