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Asus Slaps Linux In the Face 644

Posted by samzenpus
from the et-tu-asus dept.
vigmeister writes "From Techgeist, 'Linux just got a major slap in the face today from Asus. One of the highlights of Linux going mainstream was the wildly popular Asus Eee PC preinstalled with a customized Linux distro geared towards web applications. While I personally never got what the big deal was, I was still happy for all the Linux people out there waiting for this day, but it looks like the cause for celebration won't be lasting much longer. Asus and Microsoft have teamed up and have made a site called 'It's Better With Windows.' The page touts how easy it is to get up and ready with Windows on an Asus Eee PC, while slyly stating that you won't have to deal with an 'unfamiliar environment' and 'major compatibility issues.' While it is silly to state such a thing since Asus built the Linux distribution specifically for the Eee PC, I give Microsoft two points for snarky comments.'"
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Asus Slaps Linux In the Face

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  • That's a damn shame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:01AM (#28121727) Homepage Journal

    I thought it was already pretty easy to "get up and ready" with my EeePC. Well, Asus will have to live with their decision.

    My next motherboard will be a Gigabyte.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:07AM (#28121793) Homepage
    Just so that I can cost the bastards some money by demanding a Windows Refund [linux.com] on it.
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:10AM (#28121813) Homepage
    Don't get me wrong, I like my EEE but Asus completely screwed up. The interface was poor, the updates were rubbish and in fact some of the updates would break it. It's quite possibly the worst Linux distro I've seen. I might as well buy a normal smallish laptop with an SSD as I still have to uninstall the OS and put my own on with an EEE.

    In a way their Linux distro is more of a slap in the face for Linux than not using Linux.

    I've had much better luck since putting my own instance of Ubuntu onto the machine which I prefer much more than I would Windows or that custom Xandros OS.
  • by ilovegeorgebush (923173) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:10AM (#28121825) Homepage
    This isn't the end of the world. Can't we all realise that there's a market for both Windows and Linux?

    Those who want Windows on their netbook can buy it, those who don't can buy Linux. See?

    Ultimately this is business, and it ain't pretty.
  • Asus screwed up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wally0623 (1564211) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:23AM (#28121955)
    I was introduced to the eeePc when a friend bought one. It came with their version of Linux installed and he called me for help. I have been almost exclusively Linux since the early on and I was literally unable to help him. We were on the phone and with the graphical shell they put on the Asus, he couldn't find anything. He got frustrated and installed Windows. He ran for a short time before he screwed up Windows. At that point, he brought his Asus over and I installed eeebuntu. It has been a love affair ever since. I even offered to make his machine dual boot and was turned down. Now I have my own Asus running eeebuntu.
  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:25AM (#28121969)

    I've got the Windows 7 Beta on my (originally Linux) eee 901. I got it second hand from someone who'd wiped the stock linux for a (dodgy) XP install, so I've never seen the original linux distro. From what I've heard, I don't want too.

    It's a tough call between putting Ubuntu or Windows 7 on it once the 7 beta expires though.

  • Re:hey Asus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by postbigbang (761081) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:41AM (#28122133)

    ... it's just marketing....

    There are some people that would like to take an organization's word for what the words mean. Asus made their own cut of Linux to work with the Eee and now they've caved to Microsoft pressure to eat their own words. Worse, it's a lie.

    The integrity of such an organization then becomes suspect, as if they lied about this, then what else did they lie about? Trust is broken. And we then know them for what they are: an organization that will capitulate, lie, send mixed messages, all in the names of sales desparation. Too bad about Asus....

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:51AM (#28122239) Journal

    OK, but that's very 80s and 90s thinking. The whole idea that systems have to be static, fixed, rigid is very much in the past.

    There is no reason why releases have to be so long apart. That thinking comes from a license fee driven mentality; when you charge people for an upgrade, they must have something for it. So there is a huge incentive for feature bloat; look at "ribbons" v. "menus". I've yet to see a substantive difference in use but it's a brand new feature that's used to justify the huge cost of an upgrade.

    Now look at the way linux develops. It's incremental, it's fast, and it relies on repositories. It doesn't have an attachment to the past. So a vendor doesn't have to customize the software to each distro, that's the distro maintainers' job.

    Distro maintainers in linux are much like the OEMs in the MS world. They're ultimately responsible for making stuff work. The problem currently is that the major commercial vendors just plain don't understand how linux works, and so don't want to trust, support, or even acknowledge the package maintainers' role in making their product work.

    The flip side is that the linux community has a short bullshit fuse; with flux and change being the norm, a commercial vendor has to be just as nimble, just as competitive, just as flexible as an open source project. Most of them simply cannot do that as they have too many internally competing goals.

    So a piece of software that is not being actively developed is likely to be dropped in favor of some other. Look at what's happening to MySQL right now.

