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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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  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SchizoStatic (1413201) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:00AM (#28121715) Homepage Journal
    Meh. I'll just install linux over the windows install as usual.
  • 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 al3 (1285708) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:33AM (#28122051)

      This website is such a hack-job. I can't believe MS or Asus was involved. The video player is FlowPlayer, the tracking uses Google Analytics, the fonts are all wrong for a MS job. There's no copyright, disclaimer, contact. Nothing. I call bullshit.

      That, and I don't believe MS would be encouraging people to use XP with Vista taking so much heat and Windows 7 just on the horizon.

      • by alienunknown (1279178) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:46AM (#28122179)
        I just looked at the sites registration details and it looks even more sus. Microsoft and Asus register a domain name with godaddy to an individual and not a company?

        I agree with you, I think its bullshit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jez9999 (618189)

        This website is such a hack-job. I can't believe MS or Asus was involved. The video player is FlowPlayer, the tracking uses Google Analytics, the fonts are all wrong for a MS job. There's no copyright, disclaimer, contact. Nothing. I call bullshit.

        To be fair, it is better designed than Asus' own website.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:53AM (#28122261)

        http://who.godaddy.com/whoischeck.aspx?Domain=ITSBETTERWITHWINDOWS.COM [godaddy.com]

        Check out the owner's Expert-Exchange profile
        http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_1301691.html [experts-exchange.com]

        "I am an independant web and application developer, specializing in Content Management and Collaboration. My company, CollaborationPeople, Inc. serves clients in Seattle, Washington and the greater Puget Sound Region, although I have clients as far away as Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA and Portland, Or."

        Registrant:
        Michael Sharp
        12932 SE Kent-Kangley Rd.
        Box 238
        Kent, Washington 98030
        United States

        Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
        Domain Name: ITSBETTERWITHWINDOWS.COM
        Created on: 05-Dec-08
        Expires on: 05-Dec-09
        Last Updated on: 05-Dec-08

        Administrative Contact:
        Sharp, Michael rdcpro@hotmail.com
        12932 SE Kent-Kangley Rd.
        Box 238
        Kent, Washington 98030
        United States
        (877) 788-8066

        Technical Contact:
        Sharp, Michael rdcpro@hotmail.com
        12932 SE Kent-Kangley Rd.
        Box 238
        Kent, Washington 98030
        United States
        (877) 788-8066

        Domain servers in listed order:
        NS61.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
        NS62.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

        Registry Status: clientDeleteProhibited
        Registry Status: clientRenewProhibited
        Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited
        Registry Status: clientUpdateProhibited

      • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:57AM (#28122297)

        This website is such a hack-job. I can't believe MS or Asus was involved. The video player is FlowPlayer, the tracking uses Google Analytics, the fonts are all wrong for a MS job.

        They didn't. But we are meant to think they did. These trackers are by Google Analytics. The MS advertisement execs always use a single tracker to hide their numbers.

        And these talking points, too trollish for MS advertisement execs. Only Apple Fanbois are so precise.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by martas (1439879)
        I can. Vista wouldn't run on a machine like that. For MS, it's better if people are stuck with XP than if they get introduced/used to Linux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by WindBourne (631190)
        Hmmm. Either contracted out for MS, or it really was a MS job. I mean EVERYBODY uses Google Analytics, even MS.
  • by gtall (79522) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:02AM (#28121733)

    It is difficult to believe that Asus did this out of love for Redmond. I wonder how much MS paid for this special treatment, or did they threaten Asus with higher prices?

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:06AM (#28121773) Journal

      It is difficult to believe that Asus did this out of love for Redmond. I wonder how much MS paid for this special treatment, or did they threaten Asus with higher prices?

      I still don't see any conclusive evidence thi was Asus' work. I think your anger should be directed at Microsoft. I can't prove it for sure but the whois of this domain itsbetterwithwindows.com [domaintools.com] reads:

      Registrant:
      Michael Sharp
      12932 SE Kent-Kangley Rd.
      Box 238
      Kent, Washington 98030
      United States

      Domain Name: ITSBETTERWITHWINDOWS.COM
      Created on: 05-Dec-08
      Expires on: 05-Dec-09
      Last Updated on: 05-Dec-08

      And so we put it in the same state as Washington. Now, I'm guessing this is a PR company and we have a perfect match of Arbirtron Ad agency listing Michael Sharp as Manager, Agency & Advertiser Services for several different regions of the US [arbitron.com].

