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Linux Notebooks Selling Well On Amazon Germany 207

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 HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:43AM (#28825549) Homepage

      I'm not sure how that qualifies as flamebait. It's a lot easier to fit Linux to low end hardware than Mac or Windows. Windows 7 runs on netbooks but it doesn't run that well. And if Linux gets wider acceptance in Europe, that would hardly be a surprise.

      It's possible the mod moved the rating with the scroll wheel after selection. It's easy to do and not notice. If you're not paying attention you can start scrolling page but if the rating dropdown is still selected, you'll scroll the selection options. At least in FF, not sure if IE works the same way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Hymer ( 856453 )
      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).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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

      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

        You may not be aware of it but Linux outperforms Windows on any platform, 88.6% of the top 500 computers in the world run Linux (June 2009).

        For those of you who have ever wondered what a non-sequitur looks like, this is an excellent example.

    • by Salsaman ( 141471 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @08:54AM (#28826257) Homepage

      In my experience, Linux outperforms Windows and Mac on the low end, the high end, and the middle end.

      Free software is never a bad choice.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hey! ( 33014 )

        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 d

    • Let's not bring the German's like of David Hasselhoff as pop singing star into this thread!

      I think the world is ready to forgive them over that.

    • I'm not sure what people here are basing their opinions of MacOS on.

      Up until the most recent release, MacOS X has run extremely well on old hardware, to the extent that newer releases were often, in fact faster than their predecessors. I'm basing this opinion based upon my experiences with a 450 Mhz G4 tower that I've had since the 90s, and is now running 10.4. For day-to-day tasks, the machine still runs great. I did some video editing on it a year or two back, and noticed that Final Cut Pro has astonis

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2009 @04:45AM (#28825339)

    Last two notebooks I bought came with freedos.

    • 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 ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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. A

      • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

        Lenovo, at least in Istanbul does use their IBM-DOS advantage that way too. In their business laptops (I actually have one in shop basket), "installed OS" is DOS. I assume it is IBM DOS and the money difference goes to 3GB of RAM I think which is really impressive.

        It is a huge issue for MS. As it has some archaic OS installed, I have some time to think whether to set FreeBSD with KDE or go with Windows. If it came with Vista, I would be really lazy to do it.

        Of course, Lenovo is not really IBM and their site

  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @04:53AM (#28825365)

    who ever is tagging these is a legend.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by troll8901 ( 1397145 )

      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.

  • 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.

    • It does not sound surprising, knowing it is the country of origin of the Chaos Computer Club...
    • 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 ZosX ( 517789 )

        So just wait for the laptop you want and buy it and install linux on it. Its not likely you are going to save much if anything on a windows free laptop and it sure isn't like linux costs anything to install. Just find something that gets good linux reviews and be happy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nerdfest ( 867930 )
          It sucks to pay the Windows tax. There seems to b a bit more hope for those of us that would like to get the laptops without paying the cost of a copy of Windows that we're not going to use, and is non-transferable (Amazon UK, and maybe Dell).
          • by selven ( 1556643 )
            The other big advantage of getting computers with Linux pre-installed is that everything works out of the box.
      • 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,

        It's amazing that you can claim to speak for the Chinese government and their inside motivations. The Chinese government has never given an official policy on Red Flag Linux. The Chinese government is as opaque as mud as really their motivations can only be guessed at my experts, not firmly declared by

      • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <<deleted> <at> <slashdot.org>> 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 derGoldstein ( 1494129 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @07:54AM (#28826009) Homepage

      Whenever I hear about Linux in Germany, I think about the Munich migration. There's an ongoing debate as to whether or not it "is succeeding" or "will succeed".

      Last time this came up on /. was a month ago [slashdot.org].

      The migration project is called LiMux [wikipedia.org], and you'll find many places online that campaign against [blogspot.com] it (or strongly criticize it, sometimes it's hard to tell).

