Ah, finally, some Linux again on the Netbook. I fully agree with a statement my wife Tiffany made last night, Netbook makers should just admit they really suck at running any version of Windows and just install Linux on there all the time. It is much smaller, can run on much less RAM, and never crashes. The never crashes is the most crucial thing to me. My typical Windows XP computing experience on the netbook:
Boot the machine. Pretty quick.
Wait the desktop to load and wait for the hard drive to stop grinding away.
Acknowledge even more updates are needed.
Install operating system updates.
Acknowledge virus scan updates needed.
Install virus scanner updates.
Wait for updates to install while shutting down.
Wait for the desktop to come back.
Get more warning about updates.
Rinse, repeat about 3 times.
Finally get to working desktop (which I have unused icons on, acknowledge that warning.)
Try to run a web browser and virus scanning software at the same time.
The sad thing is, under Windows XP, the netbooks can surf the web, ok, and run basic productivity, barely.
Under Linux I can surf at almost full speed, perform real world computing, such as image editing and word processing, and not worry about if I have extra icons on my desktop or an update needs to be performed. All at the same time. I know for a fact Microsoft wants netbooks dead. Why do you think paid pundits are all saying netbooks are dead already. It’s because you can’t charge $300 for an operating system on a item which often costs less than $300. Heck, even the OEM price is close to $85 for most versions of Windows. This is a HUGE chunk of the price of a netbook. We have not even begun to count the price of some decent productivity software, like Office or Photoshop, which cost more than the hardware!
Under Linux (Ubuntu in this case) I have a FREE (As in free beer) Office Suite, OpenOffice 3.1. It is not a stripped down, basic office suite, but the exact same software I run on my desktop. Then I have the GIMP. Again, this is not stripped down, basic graphics program, but something that can rival Photoshop for any home user. They both free and run much better under Linux than Windows. I also have video editors, sounds editors, games, and a thousands of other applications, for free, available to me. So, to summarize, I can pay Around $400 for a decent netbook + $300 for MS Office, + $80 for Photoshop Elements (or $600 for full version) + $??? for everything else. So, you are looking at spending $1,000 or so for your “Cheap” netbook, or you can get it with Linux on there and spend $350 nothing extra. Hmm, which should I choose? This is why Mircosoft wants netbooks to die, and die quickly. Sadly, the makers of netbooks want them to die as well. Not enough profit and just as many warrany repairs and unhappy customers as a $1,500 laptop they made a couple hundred bucks on.
If netbooks go away, it is not because the public does not want them or abandons them for iPhones or tablets, it is because the makers and Microsoft can’t make much money off of them. In the end, that is why companies are in business, to make money. If they don’t, they kill the product, and who can blame them? They just won’t be honest why they killed them off.