      Ok, from there if you google Arbitron Asus [google.com] and Arbitron Microsoft [google.com] you come up with two very juicy powerpoints from Microsoft on Arbitron's site.

      I would put my guess at 95% that this is a Microsoft run and funded site with little to do with Asus other than get their permission.

      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:19AM (#28121913) Journal

        And so we put it in the same state as Washington. Now, I'm guessing this is a PR company and we have a perfect match of Arbitron Ad agency listing Michael Sharp as Manager, Agency & Advertiser Services for several different regions of the US. Ok, from there if you google Arbitron Asus and Arbitron Microsoft you come up with two very juicy powerpoints from Microsoft on Arbitron's site.

        I just noticed those two powerpoints only come up because they're Microsoft Powerpoints so that's not a very strong link.

        But that linking is probably unnecessary considering I just found this bio on Microsoft [microsoft.com] of a Michael Sharp as Director with the Information Security Team. Yes, it's a pretty common name but I'm pretty sure this ad work reeks of Microsoft and not Asus.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:22AM (#28121941) Homepage Journal

        And so we put it in the same state as Washington. Now, I'm guessing this is a PR company and we have a perfect match of Arbirtron Ad agency listing Michael Sharp as Manager, Agency & Advertiser Services for several different regions of the US [arbitron.com].

        Excellent work.

        Now can you do something about the Lindbergh Kidnapping?

      • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:22AM (#28121947)

        Ok, from there if you google Arbitron Asus [google.com] and Arbitron Microsoft [google.com] you come up with two very juicy powerpoints from Microsoft on Arbitron's site.

        Errr, where exactly? I see a couple of Powerpoint links on Google. Newsflash - all Powerpoint files linked on Google say "Microsoft" next to them because that's who made Powerpoint. Neither of the presentations actually seem to be from, to or about Microsoft.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Deathlizard (115856)

        I'm positive that it's not a Microsoft or ASUS site. If it is, it's definitly marketed much differently than other sites I've seen.

        For one, I didn't see any Microsoft or Asus Logos or links anywhere on the site. MS can't help but slap a Microsoft logo somewhere on their site. Asus is no different. All I see is Windows and EeePC.

        Both companies have distinct styles on how they present their advertising campaigns, and this site follows neither.

        MS and ASUS would have links everywhere taking you to all of their

      • 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.

    • Paranoid much? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      It is difficult to believe that Asus did this out of love for Redmond.

      They did it out of love for sales.

      Look around you.

      WalMart has tried to make a go of every flavor of OEM Linux. Every form factor.

      No-name and the Dell brand name.

      The dearly departed include Lindows, gOS, Sun Java, Xandros...

      and so on endlessly.

      Oh, the Merry-Go-Round broke down
      It made the darndest sound,
      The lights went low,
      We both said "Oh!"
      And the Merry-Go-Round went
      "Um-pah-pah, um-pah-pah, Um-pah! Um-pah! Um-pah-pah!"

      WalMart has

  • I agree (Score:5, Funny)

    by ciderVisor (1318765) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:02AM (#28121735)

    It is better with Windows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Everything works better with Windows. And the best part is, the built-in Windows Defender and Windows Firewall mean that you don't need to buy a separate anti-virus or personal firewall application like you would for some toy OS that didn't have those built in.
  • by Terje Mathisen (128806) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:05AM (#28121753)

    This might actually make sense economically for ASUS:

    _Maybe_ less support calls.

    _Very deep_ discounts/kickbacks from Microsoft.

    Personally I am very glad that I got the Linux version of my Eee PC 901: More flash disk and more ram, for a little less money.
    Currently I run the latest Ubuntu Netbook remix, and I'm very happy with it. The last time I booted it into XP must have been during Easter, to debug a Windows problem.

    Terje

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Um have you ever tried to call ASUS tech support? They are not going to get less support calls. You cant get to anyone at tech support to begin with.

  • 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.
    • I've got an Eee that I ordered with Linux. Their version came off in about an hour. I tried Easy Peasy for a few hours till I found Ubuntu Netbook Remix. (I've been a Gentoo fan for years, so I haven't followed that really closely.) Everything about UNR is fantastic except for one thing: browsers crash on it very frequently. And by "very frequently," I mean every time I use it. Unfortunately, running a browser is the single biggest use case for a netbook. I've read the forums; I've tried the suggestions; nothing works for me. I can't even get gdb to give me any useful info. At this point, I'm hoping that a big update comes out that magically fixes it. Until then, I keep looking for something else to try. Maybe Moblin? Maybe Win7? (Yeah, yeah, I know, but I have 9 computers at home. I just want the thing to WORK.) I'd put Gentoo on it, but I don't want to thrash the SSD, and I can't figure out how to get a cross-compiler going on my workstation. (Well, that, and I know I'd spend a MONTH tweaking everything to get it to the same level of functionality -- laptop-wise -- that UNR has out of the box.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        Remove Flash completely! Then try it in safe mode. If it stops crashing, try it without safe mode, but still without flash. Chance of non-crashing: 99%.

