Super-cool, Expensive netbook running…linux

This means something.  A uber-cool netbook aimed at the overcompensated.  At it runs SuSE Linux.  As covered at the New York Times:

Dell Laptop Aims to Impress Impression Makers

By Ashlee Vance

Your pay grade is just that high. It says, “I’m better than this clunky laptop docking station. I’m better than sticking a power cord into my computer. And I’m better than waiting for Windows to check my e-mail.

The software fires up the moment you open the laptop and connects right to a wireless network without Windows.

(Under the hood, it’s Linux running on top of an ARM chip on a mini-motherboard that provides this quick access feature. You’re basically talking about most of the components needed to run an iPhone being hitched to a large battery. So, the computer can run in instant-on mode for days.)

Some users Dell surveyed spent 70 percent of their time working in the instant-on mode. Microsoft is sure to take note of that figure. Windows has turned into a clunky cup holder.

[Oh, and note MSWindows won’t run on ARM chip architecture–there ain’t no plan b, Linux (R) is plan a…]

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Super-cool, Expensive netbook running…linux

Netbook update

Back in early December 0f 2007 I had predicted that the netbooks had reached their Tipping Point.

This computer is the future, and it has arrived at the right place in the market at exactly the right time. That is being at the low end of the market, at the beginning of a long down turn, and also oozing “coolness”. It’s Tiffany at a Wal-Mart price.

The success of this device will inspire others, and once a company like Dell moves in, I think we can see the adoption of linux in a whole new class of devices starting very quickly. The large PC companies will not sit on the sidelines and let an upstart like ASUS have a new market to themselves. They will push in, rapidly. The price point and the diminutive specs of this unit make it rather unlikely that MSWindows will be the OS of choice for this new platform, unless MS radically changes their pricing structure, which is rather doubtful.

As noted over at Canalys 10 September 2009:

Netbooks reshape the PC Industry

H1 2009 research highlights

The PC industry is undergoing a more dramatic transformation than seen at any time in the last 15 years. The netbook category was invented as recently as 18 months ago by the likes of Asus and Acer and is the only PC segment enjoying growth this year. The impact of netbooks has been profound. It has forced Microsoft to fend off a threat from Linux by reducing its operating system prices and to continue promoting its aging XP brand. Netbooks have dramatically lowered industry price points, attracting new categories of consumer buyers….The market shares of PC vendors are changing rapidly on the back of their willingness to commit to the netbook category and their agility in chasing these new, substantial telco deals.

The one thing that I did not predict correctly is that MS would really change the price of Windows.  But in a sense, I am right about that too, because although they temporarily changed the price of Windows, it seems MS have back tracked from that also:

After publicly advertising the idea that Windows PCs are cheaper than Macs in its “Laptop Hunter” ads, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told an audience of financial analysts that the company’s attempts to cut prices of Windows to induce demand in emerging markets had failed over the previous year, and that the solution to the company’s woes will be to increase the price of computers.

“The theory was wrong,” Ballmer said, explaining that there wasn’t enough new demand to make up for the drop in profits. “You’ll see us address the theory. We’re going to readjust those prices north [using Windows 7].”

MS is in a lose-lose situation: lower the price of Windows, and they will hurt their profits dramatically, especially since it turns out that netbooks are the only PC sector that is growing–all the others are actually shrinking. Raise the price, and Linux will be the choice on netbooks.

Netbook update

Some large company will patent some obvious thing…and it will be enforcable… everywhere

A very dangerous proposal from Microsoft:

Microsoft pushes for single Global Patent System

“In today’s world of universal connectivity, global business and collaborative innovation, it is time for a world patent that is derived from a single patent application, examined and prosecuted by a single examining authority and litigated before a single judicial body,” said Guiterrez. “A harmonized, global patent system would resolve many of the criticisms leveled at national patent systems over unmanageable backlogs and interminable pendency periods.”
Guiterrez went on to praise efforts to harmonize international patent systems through projects such ad the Patent Prosecution Highway and the “IP5” partnership but said more needed to be done to allow corporations to protect their intellectual property

Of course when they say “more is needed to be done to allow corporations to protect their intellectual property” they really mean “more to be done to erect high barriers to entry, so no one can legally compete with us.”   Microsoft is just against any company smaller than they are (meaning, for those who are not paying attention, everyone else)

My evidence?  Here’s Microsoft’s own Bill Gates, speaking out against software patents in 1991, as covered in the NYT:

Continue reading “Some large company will patent some obvious thing…and it will be enforcable… everywhere”

Some large company will patent some obvious thing…and it will be enforcable… everywhere

Silly Ballmer….(updated)

Apparently Microsoft’s strategy to return to their former profitability after their last horrendous results will be–are you ready for this– to increase the price of computers. No, I really am not making this up!

But I shouldn’t really have been surprised by this turn of events, here’s what I said back on March 29 in my post about the Windows adverts:

“In anycase, Microsoft has been too clever by half, as the saying goes. This is same race to the bottom that ends with a $199 netbook running either linux, or a version of windows that is priced so low there’s not much profit there.” *

Steve Ballmer could have just read my blog, and not paid all of his marketing whiz kids anything.

Continue reading “Silly Ballmer….(updated)”

Silly Ballmer….(updated)