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Acer Launching Dual Android/Windows 7 Netbook 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-make-them-fight dept.
Barence writes "Acer has unveiled an Aspire netbook that dual boots Google Android and Windows 7. 'User demand is not there for [other forms of] Linux [but] we never give up. We adjust,' said Jim Wong, Acer senior corporate vice president. 'We introduce Android with the Windows OS, and why Android? Because it has the best connectivity built into the OS.' Acer has also talked up Google's forthcoming Chrome OS. 'Chrome can be a viable alternative to Microsoft's OSes for web applications on different mobile devices,' he explained."
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Acer Launching Dual Android/Windows 7 Netbook

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  • From the article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:17AM (#29745183) Journal

    "The Android browser offers most of the things people need. But I think today IE is still dominating the online world, a lot of websites are still optimised for IE"

    This is probably just some intranet sites inside companies or schools. Chrome and other browsers should be just fine for all web browsing (though yeah, sometimes I do need to switch to IE for some site to work - but it's not often)

    Interesting thing is that Android is also available for PC's. Can it be downloaded from somewhere?

    • Re:From the article (Score:5, Informative)

      by lordandmaker (960504) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:24AM (#29745295) Homepage
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've only seen it as a LiveCD, which you can get here. Havn't played myself, so not sure if you can install or not, but worth a look.

      http://code.google.com/p/live-android/ [google.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ircmaxell (1117387)
      That line shouldn't be "a lot of websites are still optimised for IE"...

      It should be "a lot of websites are still spending hours upon hours trying to function correctly with IE"
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by IBBoard (1128019)

        Either that or 1) they're old and haven't been updated in ages, 2) use ugly table layouts that work okay in IE6 or 3) use properitary tags that only work in IE (also known as "old ASP/ASP.Net code" or "Frontpage Code", which were ugly as hell).

        • by rs79 (71822)

          I've used Opera exclusively for 7 years and was used to having to fire up IE every now and again. Long ago it was for certain parts of ebay and even longer ago, paypal.

          But, in the past year to 18 mos I haven't had to use IE at all, ever. Maybe I don't get out much.

          I did have to try IE about 4 mos ago on some site that didn't work with Opera but it didn't work with FF or IE either. Go figure.

          • by Fred_A (10934)

            I've used Opera exclusively for 7 years and was used to having to fire up IE every now and again.

            As a long time desktop Linux user I don't even have IE to run if other browsers don't work (I guess I could set it up in Wine or in a VM if I was really desperate) and it's been ages since I've seen a broken site as well.
            I can only think of one off the top of my head which was set up by some clueless people some years ago and which the org running it is now apparently kind of stuck with since they don't seem to understand how it works (no techs there and no funds).

            ASites "optimised for IE"... What is this

          • by bhtooefr (649901)

            The only thing I fire up IE for nowadays is Flash content - Flash video has some GPU acceleration, but only in IE.

      • Is that really the case if the website was specifically designed for IE? Don't most of the problems occur when you've designed the site without regard to IE and then try to tweak it to make it compatible for IE?

        • Is that really the case if the website was specifically designed for IE? Don't most of the problems occur when you've designed the site without regard to IE and then try to tweak it to make it compatible for IE?

          No, if there are problems, usually it's because someone designs only for IE, because that's all they know or consider important - adjusting their site till it looks ok on the version of Internet Explorer on their machine. Unfortunately what they've been doing with that process is working around bugs or broken behaviour in IE, and perhaps not noticing some bugs they have in their site, because IE silently ignores them and tries to do what it thinks they mean if the html/js is broken.

          If you then try the site

    • What a ridiculous rationalization. Anybody that really needs IE probably really needs Windows for some other reason as well. But why force Windows on people on the assumption that they need IE? Plenty of people don't - how about all those iPhone users?

      And if they really think IE's the issue, they can bundle IE6 (or whatever the latest version is that's known to work) with WINE. Does WINE work on Android?. If not, then why not Ubuntu?

      Seriously, are we about to see a new version of 'pay for windows whe

  • Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jackharrer (972403) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:21AM (#29745257)

    Wouldn't be better to offer fast booting Linux (Moblin?) and dual boot with Win? Then users can access nice and quick Linux environment or wait for Win if they "really" need Office.

    Android is good for phones, but that's how far it goes...

