Bonum Certa Men Certa

Collusion Against GNU/Linux and Sub-notebooks: Part II

Computer chips



Summary: Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer confirms a new, predatory pricing scheme

IN OUR last post about Intel-Microsoft collusion, we showed evidence that this pair is arranging an elevation of cost for self gain at the expense of consumers. This was made possible partly by an assault on GNU/Linux on this particular form factor. Microsoft's CEO now confirms that the reports on pricing were correct.



Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently confirmed that the company will limit Windows 7 Starter, the edition expected to end up on netbooks, to systems that sport small screens and low-powered processors.


For background, the links at the bottom may be of use. We have covered other stories of collusion since 2007.

Brendan Scott has also just published this summary of the events surrounding GNU/Linux on sub-notebooks.

About 18 months ago a silver (actually white) bullet known as the eeePC running Linux appeared. They were literally sold out immediately (example story) – despite the fact that they were pre-loaded with Linux, and well before the onset of austerity from the financial crisis. Within 2 or 3 months a version of the eeePC running Windows XP was announced, first shipping in early (perhaps Jan??) 2008. At about the six-eight month mark (give or take) people were happy to report the form factor being sold at 70-30% in favour of Linux (google it or see Brendan Leblanc’s claim of “under 10%” in the first half of 2008).

Since that time something has happened. The specifications for this class of portable device have been steadily increasing, closing the gap between them and standard laptops (so much so, that there may not be a “netbook” market anymore). With that the price of these machines has also increased. Linux versions of the eeePC are either not available at all, or are only available on the lowest specification models.


That was after ASUS had gotten "closely tied up with Microsoft," according to the company. More details can be found below and the Russian authorities have initiated an investigation, so this is not mere speculation or "paranoia".

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