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Linux Notebooks Selling Well On Amazon Germany 207

Posted by kdawson
from the next-stop-world-domination dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "The LinuxTech.net blog points out that Linux notebooks are currently selling quite well on Amazon's list in Germany. The blog includes screenshots showing the Linux Asus and Aspire notebooks in positions 2 and 4, respectively, on that list. These machines are not netbooks, but full notebooks, albeit on the moderate to low side regarding price and performance. That LinuxTech.net blog was dated 23 July 2009, and the Asus machine is still holding second place more than one day later, while the Acer machine slipped to fifth position, despite the volatile nature of Amazon bestseller lists. While these two data points are just snapshots in time, they are consistent with other data showing that Microsoft itself attributes some of its recent weak earnings to surging sales of low-end notebooks, as well as data showing that the Linux-powered and Unix-powered computers topped Amazon's sales charts in all categories for 2007. If there is to ever be a 'year of desktop (or laptop) Linux', it won't happen all at once, but will creep up in ways similar to what we are seeing now."
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Linux Notebooks Selling Well On Amazon Germany

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  • Even the Germans... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quantos (1327889) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @04:43AM (#28825329)
    Make some bad choices. Actually Linux probably outperforms Windows or Mac on low end, and if meets the needs then who is going to argue with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2009 @04:45AM (#28825339)

    Last two notebooks I bought came with freedos.

  • by Henk Poley (308046) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @04:56AM (#28825371) Homepage

    You have to know that 'major' German PC enthusiast magazines have been publishing tutorials monthly about using Linux since around 2000. Together with installation CDs/DVDs etc. Also their government has a strong push towards using Linux.

  • by Fri13 (963421) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:00AM (#28825395)

    I wanted to buy a sub-notebook (aka netbook) with linux but I could not find such on my country anywhere from shelf itself. Ordering could over one month and the extra bucks was included when comparing windows. Biggest resellers are just simply saying that Linux versions has be sold out since start and about 6 months ago they were marked such that they will not come back to the selling lines. So only way to get such computer is to buy it with Windows. Even that I never booted Windows but throw right in the mandriva disk and installed it over windows.

    It is not nice to be forced to be MS client in statics but not a client for Linux OS. At least Mandriva could get their own static about me because I registered this machine too for their database.

    If world would be fair, I could call to MS or Asus and say that I want my information of selling be removed from statics as MS user.

  • Experiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@ g d a r g a u d . net> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:14AM (#28825441) Homepage
    Like many here I admin family computers. A month ago I did an experiment. I told my parents I'd upgrade their aging computer (mobo and main HD change) and as such it would look different. I installed kubuntu instead of the previous system (which you can easily guess). Made sure there were desktop links to firefox, kmail, dolphin and a SD card image transfer script. I didn't even show them the result, just as an experiment. And I left. They called only once after a week: "Yeah it works fine, but we don't have skype anymore", which I promptly remotely installed. I consider this experiment a great success.
  • Re:Experiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WarJolt (990309) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:25AM (#28825479)

    I did a similar experiment. I installed Xubuntu on a 166MHz laptop to see if it would run well enough to be usable. Then I asked someone to give it a shot and compare it with her laptop running windows XP and had at least 2GHz processor. After she browsed a few web pages, I asked "Which is faster; Your laptop or this one?" She quickly replied "This one". I chuckled because I knew the truth. This laptop was at least 10x slower than her laptop.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:36AM (#28825523)

    Also their government has a strong push towards using Linux.

    They are being smart in that case. The Chinese, too, have their own Linux Distro (Red Flag) -- which government really wants the foundation of their computers (the OS) to be dependent on an American company, not to mention all the possible backdoors built for the FBI/NSA/CIA/etc. OTOH, many agencies of the US Government force you to use Windows in order to deal with them, rather than having an open standard.

    I WANT to buy a Linux-based netbook. EEEPC, used to have a model which they upgraded with an SSD drive if you chose the linux option. But the netbook world moves fast, and that model is 6-9 months out of date although still offered. It might not sound like a big deal, but there are netbooks coming on the market with ~1300 x ~750 resolution (good for today's websites) instead of just 1024x600 and capable of actually playing HD video with the upgraded chipsets. But no linux version is offered. Has been that way with any new models released since February as far as I can tell. That's too bad.

    And my local Walmart doesn't seem to care. Been offering the same Acer Aspire model (1GB ram and all) since the beginning of the year with no changes.

  • by troll8901 (1397145) <troll8901@gmail.com> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:44AM (#28825557) Journal

    kdawson's posted stories, IMO, are not too bad and sometimes actually worth reading. I for one, am not filtering him out in my Slashdot Preferences.