        I found Flash to be the problem for those 99% of all my Firefox problems. Plugins like that should run decoupled from Firefox, in a separate process, or a virtual machine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ecuador (740021)

      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 th

  • 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.
  • Despite my desire to see Linux being the most popular OS, I fail to see why it should be so worrying to see that MS keeps using what seem to be underhanded deals to keep Linux away from the market. After all, it is not like Linux hasn't been making great progress in spite of a small userbase. Things have come a long way since I started using it around the beginning of the century; I don't have to fiddle with my machine everytime I want to try a new distro; all major distros look quite polished and mature, e

  • calm down fanboy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nimbius (983462) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:11AM (#28121831) Homepage
    ill probably see a trollmod for this, but what the hey. this article isnt really news at all, as corporations have been keen to align themselves with the market leader for centuries. this is no different.

    its still a computer
    it still has an option to install an operating system
    you can still order an ASUS with linux preinstalled
    windows can be returned for a refund
    there are market alternatives.

    and just because a corporation appears to align itself with your ideals and interests doesnt mean it likes you or said ideals...its just business.
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jekewa (751500)

      Sadly, this is the norm I run into, and far too oft from people who are strongly OS-aligned; they can't keep their computer from breaking no matter what they run.

      Some of us forget, computers are hard... Especially for the untrained. We didn't get "Computer Fun" degrees, after all. Although, that would be pretty sweet!

      Too many people expect a "toaster" or "television" experience from a rather complicated piece of equipment. Heck, some of the folk I help with PC issues have toaster and television issues!

  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:31AM (#28122041) Journal

    Also excellent reasons not to use Vista and Windows 7.

  • Well...... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Random2 (1412773) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:32AM (#28122043) Journal
    Just make sure this isn't a ploy by Micro$oft to push the Linux fans away from a company that supports them.
  • 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.

  • by XDirtypunkX (1290358) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @09:55AM (#28123023)

    I'm sorry, I thought this was a kdawson post.

  • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:06AM (#28123171)

    while slyly stating that you won't have to deal with ... and "major compatibility issues.'

    Great! Now we have it from Asus itself that it ships hardware that has major compatibility issues... with software pre-installed by Asus itself. Given that the company is obviously so inept, who tells us that there aren't any similar compatibility issues between the hardware and its BIOS. Well probably there are, and we should warn friends, family and employers to shy away from such a lousy brand.

    Ok, so in reality Asus was probably paid by Microsoft to say this. Like the so numerous companies that were paid to display an "XXX recommends Microsoft Windows" on their website. But if they sell out their judgment so easily, why should they be trusted on anything else that they say? That too would be a reason to run.

    And strategically this whole thing is really really stoopid on Asus' part, especially now after all the competitors (even Acer!) have brought out similar mini-laptops running Linux.

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by McDutchie (151611)
      I believe that the Linux distribution you are describing is called Slackware.
  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @11:19AM (#28124107)

    1. Praise Linux.
    2. Have Microsoft run to you with deals, discounts, and dump trucks full of money.
    3. Praise Microsoft, Bash Linux.
    4. Profit!

    This also works for government organizations and prominent businesses in the process of choosing software.

  • 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!

  • by rs232 (849320) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @02:15PM (#28126937)
    They must really really needed for the ASUS Linux experiment to fail. I just wonder what really went on behind closed doors, and what it cost MS in monetary value to squelch the deal.

    "In order to compete more effectively against Linux and other providers on these deals, we can now leverage the Education and Government Incentive [EDGI [slated.org]] program to help tip the scales to MS in the deal. After engaging the regional team. the region may use funds to provide services and/or rebates to the customer with the following limitation:

    "Not to exceed the estimated Windows royalties recognized by MS from the OEM selling the PC's to the customer (in the example, 50,000 PC's at approx. $100/PC for OEM Windows XP Professional would result in a maximum of $5M for the individual deal)"

    It is essential, therefore, that we use this in only in deals we would lose otherwise

    "Bottom line do our best to show the great value of our software to these customers and ensure we get paid for it under NO circumstances lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program actively and in a smart way

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