Practical Technology

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Has ASUS abandoned netbook Linux?

It wasn’t even three-years ago that Asus took the concept of a cheap, small notebook and turned it into a revolution: the Linux-powered netbook. Today, netbooks continue to sell well. Indeed, Linux netbook sales forced Microsoft both to fire employees and to bring XP back from the dead. But, now, without any fanfare, Asus seems to have closed down its Linux lines at least in the United States.

I found out about this annoying development when some readers wrote to me to say that they’d been trying to get new Asus Linux-powered netbooks and that they’d gotten no-where. Some of the more persistent ones kept pestering Asus and this is what they heard from Asus sales:

“I show that this model is still in production and should be available to purchase through some of our online vendors such as Newegg, Tiger Direct, Zip Zoom Fly, Etc. Also we have just become retail and you may find our units in Target, Fry’s Electronics, Best Buy, Etc. I apologize I don’t have more information about what stores have how many units, but at least you know that this model is still in production. Thank you and have a great day!”

How nice, except it turned out that none of these retailers actually had any Linux-powered ASUS Eee PC 1000 line for sale. Or, any other netbooks with Linux pre-installed.

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