    I'd browsed the Firehose a few months back, and I was surprised by the sheer number of story submissions. It's a tough decision to pick the best ones for the day.

  • Nonsense (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:54AM (#28825603)

    This news is indeed nonsense.

    All notebooks in the list come with a command-line version of Linux. There is no Desktop/Graphical environment pre-installed on these Notebooks. I bought one of these Acer Notebooks and I was actually shocked that they were pre-installing an absolutely useless Linux version.

    This means, a roughly estimated 100% of buyers install their own operating system on these notebooks....and this means usually Windows XP. On my notebook, Ubuntu Linux is running great, but I guess that only a small percentage of buyers is going to install a Linux version.

    However, the most important question is, why Acer does not pre-install a decent Linux distribution?

  • Re:Experiment (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Jaro (4361) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @06:32AM (#28825747)

    Well.... I had a Linux Laptop, Pentium 133Mhz - 48mb of RAM, Slackware 10 running until recently. I ran Opera 6 and Firefox 0.7 on it because anything higher wasn't acceptable ----> it was soooooooo slow. Then with all the Javascript and Flash going around which 1. mostly doesn't work on such an old browser version and 2. it nearly kills the machine, if it runs. I really really can't image what wondrous 133Mhz system you had which could do what you say. I ran X with UWM, a small, very very lightweight window manager. Then there was no office suite which would run at an acceptable speed, so I had to use a plain text editor for simple notes, writing LaTeX if I needed a formated output. Maybe if you only use the console and links it might work....

    Sorry, I can't believe you.

  • Last two notebooks I bought came with freedos.

    Last two notebooks I bought came with FreeDos too - A dell Vostro 1400 and a Vostro 1300 (for a friend). The shop was selling windows licenses separately - if you bought one they would install it for you. Or they'll install windows for free if you make enough of the staff laugh :) That's how things work here in Vietnam. The Vietnamese are fun loving people. If you need a favor (or if you want to be taken seriously), make them laugh ;)

  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @06:33AM (#28825753)

    False positives - I live in Germany, and of the 10 people I know who've bought laptops in the last year, 7 went with FreeDos/Linux notebooks. The first thing they did when they got them was to install XP Pro...

    I also bought a Linux notebook (well, netbook) and put XP on it...

    I don't know a lot of people who buy Linux laptops to run Linux...

  • Re:Ah the Germans (Score:5, Interesting)

    by burni (930725) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @06:45AM (#28825789)
    **IRONY ON** Our minister for internal affairs Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble: - hates the internet - wants to censor it - wants to control it, and he has a strong meaning on immigration, if you are coming from the liberal U.S. you are not welcome here, you could induce liberal thoughts in too many of my fellow citizen. Thats why there won't be more of you like us, you simply won't get the citizenship. **IRONY OFF** Na, it's not that hard to get the german citizenship, we like americans, also we do like most of our western EU-neighbours, and our population is decreasing if you want to join the club, do it now ;)
  • full notebook (Score:4, Interesting)

    by doti (966971) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @06:59AM (#28825835) Homepage

    These machines are not netbooks, but full notebooks

    That is, full 2.5Kg + bulky AC font and cord, notebooks.

    I never bought a notebook for that reason. To me, the point of a notebook is that you can carry it with you anywhere if you want, but they're too bulky for that, not to mention the battery life makes it impossible to do any real work away from the grid.

    I was an early buyer of the Eee701, and I love it. I will only buy a notebook when I'm done with desktops and the notebook will be my main machine. This day will be the day id Software stop making games. (Since Quake 1, I always buy a new machine when id release a new engine.)

  • by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @07:00AM (#28825841)

    I used my mod points elsewhere, or I would correct the above moderation. I've been getting 15 points twice a week for a couple of weeks now; I try to follow the guidelines as best I can. Especially in regards to downmods: there's very little reason to downmod, I find. Anything that's obviously flamebait will be ignored, and while there are occasionally trolls here, I think it's usually better to post AC to point them out.

    On the whole, I think the slashdot community is a good one, mods included. I suspect that people who spend most of their mod points marking things 'troll' and 'flamebait' are less likely to get mod points in the future; if not, that might be a good feature request. The only other thing I'd wish were different about the mod system would be to return to the old system of metamoderation. quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    There are a lot of things to get frustrated about with slashdot: dupes, lame memes, and zealots of every stripe. Even at that, I think this is probably the best site on the internet (though perhaps not the universe [xmission.com]). The dialogues here are fascinating and hugely informative. Every story on biochemistry, astronomy, or optics seems to draw out people with decades of experience to give anecdotes and wisdom that I'd never find elsewhere.

