Asus Eee Fans Down Under Get One-Upped By MicrosoftAsus Eee Fans Down Under Get One-Upped By Microsoft
Good news: Asus is about to unveil its next generation of Eee PC mininotebooks in both Windows XP and Linux editions, and they look downright snazzy. Bad news for folks down under: The Linux version of the new Eee is <em>more expensive </em>in Australia<em>. </em>What!?</p>
May 8, 2008
Good news: Asus is about to unveil its next generation of Eee PC mininotebooks in both Windows XP and Linux editions, and they look downright snazzy. Bad news for folks down under: The Linux version of the new Eee is more expensive in Australia. What!?
Reports from Australian PC and the AU version of Lifehacker show that the Linux version of the new Eee will be AU$50 more than its Windows XP cousin. There's some compensation in that the Linux edition has 20 GB of storage (with the XP version weighing in at 12 GB), but given that XP's the one with the need for bigger resources, that sounds bizarrely backward.
Naturally this has given rise to endless speculation that, in Australia, Asus is cozening up to Microsoft -- or the other way around -- with both of them getting a sweetheart deal in the process. Microsoft gets XP on that many more machines by default, keeps Linux from getting that much more of a toehold in a given market, and Asus gets to offer something that they claim is that much more popular by default. There's some irony in the fact that people could probably just buy the cheaper of the two machines and install Linux manually.
Now, as far as I can tell, the U.S. editions of these two machines are coming in at the same price point ($549), with again the Linux version equipped with that much more storage. No funny games with the cost here -- at least, not yet. I suspect Microsoft knows they can't pull something like that in the U.S. without incurring serious regulatory scrutiny. But they clearly want a piece of this action, and they're willing to do quite a bit to secure it.
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