      But overall I think it's very good news that consumers are making a conscious decision, with their own wallets.

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rdnetto ( 955205 )

      Why not ask for a refund on the cost of Windows?

      • by hitmark ( 640295 )

        because its a very roundabout, and redundant way of getting rid of something one did not want in the first place?

  • Linux notebooks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2009 @05:12AM (#28825433)
    I'm sorry to say that, but I doubt that this shows a rising interest in Linux from mainstream customers in Germany. If you look at the customer reviews for the Asus notebook [amazon.de] (in German) you will find out that a lot of comments deal with removing Linux and replacing it with either Vista oder Windows 7. Naturally, customer reviews are not a representative survey but I guess a lot of people simple save the money for the OS and install pirated copies of Windows.
    • Although I've never admitted it before now, I've been using this secret tactic to save money on Linux for years: I buy a cheap computer with Windows on it, sneak it home, and then just install Linux over it right away! Why pay retail for Linux?
  • Experiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dargaud ( 518470 ) <<ten.duagradg> <ta> <2todhsals>> 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.

      • Re:Experiment (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @06:47AM (#28825795)

        It's a bit unfair to compare a fresh Xubuntu install to a crapware infested aeons-old XP install...

        XP runs like a champ (at least in terms of speed) if you keep it clean and the hardware manufacturers manage to write proper drivers...

        • 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).

          • Hmmm, I dunno, I've pretty much stopped reformatting. I run a few anti-malware programs once a month (no background scanners, just good old manual scans regularly) and my installs have remained clean for ages.

            • 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.
              • Very good point. That's the only way to keep Windows fast with a lot of programs installed... it's also the reason my father thinks that filling hard drive space slows down computers - he doesn't realize that all the programs filling his hard drive also installed system tray apps...

        • by ZosX ( 517789 )

          That's what I was thinking. I'm reading this on a P3-1ghz /w 512mb RAM running kubuntu 9.04. A 2ghz machine of any breed would smoke this thing. Of course running kubuntu 9.04 doesn't help, but hey at least I'm using swiftfox and it is indeed a lot faster.

        • The thing is, to keep it clean you have to run virus checkers, spyware removers, adware removers, etc, etc. Windows is just too hard for the average consumer.

          • Yah, but it's easier to run a virus scanner, spyware remover and adware remover (or even two of each) than it is to get Ubuntu running on a system that isn't fully supported ;)...

            Think of it this way: Those virus, spyware and adware scanners all have user-friendly GUIs. Linux has GUIs that don't always work, and a CLI... which one do you think inexperienced users are going to choose?

        • XP runs like a champ (at least in terms of speed) if you keep it clean and the hardware manufacturers manage to write proper drivers...

          This is just it; it takes significant expertise to make a year old windows machine run smoothly. People claim that windows is easier to use than Linux, but when I was running XP I needed a lot more knowledge and a lot more effort to keep it working right. I have known so many people who own a perfectly good machine one or two years old, and it's basically unusable because they haven't done proper maintenance. For the average user windows is just a bad choice.

          The funny thing is, with proper driver support

          • That's a good point - if I were willing to spend time learning to use Linux (and had the time), I'm sure it wouldn't be more work than using Windows.

            Using Windows is just the lesser of two evils.

        • by mgblst ( 80109 )

          Yeah, sure. XP runs like a champ, 8 years after it was first released, on hardware about 10x the speed it was written for. So yeah, XP runs pretty good, so would Amiga OS on your current computer.

      • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

        The real trick is to trade laptops, people will think their getting a good deal with the "Faster" one.

      • Oh yeah?

        I took an old TRS-80 and installed Gentoo. Once I optimized for speed, it ran so fast, web pages were loading before I could even turn on the computer.

    • Re:Experiment (Score:5, Insightful)

      by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @06:57AM (#28825831)

      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.

