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07.29.09

Why is Acer Curtailing Its Linux Efforts?

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 2:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance”

Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

Summary: Acer suddenly pushes back the Android plan it was so excited about; ASUS temporarily neglects sub-notebooks

AS we noted a couple of days go, there is already a Russian investigation into what Microsoft did to GNU/Linux in sub-notebooks. Reading between the lines, this was the interpretation of the Managing Editor of Linux Today.

Based on evidence that we gathered (see links at the bottom), Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics worked very effectively against GNU/Linux at ASUS; not only that, but Microsoft tried to eliminate this market of sub-notebooks altogether. Microsoft’s business model just can’t take it [1, 2, 3] and it shows [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

“Asian manufacturers habitually admit that they are afraid of Microsoft, which uses margins to punish them.”Does anyone still remember the bizarre incident where ASUS apologised for removing an amazing Linux product during an expo? Asian manufacturers habitually admit that they are afraid of Microsoft, which uses margins to punish them. It is a tool of extortion.

Now we discover that ASUS, which was ecstatic back in the days about GNU/Linux-powered Eee PCs, has decided to no longer make sub-notebooks this year. What a difference getting "closely tied up with Microsoft" can make. Their profit fell 94% and now there is another generation of products ruined by Microsoft, maybe eternally. At least ARM is coming.

Based on the same report, sources say that Acer might be delaying/canceling its Linux sub-notebooks which its people planned and were hugely enthusiastic about. To quote:

Report: Acer Android Netbook pushed back

[...]

But if the Digitimes report is accurate, it means something has shifted at Acer HQ. At Computex in early June, company executives were very excited about the possibilities of Android on Netbooks, even saying that the majority of Acer Netbooks will come with Android as an alternative operating system to Microsoft’s Windows.

“Netbooks are designed to be compact in size and easy to connect to the Internet wherever you go,” Jim Wong, Acer’s president of IT products, said at the time. “The Android operating system offers incredibly fast wireless connection to the Internet; for this reason, Acer has decided to develop Android Netbooks for added convenience to our customers.”

“[S]omething has shifted at Acer HQ,” writes CNET. Something has shifted, alright. Ask ASUS about Snapdragon. It was about a year ago that Roughly Drafted Magazine hypothesised that Microsoft was pressuring vendors (behind the scenes) to abolish Android.

The Russian investigators will hopefully get to the bottom of this.

Related posts:

“Microsoft Corp is using scare tactics to exert pressure on PC vendors not to explore the potential of desktop Linux”

Ron Hovsepian

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A Single Comment

  1. zatoichi said,

    July 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Every indication in the industry suggests that Android is a lot more difficult to get working on a given piece of hardware than Google would like people to believe. So far, HTC (who’s received massive direct help from Google, to the exclusion of other “Open Handset Alliance” members) has managed to bring out only a few devices, the others are in various states of “not for a while yet” or “delayed”.

    Please don’t mistake Google for a friend of the free or open source software community: they are even more cynical than Microsoft, derive more benefit from the work of others, and give back only minimally in comparison with the degree to which they’ve benefited. Google is widely referred to as “a black hole for open source code, and people”.

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