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      Yes, it possibly would but Intel is still working on Moblin, its not ready for prime-time.

      See this Ars article [arstechnica.com] about the Ubuntu-remix version of Moblin (on the Dell mini v10)

      But its getting there, and I hope to see more Moblin, and Maemo, devices when they're ready.

      For fast-booting, they might as well put Splashtop in the bios instead, works wonderfully on my Asus desktop mobo.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

      If you're going to propose that Moblin is somehow better than Android for non-phone devices, it would be nice to have some backup information to prove your point.

      The fact of the matter is that Linux is not designed to be an embedded OS, and the efforts that Moblin and Linux are making are significant but not wholly complete. When, as you say, the OS boots faster, is transparent, and exists invisibly to users (though clearly to developers), then we will have a true "mobile Linux" distribution.

      Acer seems to b

      • by arose (644256)

        The fact of the matter is that Linux is not designed to be an embedded OS [..]

        Arguable, but irrelevant, a netbook is not an embedded platform.

        • by HiThere (15173)

          I don't think it's even arguable. Linux has been used in embedded devices for nearly a decade now...perhaps longer. X-Window, now. Perhaps *that* isn't designed for embedded devices. (Don't know. Never encountered one doesn't mean it's not a design consideration.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        The fact of the matter is that Linux is not designed to be an embedded OS [..]

        Why exactly is Linux running on my TV, on cell phones, on coffee machines, ATMs, kiosks, web servers smaller than my coffee mug, etc?

        Oh wait, Linux has been a fantastic OS for embedded systems from day 1 because of how modular the kernel is.

        Are you suggesting the Linux desktop isn't great on embedded devices? In that case, no desktop is perfect for embedded devices. However, every major desktop to market now has taken touchscreens in consideration for their UI. KDE 4 runs great on the Nokia n900.

        Android was

      • by jomcty (806483)

        The fact of the matter is that Linux is not designed to be an embedded OS...

        Quite! My linux infused router (Asus WL-520gU running Tomato F/W) saw that packet and refuses to route any more traffic from you. I hope my Bubba server and TiVo doesn't catch wind of your comment.

    • by noundi (1044080)

      Wouldn't be better to offer fast booting Linux (Moblin?) and dual boot with Win? Then users can access nice and quick Linux environment or wait for Win if they "really" need Office.

      Android is good for phones, but that's how far it goes...

      And from my perspective -- I don't care. Android to me hopefully means that the device comes with open specs, thus I can at any moment pick my own flavor. [gentoo.org] If it doesn't, well then it's just another netbook along the road. I don't use Linux for the name, there is a purpose behind my choice. I'm a brand turncoat and I always pick what I consider best for me, just like any non self-destructive consumer. In other words, flashing "Linux" infront of me isn't going to score you any points Acer, just like Netgear d

    • by Gudeldar (705128)
      It already comes with Linux (i.e. Android).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rs79 (71822)

      "Wouldn't be better to offer fast booting Linux (Moblin?) and dual boot with Win? Then users can access nice and quick Linux environment or wait for Win if they "really" need Office."

      A client sent me an xls and doc file to my android phone.

      They just worked.

      I don't use spreadsheets and always refuse doc files replying with "I don't use proprietary formats, send me txt or html".

      Apparently my Android phone is a part time xls/doc consumer appliance.

      I was gobsmacked frankly.

  • So why Windows? "A lot of the time people are using netbook for their productivity too," explained Wong, "and under Windows they have better productivity and also a better browsing experience with IE [Internet Explorer]."

    Better productivity? I suppose that may be true if you're tied to Windows apps. But a better browsing experience with IE? All I can respond with is, "wtf?"

  • Wow really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aceofspades1217 (1267996) <aceofspades1217 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:25AM (#29745307) Homepage Journal

    The key reason he used for keeping windows around was productivity and IE....

    I mean there are plenty of reasons for keeping windows around such as gaming, users are used to it, etc.

    But productivity and IE? I really don't know anyone who has used other brothers and still says that IE is a better browser, its basically that people just don't know about other browsers. As for productivity that is so far gone I can barely even respond to that...one word. "Openoffice" schools and businesses have been using it for years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rmcd (53236) *

      I have a thinkpad with ubuntu so I use Openoffice (3.1) a lot. My daughter is very happy with it for high school homework, but I honestly can't recommend it to anyone doing anything "serious".