      ...and there, I suspect, is the real secret to converting Windows users: first, recognize that your users don't care about KDE vs. Gnome holy war and give them the one that comes out of the gate looking more like Windows than a Mac. Second, a bit of intelligent customization to ensure that they can find the apps they use every day and disguise the fact that they now have different, wacky, names. Third, good after-"sales" support (I'm sure the staff at Buy More would have told them that Skype was windows-only :-) ).

      Of course, that's better than you get when you buy Windows (or even Mac) but they have million-buck advertising campaigns and sales incentives instead so they don't need good service.

    • Re:Experiment (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sammyF70 ( 1154563 ) on Sunday July 26, 2009 @10:08AM (#28826635) Homepage Journal

      Similar story here.

      I had the opportunity to buy an height year old Toshiba laptop very cheap from the company I used to work for. My mom's computer had died a while ago, so I told her I'd give her this one, but it would be "slightly different". I installed Ubuntu 8.04 on it (gnome). After explaining to her that Word and Excel were now called "Open Office" I left her alone with it. I never had any complaints, but what's more, I never got any "my computer is slow" calls anymore neither. This was even so clear to her, that a few weeks ago her best friend called me to ask me if I could install "the windows your mom has" on her computer, after she had had another one of those "YOUR VIRUS IS INFECTED" popups appear

      The thing is : for a standard (Internet browser / Email / IM / Fotos / Movies / Music / Wordprocessor / Spreadsheet) user, Linux is not only ready for the desktop, it should be mandatory

      • by hitmark ( 640295 )

        to bad acer and asus fubled by using less then up to date distros for their netbooks...

      • by mgblst ( 80109 )

        It is fine for these people, the problem is when you get people with a little bit, and want to install their own programs, or they need something for work. This is where it will make people unhappy.

        The good thing is though as we move to more web based apps, we need less propriety programs.

        • The standard user doesn't want to install his own program (or if he does, it's some weird windows95 accounting program he found in the sales bin at his local store, and which runs probably better in wine than it would on XP, let alone Vista). Generally, people don't even KNOW they can install anything. They are rather happy with what is on their computer by default (until MS-Office and Norton start complaining that the 30 days trial is over and that they should pay)

          As to "needing something to work", it's ir

  • 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...

    • 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).

      • Good point, but I'm willing to bet that the number of Linux-on-Windows-Laptop users is a lot smaller than Windows-on-Linux-Laptop users :)

        • Probably.

          But also keep in mind that some people do own a legal and transferable license for MS-Windows and don't want to have to buy it again. Purchasing the Linux version might be as close to "blank" as they can get.

          Of course, you and I both know that MORE people are just illegally loading MS-Windows.

          I look forward to a day when we are not forced to buy ANY OS with ANY computer. I just hope that day will come.

          • You're right, but I don't quite understand the connection - you've switched to a different subject here ;)

            I was just saying that not many people buy Linux laptops to actually run Linux on them - whether or not they pay for Windows or whatever other operating system they run is irrelevant :)

        • This meme, linux an pirated windows is so much __crap__, if you want to use windows, were it not for M$ trying to bulk the latest version sales numbers, here we go again with W-7, users would get a pre-install + activation key for one-off purchases, and install whatever they wanted, including linux legally. This is end-user only.

          In SOHO->Worldwise_Enterprise, the game is very different, first the OEM price of Windoze+Crapware is essentially zero, since M$, like all computer companies expect to make their
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sammyF70 ( 1154563 )

      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

    • I know several persons with Linux Laptops. In particular IT professionals use Linux.

  • 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.)

  • My apologies. I linked to the incorrect story in the main summary above. The LinuxTech.net blog mentioning the placement on Amazon Germany is actually here [linuxtech.net]. Again, my apologies for the inconvenience and inaccuracy. Christian Einfeldt
  • Und morgen die ganze Welt!

    (Sorry, couldn't resist. Unfortunately that sounds like a Godwin...)

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann