[kwlug-disc] Video killed the radio star/netbook battle

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Wed Jun 23 23:12:39 EDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 08:17:53PM -0700, John Kerr wrote:
> Here is a posting from the Rochester LUG:
> At a meeting I attended last night a friend and I were really bored.

I hope our LUG meetings aren't that boring. (Don't answer that.) 

This race is all well and good, but as far as I can tell we really
have lost the netbook battle. We were all crowing over Linux being
installed in EEE PCs a few years ago: 


and now they come with WinXP Home or (more likely) the crippled
Windows 7 Starter Edition. 


- Tiger Direct has categories for "Windows-based" netbooks and
  "Linux-based" ones. There are 8 Windows-based ones and 1 Linux-based

- The Future Shop website is hideous to search in, but so far I have
  not found a single netbook that is not preinstalled with Windows. 

- The Asus site (http://ca.asus.com) prominently displays the message:
  "Windows. Life without Walls. ASUS recommends Windows 7."

- Go to newegg.ca . Search for netbooks. End up in the "Home -> PCs
  and Laptops -> Laptops, Notebooks, and Netbooks -> Netbooks"
  category. On the left hand bar search for "More Options" and look at
  the "OS Provided" links. They are all Windows. Search for "linux"
  while you are at it. 

Back in 2008 we were all breathing sighs of relief because Linux was
*finally* being preinstalled on computers for a non-niche market. Now
we are back to blowing away Windows partitions and trying to convince
people to try free software on their netbooks. In other words, we lost

Both me and the original poster would probably appreciate any
anecdotes or data to the contrary, because it would mean we would be
able to buy modern netbooks on our system that run free software from
start to finish. 

Of course, now that FLOSS media players are (for all intents and
purposes) going to be criminalized in this country, the task of
getting people to try Linux gets even harder. The speed tests are
irrelevant if people aren't willing to try your product. 

What can we do? Become criminals, I guess. We're already radicals. 

- Paul


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