      I find that OO crashes a lot (thankfully file recovery works well), and simple actions like cut and paste (7000 lines of text, each 30 characters) lead to hangups where OO pegs the processor and nothing happens for minutes. By contrast, the same action is very fast in Excel. Good luck viewing a non-trivial powerpoint

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        I use OOo daily on Windows and openSUSE and have zero problems with it.

        I wonder if part of the problem is poor packages in Ubuntu. That is certainly the case with Kubuntu. I don't really borther messing with plain Ubuntu given how much I loathe Gnome.

        • Works fine for me, but maybe worth noting that the current stable Ubuntu (9.04) uses OOo 3.0.1 so for the parent to be using 3.1, then they must be running something that isn't "stable"... I think!
      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        I find that OO crashes a lot

        I have never seen it crashing on Linux, and apparently no one else seen it, either. Maybe you are lying.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      It's not that people couldn't. Hell, quite many seem to figure out a Mac alright even though it's not Windows. even less so than most Linux distros. Where they get you is that it's not about picking one application over the other, it's whether you want to learn one application or two. You say OpenOffice is used in business, I say I've yet to see it at any of my customers as a consultant. You and me, we have no problems using two applications that are almost the same. Most people get confused, they go "wasn'

    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      You're more productive with tools you're familiar with and used to working with.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jDeepbeep (913892)

        You're more productive with tools you're familiar with and used to working with.

        I will second this. It is a (potentially disturbing) fact that a huge slice of the workforce is using Outlook, Excel, M$Word, Sharepoint, Exchange, IE, etc, to be productive. They are accustomed to using the products, and spend 5 days a week immersed in that world. I lose sight of this fact during much of each workday (on linux 98% of the time), that is until another email comes in from marketing, or purchasing, and it's got another Excel spreadsheet and a Word document attached. A sobering truth, bu

        • Not sure why someone thinks I am trolling here. It's really not a provocative type of paragraph. It accurately describes my current work environment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      IE=ActiveX. People still write those stupid IE only controls.

    • Productivity isn't just office. None of the major "productivity" apps I use have equivalents in linux.
      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        Productivity isn't just office. None of the major "productivity" apps I use have equivalents in linux.

        Name three.

        (hint: first is Office, there are no others, you fail).

        • Cubase SX. I'm not even going to name others as you contemplate how ignorant you are. Pretty much ANYTHING music related, and no, Ardour is like MS paint compared to photoshop.
    • by kbrannen (581293)

      ... As for productivity that is so far gone I can barely even respond to that...one word. "Openoffice" schools and businesses have been using it for years.

      I'm seriously contemplating getting a netbook. I really want to get Linux on it as I'm far more comfortable with Linux than Windows. But, I'll probably get the netbook with Windows because of 1 app: OneNote (which I use extensively at work). There is no OSS equivalent; Basket Note Pads tries and may make it in a couple of years, perhaps about the time my first netbook wears out (if I'm lucky) and then I can move to that app instead.

      My point is that "killer apps" can prevent movement, and the "killer app" is

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867)
      Gaming is the only good reason to keep Windows around IMO, and any average home/office laptop is going to make a tolerable-at-best gaming PC...and that's for 6 months until the middle-of-the-road, non-upgradeable video card is utterly obsolete, not to mention the painfully slow hard drive that all but the best laptops typically come with. "Users are used to it" isn't a great argument when Vista and 7 have interfaces that are as different from XP as any Linux distro.
  • by lkcl (517947)

    i always thought that an active-desktop-esque [sourceforge.net] window manager for linux would be cool, as it would allow users to write applications in HTML, Flash, or anything, and have them in the "Start" Menu, or as part of the desktop.

    it turns out ironically that google's "chrome os" is pretty much exactly that, and the Palm Pre is already well on its way to being a "web" os, too.

    thus we ironically come full circle, as the startling implications of ideas that microsoft creates over fifteen years ago eventually filter th

    • "i always thought that an active-desktop-esque [sourceforge.net] window manager for linux would be cool, as it would allow users to write applications in HTML, Flash, or anything, and have them in the "Start" Menu, or as part of the desktop"

      I thought Active Desktop was HTML shortcuts on your desktop that you could click on and browse using Internet Explorer, while Chrome is a minimalist Operating System designed for sped and security. Something with which for Windows/IExplorer seems to be permanently set
    • by mgblst (80109)

      How is that ironic? Even in the weak American use of the word, that is not ironic. It is a coincidence, nothing more.

