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ASUS Enters the Slog Business

Microsoft dirty tactics



Summary: Putting the ASUS marketing campaign in perspective

A QUICK glance at yesterday's news was particularly interesting. With a $100,000,000 budget dedicated solely to the purpose, Microsoft has begun not only a media blitz for Bing but it also attacked and trolled Google. Pro-Microsoft blogs were full of it and Walt Mossberg, an old buddy Bill Gates, had a good time with Steve Ballmer who used the podium to promote Bing. But this post is not about the Slog against Google; rather, it is about ASUS joining an anti-Linux marketing campaign.



“Anti-Linux ads will pay ASUS the equivalent of kickbacks for using Windows.”With profit down 94% after joining hands with Microsoft, ASUS could truly use some fast cash. Anti-Linux ads will pay ASUS the equivalent of kickbacks for using Windows. This further reduction in price through marketing means that even negative pricing for Windows becomes possible. What ASUS is doing right now is an issue we wrote about a fortnight ago because it resembles old tactics. They have a new banner that they market. Microsoft used to do this in servers under the slogan "Get the Facts" and now it's brought to the desktop under the slogan "it's better with Windows."

We are well aware of how huge GNU/Linux became on servers. In September 2008 Steve Ballmer said that “forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux.” Microsoft, unlike IDC/Gartner, does not rely on the lies it pays IDC/Gartner to spread publicly. Microsoft instructs (commissions/bribes) IDC to conduct 'studies' the way which favours and glorifies Microsoft. Even by these bogus measures, Windows Server revenue is down 29 percent at the moment. Mary-Jo Foley wrote about it yesterday. Add this to an overall alarmingly-sharp decline of 32% in earnings at Microsoft. They can't be happy

The decline of Microsoft's earnings was notably attributed to the rise of GNU/Linux through a new form factor, the sub-notebook (or Netbookâ„¢). As GreyGeek put it yesterday:

not even Microsoft or Ballmer believe their own PR FUD. Ballmer puts Linux's desktop marketshare greater than Mac's, which is supposed to be 10% http://www.osnews.com/story/21035/Ballmer_Linux_Bi gger_Competitor_than_Apple


Net Applications is never to be believed by the way. Or, as Carla put it:

I don't believe that the desktop Linux market share is barely 1%. I think it is a lot higher. I have no good data to share; I base my assessment on experience and knowing the industry. There is something else that is even more persuasive, and that is how Microsoft behaves. If Linux is so insignificant, why do they pay so much attention to it? Like this new ASUS/Windows Eee PC "It's Better With Windows" ad campaign...

[...]

It's a direct shot at Linux, so I guess that little bitty one percent is a bigger one percent than it's given credit for. Some have questioned if these ads are legitimate, and claim they are satire or a hoax. ASUS links to them, so they're for real.


It's true that ASUS has joined Microsoft's marketing blitz against GNU/Linux. As The Inquirer puts it:

ASUSTEK HAS JOINED Microsoft in launching a marketing campaign to get netbook users to use Windows rather than dodgy old Linux.

[...]

The difference, we assume, is that Microsoft has money to spend on promoting its products.


If not many people purchase the Eee PC with GNU/Linux it's because the company does not make these available in shops (and never with comparable hardware). It does not even develop or properly maintain the distribution after it said that it got "closely tied up with Microsoft."

Here is another way to put it: "Asus and Microsoft join forces against Linux"

Microsoft and Asus have launched a marketing campaign to encourage netbook users to use Windows rather than Linux.


Watch the counter argument from Glyn Moody, the suggestion that it might be a hoax, and the reality of this situation.

Regardless of the thoughts form the anti-Linux and pro-Linux camps, it appears from the Asus (.co.uk) site that there is a Windows based Eee PC, no where does it say that Asus is replacing the Linux version with Windows (or at least I didn't see it).


Some people hastily jump to the conclusion that ASUS is now an anti-Linux company rather than just a marketing partner of Microsoft (to earn easy cash). But the matter of fact is that ASUS still plans to use Android (Linux) for phones and it has just released the Asus EeeNAS, which runs GNU/Linux only.

Asustek Computer joined other NAS (network attached storage) device makers such as QNAP and Acer by showing off a new NAS that uses Intel's low-power, inexpensive Atom N270 microprocessor.

[...]

EeeNAS has a Linux OS.


So, ASUS did not abandon GNU/Linux. It just got seduced by cash that Microsoft offered in order to shun GNU/Linux. "<vendor> recommends Windows" is a similar paid-for advertisement. This just shows how miserable Microsoft has become. This is a Slog.

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