  • Re:Meh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by adnd74 (1022357) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:53AM (#28122263)
    I disagree... Make sure to pay your windows tax and ensure that you have a reinstall CD so you get a better resale value
  • Re:Meh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:12AM (#28122477)

    No way! Resell it as it is. They can't tell the difference anyway [zdnet.com.au].

  • by DannyO152 (544940) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:16AM (#28122523)

    little to do with Asus other than get their permission.

    Let's have a dramatic reenactment, shall we?

    Hi, Mike Sharp here. We've got a site going where we will talk about the benefits of running XP on your devices. Can we get you to link to it?

    The ancient operating system you keep trying to kill?

    Yeah, (ha ha), exactly.

    I haven't heard the magic words....

    Please?

    No, the other magic words

    Oh, your next 15,000 OEM licenses are essentially free.

    There we go!

    And... scene.

  • by Elektroschock (659467) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:16AM (#28122527)

    Asus is a Taiwanese hardware manufacturer. They fund Linux because they know it drives Microsoft crazy and they get better procurement conditions. So when they say "windows is better" than mind that before it was "no choice", and as all competitors know it advises to the opposite. Microsoft will not stop Asus' wise Linux investment, and Taiwanese open source efforts like LXDE.

    Hardware manufacturere need a Linux strategy to get like Asus a super return on investment. AOL invested in Mozilla and Microsoft paid them a shitload of money to stay with their browser engine, a few years later the IE dominance is gone. The business of open source with Microsoft, you invest a bit in open source and Microsoft gets really scared and throws money at you.

    Asus thinks Windows is better because they now get it almost for free. But the very reason for that was their progressive Linux embracement.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:16AM (#28122531) Journal
    Hmmm. Either contracted out for MS, or it really was a MS job. I mean EVERYBODY uses Google Analytics, even MS.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:35AM (#28122763)

    The campaing is a fake. Somebody took Asus EEE commercial videos and slapped a crappy looking badly aligned 'It's better with Windows' Slogan over it. Fonts aren't MS branding and the layout of the website is notably amatureish. You all have been trolled, so chill. It's a compareatively elaborate troll though, I give him that.

  • Oh well (Score:2, Interesting)

    by theillien (984847) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:30AM (#28123499)
    Looks like I'll be looking elsewhere when I buy a netbook.
  • by petrus4 (213815) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @11:16AM (#28124071) Homepage Journal

    We need a new mass-market/"newb friendly," distro, and we need to make sure that this one is NOT Debian based.

    FreeBSD has the following technical advantages over anything Debian based that I've been able to see, and these could be recreated most easily with a non-Debian based Linux. These might be under the hood things, but they would definitely filter up to make life easier for the end user.

    - Single point of daemon loading at bootup with /etc/rc.conf.
    - Comparitive ease of kernel recompilation that is so much greater than Linux, and Debian in particular, that it isn't funny. The config file is tiny, and completely documented.
    - Package management which doesn't subpackage, or have incomprehensibly stupid, bogus dependency declarations. Said package management also uses the directory structure of the filesystem itself as a database, so it can be used on low-powered systems which would have difficulty running an SQL database engine.

    These are simplifications which, IMHO, Ubuntu very badly needs to adopt.

  • Re:hey Asus (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CyberK (1191465) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @12:06PM (#28124823)
    www.asus.co.uk redirects directly to uk.asus.com, but if you go to for example http://www.asus.co.uk/eeepc/1000HE/ [asus.co.uk], you will arrive at a marketing page designed to cater to British buyers. So it almost looks like some yahoo in British marketing decided to do this without be told to. "Taking initiative", I believe it's called...
  • by Ecuador (740021) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @12:20PM (#28125007) Homepage

    Wow. I couldn't disagree more. I usually swear by openSuSE, but I could see from the first moment that ASUS had done an amazing job with the EEE. Granted, I had to activate the "advanced" mode to get full KDE and add the Debian repositories since I needed the machine for development on the go, plus the single user thing was a bit annoying, but it I was certainly not the target audience. I lent it to a friend of mine for her vacation - an average windows user - and she did not ask a single question during the 2-3 weeks she used it, she just said she loved the experience (mostly email, browsing, photos from the camera, IM, video-chat...). And as I said, for a developer it still only took a little tinkering to get the full "linux experience" I am used to.
    And I don't know how you get the "it breaks with updates". I have installed hundreds of DEBIAN packages and updates and I still have not seen a problem. Not only that, but it is faster and handles wifi, USB devices & flash cards better (and simpler) than almost any desktop installation I've come across.
    Last week I also bought an MSI Wind with linux. Now THAT was a bad experience. I said I am an openSuSE user myself and the Wind with SuSE Enterprise 10 should be a familiar experience, but, boy, it is a complete disaster. Anyway, that's another story, it just made me appreciate the EEE even more.