    I think the most consistent thing I've noticed about slashdot moderation and comments is that anything that gets modded +5 is worth reading. And as Pliny tells us, "True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read."

    -Tene

  • by Hymer (856453) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @07:35AM (#28825947)
    You may not be aware of it but Linux outperforms Windows on any platform, 88.6% of the top 500 computers [top500.org] in the world run Linux (June 2009).
  • by markdavis (642305) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @07:43AM (#28825977)

    And what about the false negatives?

    Since there are so few Linux-pre-installed laptops, most people that do want to run Linux are forced to purchase one with MS Windows preloaded on it and then install Linux. These are counted as MS Windows sales. Unfortunately, they also continue to fuel the machine that prevents choice in the first place.

    Anyway, every laptop/notebook I have purchased in the last 15 years has forced MS Windows on it, with the sole exception of the Asus EEE 1000 I purchased from Amazon, and that model is now discontinued.

    I know a lot of people who buy MS Windows laptops to run Linux (granted, I am active in a Unix User's Group).

  • Re:Experiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @07:54AM (#28826005)

    The thing is, most XP installations accumulate crap that slow it down in a year or two.

    The only way to clean it up is a fresh install, which most end users don't know how to do (or are too afraid to do).

    Linux doesn't fill up with crap. That being said, it doesn't fill up with crap because crap writers don't target Linux (yet).

  • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @08:06AM (#28826051) Homepage

    Here in Israel most of the "geek shops" sell laptops with freedos. Sometimes I'm surprised to see brand name laptops being sold without windows (but with a real warranty), while people I know in the US and Europe complain that they don't have that option.

    It's very popular these days, because if you bought a computer ~3-4 years ago, you probably have a copy of XP, and a relatively slow machine. It's common practice to get a laptop without windows and just move your copy from the old machine to the new one. At which point you either sell the old computer without an OS, or load a Linux distro on it and turn it into a NAS or a server.

  • by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @08:42AM (#28826199)

    You really have to look closer at that statistic: 88,6 is the percentage of supercomputers that run only Linux. If you really want the number of machines running Linux in that list, you have to add 5.8% which are mixed systems and 2 supercomputers that are listed as running Windows, but are really mixed systems (this is probably done to make Microsoft look a bit better). So we end up having 94,8% of world's 500 fastest computers having Linux installed.

    Because in some areas brains are more prevalent than PR and marketing.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @08:50AM (#28826239) Journal

    That is because the average Joe don't know squat about OSes, hell they often can't even tell you WHAT OS they are running (I often get "Windows something" when I ask which OS a customer is running) but believe you me they DO notice when their (insert Quickbooks/Quicken, Cheapo Lexmark all in one, puzzle games they picked up at Wally World, etc) don't work. There is a REASON why MSI was looking at 400% return rates on their Linux netbooks, I know because I had the same thing happen when I tried selling Linux.

    Here is what happens-You explain to Joe about how easy it is to get free software with Linux, show him how to use synaptic, tell him to check hardware compatibility before buying extra junk. He promptly goes to Wally World, or Worst Buy and goes "Oooh...sale!" and buys whatever PC junk o' the day is on sale. When he gets it home and of course it doesn't work so the PC comes back with Joe expecting you to "fix it" which of course you can't, because Linux drivers for the kind of stuff you get at Wally World is pretty much non existent. So you either A-burn the customer, in which case he spreads the word and soon you are out of business, or B-you take back the machine and eat the difference between what it sold for new and what you can get for it used.

    I know the Linux guys will hate me for saying this, but you know why I am really grateful for Linux? Because thanks to Linux MSFT is having to stop acting like giant douches when it comes to pricing. If it wasn't for Linux the "MSFT tax" would be crazy, and the cheapest Win7 would probably be a couple of hundred just for the upgrade. I mean look here [engadget.com] at a $298 Vista Basic notebook with an actual discrete GPU. you know MSFT can't be getting squat for Vista Basic if they can offer it at that price and still make money. And we can all thank Linux for that, by putting the fear of FLOSS into the Ballmer monkey and making MSFT actually compete.

    But to get Linux to "just work" for Joe, they are gonna need native Photoshop, Quickbooks, EA games, drivers for all the little gadgets at Wally World, etc. And sadly I doubt this will ever happen. So Linux will continue to scare MSFT but not actually gain any real ground with the critical home markets. Because it is pretty clear that most companies don't want to play the GPL game, especially after RMS went after TiVo with GPL V3, and without them to give Linux native apps to Joe Linux will be "free as in worthless" to him because he can't get his stuff to run out of the box. And please don't bring up companies like Intel that do, because if you look EVERY major corp that has released has significant server/enterprise markets they are appealing to. The stuff in Wally World don't get sold to server markets and they don't have the kinds of patent warchests the likes of AMD, IBM, Intel, etc have. For the smaller companies to release with all the patent trolls in the USA would be suicide. After all, is RMS gonna indemnify me if I release my driver code and get hit by a patent troll? I didn't think so.

