Eee PC series to get Windows 7 but not Vista, says CEO
Dismissed Linux high return rate claim
Asus CEO Jerry Shen has denied claims that consumers are sending back more Linux netbooks than they're returning Windows-based models.
Speaking in an interview with Laptop Magazine, Shen said return rates were the same for both operating systems.
"I believe the Linux and Windows have similar return rates," he said, adding that the Linux option was particularly popular in Europe.
It has been claimed that vendors say Linux returns are higher. That's not entirely surprising, perhaps, and no reflection on Linux but on non-technical buyers' expectations that any computer they buy will automatically run Windows apps out of the box.
Shen stressed the provision of the Eee PC's simplified user interface, called Easy Mode, implying that for many buyers this presents all the features they need, ensuring they're not forced deeper into the OS.
He promised a version of Easy Mode that will run on Windows XP later this quarter.
This is interesting, as it will effectively remove all but one difference between the two strands of Eee PC: compatility with apps and some hardware that punters already have. If buyers don't plan to install new apps - and, as appliances, netbooks shouldn't need new apps, though alas many do - Easy Mode for Windows XP will make the underlying OS an irrelevance. In which case, why pre-install Windows at all?
Well, some people want it, for starters, and Shen said the Eee line will gain Windows 7 "in the second half of next year".
"For now it will be Linux and XP and then Windows 7 and not Vista," he said.
There is still the cost difference
Compatibility with apps is important, but as Linux apps continue growing this becomes less of an issue. You can't really game on an EEE PC much any way, and what games you can play can be played through DOSBox or Wine or whatnot usually.
I think that all of this means that the price difference will push many to choose the Linux version. I wonder how long it will be before Microsoft switches to software support and advertisement business models?
too little, too late
I already made the switch
I'm not sure why the writer says the returns are "no reflection on Linux". I bought one expecting to like Linux and Ebayed it a few months later after an unsuccessful 2-day struggle to update FireFox. In a nutshell, Linux was just one huge pain in the @ss.
Apparently a lot of people think Xandros is at fault, but hey. Not gonna hand-edit any more configuration files or hunt for any more "distros", thanks very much.