Asus blames lack of Linux Eee PCs on Atom hold-ups
Windows XP version less popular
Asus has blamed Intel not Microsoft for the apparent absence of the Atom-based Eee PC 901 from UK suppliers' shelves.
Readers alerted us to the fact that while Windows XP-loaded 901's are available to buy from British resellers, there's a paucity of the Linux version. It'll be available in late July, suppliers say.
That has led some would-be buyers to suspect pressure applied to Asus by the hand of the Beast of Redmond, but Asus UK spokeswoman Helen Ling pointed the finger at Intel.
All manufacturers, she said, are experiencing delays in shipments of Atom CPUs from the chip giant, impacting orders both large and small, no matter what volumes were previously promised.
The upshot: shipments to the UK are limited. Ling claimed the first shipment of the new Eees to the UK has sold out, and the company is awaiting a second shipment later this month - hence, we'd say, the "late July" arrival mentioned by retailers.
Ling said the company has asked for more product, but it's unlikely to get it until Intel really turns on the tap and a lot more Atoms flow out.
Asus produces Linux and XP Eees in equal numbers, she claimed, and will continue to do so: the Linux Eees are the better selling models. "We think our version of Linux is how we will stand out from our competitors," she said.
That may explain why there aren't any now: they've been sold, leaving only the less popular XP models still available to buy.
Have an expected shipping date in August. What the heck, ASUS?
@John Latham: The difference in spec (which is only the capacity of the SSD - 12GB on windows, 20GG on linux) is there so that the windows model doesn't cost more than the linux one. It's probably a 'keep Microsoft happy' compromise, but currently XP costs 8GB of SSD goodness.
superGPS.co.uk now reporting: "All ASUS Eee Linux Versions have now been officially delayed by ASUS for 2 weeks. We have been told to expect deliveries week beginning Monday 28th July"
Meanwhile the XP version sits on the shelves, unloved.
En Attendant Godot...
Makes some kinda sense
Throughout history there have been "must-have" products invented, but manufactured at a rate that was way below demand. So the product gets blazingly good reviews, and then terrible publicity and a backlash when people can't get their hands on one.
Asus got a bit of flack because of the 701 stock issues, but now they have some sales data so they can manage the issue a little better.
All these 901's will get sold - both XP and Linux versions.
The Linux versions will sell-out immediately (even if all the machines were Linux), so the bad publicity regarding understocking is unavoidable there.
For the XP side, I guess Asus did some sums and figured out that the selling rates of those will mean that the current stocks will last significantly longer on the shop shelves.
End result: anyone wanting an XP 901 will be able to get one, together with every XP 901 eventually being sold at full price. Everyone who uses and sells XP will be happy.
Linux users (like myself - plus I'm expecting the same issues when the Eee Box is launched) are in a no-win situation either way, relying on tracking stock levels day-to-day.
As Asus cannot make these things fast enough, this sales tactic is the best way forward in order to keep more market sectors happy.
Paris, because she knows that giving it all away on the first night is regrettable in the long term.
Hmmm , can the delays on the mobile chips be due to one or too many drunks in the new plant just recently commissioned at a place called "Kiryat Gat" (Gat is an old Philistine word which literally equals wine press !)
yet another reason for the US-DOJ, EU-EC, etc too look into this
something was strange when ASUS came out with their new models but made sure there was MORE hardware for the Linux version and charged more for it. This was enough to make me wonder what kind of deal they had to make with Microsoft since it's not a normal way to sell product. Now this bit about equal production quantities yet higher demand for the Linux version and if there is anything to what others have said about the Linux model not even being listed for ordering while the WindowsXP version is.
Something is rotten here and it sounds like customer choice is being restricted. So send in the clowns once again to look at what Microsoft is up to here.