      Do you really think you sound smarted using word that you have no idea about?

  • Quote
    'User demand is not there for [other forms of] Linux'

    Totally incorrect.
    Just you wait, many purchases will scrub both Androis & Windows 7 and install their favourite distro be it Debian, Fedora, SUSE, or the dreaded *buntu (only joking, xbuntu is pretty good)

    And the bit about sites needing IE is these days pretty weak. I wonder if this is just a few words to keep their masters in Redmond happy?
    I do pretty well all my web browsing using Firefox on a Mac or Firefox on an MSI Wind running Fedora 11.
    In

    • by b0bby (201198)

      Just you wait, many purchases will scrub both Androis & Windows 7 and install their favourite distro

      I doubt it. If you want a Linux only netbook you can get one, if you buy one with Windows on it you'd probably dual boot. I like having both available, and I'm sure I'm not the only one - and Acer has the sales numbers to inform their statement, whereas we're just random /.ers speculating.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dskoll (99328)

        If you want a Linux only netbook you can get one

        Unfortunately, it's not easy to find Linux-only netbooks. I tried buying an Acer Aspire One online with Linux installed; couldn't find one anywhere. I ended up buying the "Starling Netbook" from system76. Even places I'd bought a Linux Aspire One from a few months ago no longer carry it.

        Microsoft has been very successful in shutting down Linux netbook sales, unfortunately.

      • The Linux only versions have been gutted in hardware - HP and Asus are the only OEM that don't make their linux offerings the red-headed stepchild of the lot, unless Acer changed dramatically and Lenovo started bothering to advertise it.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Just you wait, many purchases will scrub both Android & Windows 7 and install their favourite distro be it Debian, Fedora, SUSE, or the dreaded *buntu (only joking, xbuntu is pretty good)"

      Eliminating any reason for the makers to care about putting anything other than Windows on their machines. User = own tech support.

      • by rs79 (71822)

        "Just you wait, many purchases will scrub both Android & Windows 7 and install their favourite distro be it Debian, Fedora, SUSE, or the dreaded *buntu (only joking, xbuntu is pretty good)"

        For a very very small definition of "many".

  • Best connectivity? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @11:09AM (#29745975)

    Because it has the best connectivity built into the OS

    Riiiight. And any other flavor of Linux is only able to connect at the equivalent level of a coffee can and string telephone. I think the real reason is because Android is a new shiny thing with lots of hype and a comforting corporate mother figure we can all snuggle up to and suckle on.

  • by miffo.swe (547642) <`daniel.hedblom' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @11:31AM (#29746297) Homepage Journal

    Ill take any darn OS if i just can avoid paying the Microsoft tax. The common misconception that nobody wanted Linux on netbooks is utter bullshit. They sold boatloads of netbooks before they started shipping them with a heavily discounted XP and suddenly, despite consumer demand they also yanked any Linux loaded netbook.

  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @11:40AM (#29746395) Homepage Journal

    Really?

    What have companies do to seriously create or satisfy that demand?

    They try a shy toe in the water (like ASUS did), are wildly successful with a Linux only product, and then, as soon as Microsoft asks them to wag the tail, roll in and play dead they do so, in some cases with particular relish.

    The demand, or at the very least, interest, is there: trade magazines, conferences, server installations and desktop installations (many of which are not publicized because they are done internally by big companies, you would be surprised to know some of the names doing this) say the demand is there.

    Google Linux for bunnies sakes, the amount of information out there is astronomic. That is simply not coherent with lack of interest.

    The demand for half hearted attempts to make Linux available may not be there, but I would like to see if there is no demand for a Linux machine running a well configured enterpirse distribution (RedHat, Ubuntu or even SuSe) backed up by proper marketing (Dell has spreads almost every day in free newspapers here in London, I would like to see the same kind of commitment and effort put towards a line of machines runing Linux exclusively).

    Don't tell me the demand is not there when you have not tried seriously to satisfy a need.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      I think your memory and reasoning are both a bit faulty.

      First off, why should companies bother to try to create a demand for Linux when they already have a demand for Windows based products? Especially when current data shows that this would only increase their market by about 5%.

      ASUS introduced the EEE series and it was mildly successful. It became a major success only AFTER they introduced the WinXP version. And, sales of the WinXP version vastly outstripped the sales of the Linux version

      You use as your b

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @11:50AM (#29746513) Homepage

    I am still waiting for the day when operating systems will become interchangeable commodities. Or at least, when software development does not depend on the OS.

    Debian now supports running with multiple kernels. Apple's POSIX compatibility layer runs on their customized Mach kernel. Most packages run on BSD and Linux. I can write software using Java, .NET, or C++ (Qt, Boost, APR, ...) and it will run on almost anything. So why do we care about operating systems any longer? Why is this the #1 thing when buying a piece of computer hardware? Should we not be at the point where any half-competent developer can just code to one of the many many cross-platform "platforms" and be OS-independent?

    Yes, there are certainly features that are OS specific. But usually, those are hardware-specific. I can't expect every app that runs on my XBOX 360 to run on an iPhone. But I should expect that basic common tools can run on any netbook, regardless of OS. Or that a simple PDA application will run on any cell phone with a keyboard and touch screen.

    If the world was filled with the kind of programmers who hang around on Slashdot, then this would have happened 10 years ago. I am sometimes amazed that it is still happening today.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shados (741919)

      Integration.

      Its very easy to make a game that both works on Windows and on an Xbox. The experience will be completly different. The same game that would run on both Mac and Windows (let say WoW): while you're in the game, its the same thing. When you have to troubleshot your graphic card or your network connectivity, very different.

      People also care very very much about whats built in (the default apps for average users, the administration tools for advanced users).

      You're right in that it doesn't matter as m

  • by ivoras (455934) <ivoras AT fer DOT hr> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @12:04PM (#29746695) Homepage

    As Apple took FreeBSD and Mach and slapped a pretty GUI on top, making millions on the new product, so now it happens with Android and ChromeOS. On the other hand we have Gnome and KDE and Linux distributions that use them like Ubuntu and SUSE, which constantly fail to take foothold with users.

    Some things clearly need both money and firm guidance...

    • by pmontra (738736)

      As Apple took FreeBSD and Mach and slapped a pretty GUI on top, making millions on the new product, [...]

      So it was the year of FreeBSD on the desktop :-)

      • by ivoras (455934)

        As Apple took FreeBSD and Mach and slapped a pretty GUI on top, making millions on the new product, [...]

        So it was the year of FreeBSD on the desktop :-)

        Yes, this was my point :) When the "year of Linux on desktops" actually happens, the actual product used will most likely not be called "Linux" and the users are only see the GUI side... which *isn't* bad.

    • I don't think they're buying Macs because somebody made FreeBSD pretty. I think they're buying it because it's the new Mac. I don't think they're buying phones with Android because it's so pretty, or even because it has Google's name on it. I think they're buying it cause it's the new "smartphone" with a touchscreen and iPhone isn't available for their phone company.
  • Because Microsoft is willing to pay overtly or under the table to keep linux off the sub notebooks. Who knows what secret deal Acer had with Microsoft to kill off Linux? Now Android is on the block. Another opportunity for it to shake Microsoft down for some more money to keep Android off. Then some more shakedowns to keep Chrome off subnetbooks. At some point even Microsoft will realize the folly and get out, leaving the playing field level for Linux, Android and Chrome.
  • The article fails to mention if the 30-second boot is for Windows or for Android. 30 seconds isn't especially fast.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Tweenk (1274968)

      Putting Wine on Linux netbooks is not a good idea.
      1. It gives a false impression of Linux as an inferior no cost alternative to run your Windows apps.
      2. It provides compatibility with many forms of Windows malware.
      3. It reduces the pressure on the user to find open source alternatives.

  • I thought that Microsoft's OEM license prevented manufacturers from loading other operating systems in a dual-boot configuration alongside Windows. Wasn't that the heart of the lawsuit from Be Inc. against Microsoft?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      You are correct about the lawsuit, which is why that provision was taken out of the OEM licensing agreement. Anti-trust rulings and all that.

      • by selven (1556643)

        There were a lot of evil requirements before the antitrust suit - for example, manufacturers had to pay for a windows license for every computer they sold, even one with another OS (or they wouldn't get the OEM discount).

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