  • Re:Experiment (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hodet (620484) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @09:53AM (#28826531)
    My experience is same as yours but parent has a point for regular users. Case in point, I install the Tom Tom GPS software on my system and it installs a craplet in the systray. Your everyday user leaves the craplet there along with the other ones they have accumulated over weeks/month/years. There is absolutely no reason for TomTom to run every time I boot up, sucking up cycles. The simple act of cleaning up after installs is probably one of the best things you can do to keep your system running well (of course there are many other things too). I run XP on an AthlonXP 2600 with 512Meg of ram and it runs well. Original install in 2003. I have sisters whose machines were purchased after mine that I have reinstalled twice because they have slowed down with time. Firefox/Thunderbird,AV software,Windows Updates,occasional spyware scans, clean out the craplets. Not much more complicated then that.
  • by sammyF70 (1154563) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @10:14AM (#28826689) Homepage Journal

    Would "I bought a linux netbook, and the first thing I did was install a *SANE* linux distribution (Ubuntu 8.10) on it instead of the PoS that is Linpus" count as a false positive too?

    Let's face it, people who don't know the first thing about linux MUST be turned down by the weird distros found on linux netbooks these days

  • by mhall119 (1035984) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @10:37AM (#28826873) Homepage Journal

    I know I shouldn't feed the troll, but Brazil and Germany have very high rates of Linux adoption, far beyond what we see in North America and most of Europe. I'd be surprised if any large number of those Brazilian sales were replaced with Windows.

  • by hey! (33014) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @11:41AM (#28827313) Homepage Journal

    As long as you are not on a laptop and need ACPI, sound and video to work stably. Or deal with kernel updates from your distro that break things after you've got them working again.

    I realize these things are not Linux's "fault". I live with them because of Linux's other advantages. But they are a PITA.

    Linux is ideal on a netbook. If it is supported by the manufacturer, you won't have these kinds of problems, and enjoy the benefits of freedom and open standards. I've used it since Debian 0.9, which I downloaded over a modem. I've had very positive experiences with Linux on desktops, where you can simply replace hardware you are having compatibility problems with and use the BIOS to disable motherboard features. I've had good experiences with Linux on ThinkPads. But I've had terrible experiences with Linux on a variety of other notebooks in the $1000 to $2000 range, most recently an Asus F8VA. Bad enough that I'm considering reinstalling Vista, which is quite tolerable with 3+GB of RAM and a multicore CPU running at 2.53GHz.

    As an old time Unix guy, I like Linux a great deal, and am glad that low system margins on devices like netbooks force manufacturers to support Linux better. But we shouldn't exaggerate how wonderful things are, especially on middle priced notebooks. I have no hesitation to recommend Linux for netbooks or for Thinkpads.

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@s[ ]hdot.org ['las' in gap]> on Sunday July 26, 2009 @12:14PM (#28827581)

    Don't worry. In autumn a whole new generation of "smartbooks" will come out. Full-HD capable, 1-2 watt, 10 hours of running, and $100-$200.
    With an ARM CPU. So they won't be able to run any Windows. You can guess what they will mostly be running. (Linux.) :D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2009 @11:26PM (#28832721)

    As long as you are not on a laptop and need ACPI, sound and video to work stably

    I've run Linux on a bunch of Thinkpads for almost 10 years and not had a problem with any of them. Admittedly sound has been the biggest problem on my desktop machines, usually with Intel chipsets. Ubuntu recently pee'd me off with their "doesn't work right on Intel chipsets" feature, but other than that I've never had a an issue running Linux on any machine I've owned including ones with Nvidia graphics cards and even a Dell 640m with a Broadcom wireless thingy in it.

    Having said that I've ended up helping a load of folks out trying to get some awkward hardware working, but certainly no more than I've had to do the same with Windows. And in most cases I've managed to get the Linux box working; with Windows, if it hasn't worked the first couple of times there just seems to be no chance until the hardware manufacturer releases another driver or an update.

    I don't personally like OSX machines but I have never, ever had to try and get hardware to work on one. I have had a number of updates that broke the machine but a backup has always put it right. And as for performance, Linux for me has always been the quickest, although my Macbook Pro leaves Linux for dead when using an office suite but I get the feeling that is more to do with OpenOffice than Linux in general. As soon as I have installed around seven applications in XP I start to get gradual system slowdown over a few months. After a year, I reinstall.

    Still can't log in at this damned cafenet.... adam.ec

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