  • Re:hey Asus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Repossessed (1117929) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @12:32PM (#28125191)

    A quick whois shows that the domain registrar is Godaddy, which seems an odd odd choice for a company as large as Microsoft.

    Registered out of Kent, Washington to one Michael Sharp. A quick Google for Michael Sharp, Microsoft, shows this guy as holding or having held a bunch of management positions.

    This may be legit, if its not, it was very well researched.

  • by V!NCENT (1105021) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @01:37PM (#28126213)

    Can it be more anti-Microsoft than this? Let's go through the video, shall we?

    1) Why is the mother laughing at the Windows boot screen? Is it booting 10x longer than her previous Ubuntu 9.04 install? I don't have a clue...

    2) Why is she closing the lid after having done absolutely nothing with the EeePC? Tired of waiting for it to boot? Isn't Windows productive, or just plane useless? You tell me...

    3) The people in this 'commercial' are supposed to be representative Windows users. Now what mother gives her kids their laptops to s

    chool but forgets to give them bread/sandwiches and drinks?!

    4) After school, presumably, the kids go to the beach to make photos with a mobile phone. Now why on earth would hey do that? Isn't there a 1,3 megapixel (can't be better than that ancient phone) webcam on the EeePC? Doesn't Windows have photo capturing software? Ubuntu/Linux -> Cheese for Gnome. So Windows lacks software. Wow how bad can advertising be? But it doesn't stop there;

    5) The kids need to usb-cable-transfer the picture from the phone to the EeePC while there is a cardreader slot. Except for plane stupidity on behalf of Windows users, doesn't the commercial say Windows redefines mobility/Wireless? Strange... Why don't they do it via bluetooth file transfer? Or isn't that supported in Windows either? Talking about compatibility with devices here... (that accounts for bith the phone and the bluetooth dongle.

    6) After transfering the picture (mobility equals taking cables with you?) to the EeePC they can use some Live app to cut the picture. Wow! Totally can't do that with Gimp! Try to red eye correct that picture on Windows, morons. And no, Photoshop is not a part of Windows and no it doesn't run on a EeePC, but Gimp does.

    7) The Business guy is spilling coffe over himself. Is Windows targetted for idiots? Nice move Microsoft marketing dicks...

    8) After that incident he can share it with Live Messenger. Wow! Webcamming is the killer feature for Live Messenger? Except for the fact that it aint, the Windows marketing dicks suck balls.

    9) Then the representative Windows user also like to laugh at himself for spilling coffee all over himself and enjoyes being lauched out loud by the people who he's webcamming with. Windows is targetted for loser? FAIL!

    10) Redefining mobility? Like what the hell? Given the fact that this is a commercial for not using Linux and instead using Windows, what kind of redefining is going on here? Ubuntu 9.04 works completely out of the box with the EeePC (I am typing from one) and Windows sucks at connecting to wireless. Speed eh? NOT! Ubuntu 9.04 remembers you connections and auto-connects to one, and when you lost connection (because you're on the go) you can just click on the wireless icon in the system tray and click on a network from a dropdown list and you're finnished before you can say "right-click". No fscking around with settings and no BS.

    11) Microsoft works... yeah... OpenOffice 3.1 'nuff said... Don't even try running the latest Office 2007 with that ribbon crap (fills the entire screen)

    Ok so that pretty much nailes it: "Are you a loser, bad mom and/or plane stupid? Do you want a sucking EeePC experience? Install Windows XP with Live and Works!

  • Re:hey Asus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge&gmail,com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:11PM (#28126857)

    Can we all agree never to use the word 'polish' when evaluating an OS, ever again?

    It does not convey any information beyond a vague dissatisfaction with UI elements; It's not a useful term. It can mean anything from, "I think brown is ugly." to "The clipboard widget has obscene error messages."

    At least try to distinguish between aesthetic and technical issues. "Polish" has become a catch-all term for anything that someone dislikes about linux. The worst part of this is that it's distro-specific, or specific to one desktop environment, or specific to one WM/UI. Gnome, KDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and the Moblin UI are all 'linux desktops', and presumably all have varying degrees of 'polish'. All of them behave differently and look differently: the only common interface in linux is the terminal.

    I think it would be extremely fair to call the terminal a very 'polished' interface, and I hope that idea will dissuade you from using the term in the future :)

  • How Amusing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by u-235-sentinel (594077) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:47PM (#28130757) Homepage Journal

    Especially since I just replaced my last Windows XP desktop running on my wife's computer last week. She's sick and tired of Windows issues that she asked what's Linux like?

    She's in multi boot right now in case she needs anything and I showed her how to access her windows partition for files she's missing. In a few weeks we're flattening the Windows partition and we're done.

    Sorry charlie.

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