The year of the Linux … Mini Laptop! June 5, 2008Posted by rm42 in Computers, Linux.
Linux is making great strides in the consumer market lately. Although there had been forays by different companies before, when Dell came out with their Linux line, it was clear that Linux for the general consumer had arrived. Since then, other companies have followed suit, like Lenovo, and even Wallmart. But there is one product that seems to have really accelerated this trend and has managed to open a whole new class of products. This is the little tiny Linux laptop named the Eee PC.
The Eee PC was so successful that it is credited to have forced Microsoft to extend XP’s life in order to have something with which to compete. This is because Vista’s hardware requirements do not allow it to run well on this new class of tiny systems. Since the introduction of the Eee PC there have been several products, also offering Linux, released by several companies, such as Everex, Elonex, and others. It seems safe to say that Microsoft and other big name companies where caught by surprise by this exploding market. Dell, for example, is now said to be about to release its own Ultra Mobil PC (or UMPC for short). There are still no official press releases, but there are some photos circulating already, and the rumor is that it will be running Linux as well.
No doubt Microsoft will be making deals with some companies so that they release products with Windows instead. As we all know, Microsoft has a lot of money and in the past they have been known to be willing to lose money on certain products in order to be able to contain the competition or to give itself time to come up with a more adequate product. So, it would not be shocking for them to actually pay money to some companies instead of charging them for running Windows. However, with the proliferation of companies entering this market segment, it would seem hard, even for Microsoft, to be able to pay off everyone of them.
The latest company to announce their entry into this very hot market is another very large company, and Microsoft partner, Acer. Acer has announced its One Notebook and it is, of course, running Linux as well. But, what is even more interesting is that, now that Acer has been able to play around with Linux and seen its potential, it seems to be making moves to expand its use of Linux into its entire product line.
So, it seems that 2008 is shaping up to be the year of the Linux Mini Laptop alright. I have a feeling that many kids going back to school next fall will be doing so with one of this little devices. What do you think?