Practical Technology

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One-third of Asus Eee PC users to run Linux


It’s funny how some people are so stuck on the idea that Windows, and only Windows, is the one true operating system that they can’t even hear their own words. That’s the case with a recent news story with the headline, “Windows XP Will Fill Two-Thirds of Asustek Eee PCs.”

OK, I know almost none of you are journalists, but what’s wrong with that headline?

That’s right. You didn’t need to do paste-up classified ads for your high school newspaper to figure out that the news here is that Linux will be running on a third of Asustek’s Eee PCs. Windows being installed on PCs is no more news than “Dog Bites Man.” It’s “Man Bites Dog” that’s interesting.

So, the main news, buried under that misleading headline, is that Asustek plans to sell 5 million Eee PCs in 2008. Which — let’s do the math here — I think means that the Taiwanese company plans on selling 1.66 million Linux PCs.

Now, that’s impressive!

If you actually read the article, you’ll also see that the Asustek chairman said the company expected to sell 60 percent, not 66.6 percent, of its Eee PC line with XP. So, we’re actually talking about 2 million new Linux PCs landing in customers’ hands in 2008.

If Asustek sells that many, it’ll have sold more Linux PCs than all other Linux PC vendors combined up until 2008. That, my friends, is the real news here.

The company also revealed that in 2007 it sold 300,000 units. All of those systems ran Linux.

Take a look at Amazon’s list of top-selling computers. Earlier in March, seven of Amazon’s top 25 were Asus Linux laptops.

Need I say more? Well, actually there is one thing. There is one element of news to the original headline. Asustek is selling Windows XP, not Vista. Interesting, isn’t it?

A version of this story first appeared in DesktopLinux.

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