back to article Local mag claims Aussie Eee PC buyers will pay extra for Linux

In a move that's going leave local Linux buffs alleging Asus has been handsomely rewarded by Microsoft, the computer maker is to charge less for the Windows version of the Eee PC 900 in Australia than the version using the open source OS. The Linux-loaded 900 already matches the Windows XP version on price in many countries by …


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  1. Goat Jam
    Thumb Up


    Either the APC article is a cock-up, or Microsoft are shitting bricks to the point that they would pay people to use their products.

    I'm honestly not sure which option I like more.

    Normally I'd run a mile to avoid giving MS any of my hard earned, but if MS is going to pay me to take their product I might just let them and then install Linux as soon as I get home.

  2. Richie M


    Slow news day guys?

    I mean come on, this story is basically "Aussie mag makes typo" :-/

  3. richard
    Paris Hilton

    Subsidy? is MS subsidizing theeee pc ie paying them to install/sell with XP.

    Silly anyway - just buy the cheaper XP model, install linux.

  4. Dave
    Gates Horns

    Refuse the Licence Terms

    The obvious answer is to get the cheaper Windows one, then refuse to accept the offered licence conditions and ask Asus for a refund on the cost of the licence. Then you can reformat it and put Linux on - under the terms of the GPL they must have the software available somewhere that someone who did buy a Linux model can download and then redistribute. That way you get a Linux model cheaper than the Windows one once you receive your licence refund.

  5. Andy Tyzack
    Thumb Up

    no title

    theres that "random" picture again.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Stop saying "subsidy".

    OK, Tony Smith forgot to mention it, but the linked article says:

    "the XP model has just 12GB of storage, while the Linux version has 20GB."

    So the extra cost is in the flash memory. Tony suggests (probably rightly) that the Linux EeePC target audience isn't really going to care too much about the extra 8GB.

    So while Microsoft may have cut a deal to get the Linux model upspecced (hence more expensive), they will not be subsidising the box. (That would be illegal, of course: cf "loss leader".)

  7. Tom Silver badge

    Excellent! Party ON!

    So I can get a an XP version cheaper, load Linux on it for free to make it work better! I get a decent Linux machine and M$ subsidises me for it. And I presume I'm entitled to a rebate for not using the XP!

    Its just too good to be true for the FLOSS community!

  8. Graham Wood

    Different spec isn't made clear in reg article

    Having read the linked article, I now understand the second paragraph... But I think people may be missing it...

    The XP model comes with a 12GB SSD, and the linux model comes with a 20GB SSD. That's quite possibly the reason for the price difference (e.g. XP is cheaper than the additional 8GB).

    However, I'd have to agree that it does sound like M$ are taking the hit to stop linux being adopted as the standard on this sort of platform. With the reduced size being flavour of the month, getting a toehold is going to be important enough to them to be willing to take the hit.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It's the Microsoft Tax

    ... rebate.

  10. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    M$ subsidising against the eee and Linux already happened

    Didn't the asus come with XP and a free 4GB SD card at one point. Who paid for / subsidised the SD card???

    You know M$ shitted itself when they said they would bring a new version of Vista out for the asus, coded to be smaller and easier to install. It never arrived but the fact they announced they would for the eee told everyone they considered this thing a threat.

    I would rather pay more for the extra space than have M$ on it. The linux version comes with all the software you could ever need and still takes up less space. The XP version comes with nowt, you still gotta pay for the word processor etc (Unless you go open source etc) So it costs more in the long run and you get less space once everything is installed.

    All that said however, the 900 comes with XP, not Vista so that is a god send.

    I look forward to getting mine (with linux), my 701 can go to the missus.

  11. Michael Habel

    Microsoft's all washed up!!

    I think the joke here is that there not trying to push (e.g. ram Fi-sta) down our colective throats. Makes one wonder what'll hapen to all those Eee Owners once M$ decides to kill off XP once SP3 gets out the Gates.

    Sure they'll likely still toss out the occasional patch for the next worm flavor of the month. But, I'm not sure I'd be wiling to commit ~finically~ at tish stage for another XP licence. The good (or bad), thing is I'v limmited my Window useage to just One major App wich sadly has no real Linux support in it.

    Here's hopeing that Microsoft finally release a decent DVB-C, DVB-S/S2 MCE version for those to unfortunate enough not to live in (the) CAN/USA/MEX (e.g. ATSC DVB-T) regions...

    In anycase ´building this HTPC has been the best thing to happen to me I forgot how much fun the commandline could be. Now I just need to find a way to get my Skystar HD2 to work, and I'm bussness!!

  12. Steve

    In other news...

    Retailer charges more for better product.

    If the 900 is anything like the 701, then it's a far better product running Linux than it is running Windows. I've tried both and went back to the native linux as it was a bit more awkward setting up networking with my Windows PCs and getting the added touchscreen working, but it just runs *so* much faster than Windows.

    You just can't argue with that Xandros boot time.

  13. Cheesey

    You've got it all wrong

    It's not slow news day. It's an excuse to post that pic of Ms. Paris Hilton Lookalike on her laptop.

  14. Syren Baran

    Amusing actually

    While techies will understand that price difference is based upon a greater storage most consumers will interpret this differently. They will see that the Windows EePC is cheaper. However they will "only" get Windows instead of a customized Linux version. Its the normal "if its more expensive it has to be better", which es probably true anyway for the Linux EePC.

  15. David Simpson
    Thumb Down

    can't we have less cellulite

    that bird makes me cringe every time I see her. I thought the idea was to have pretty birds toying with little things not ugly ones.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    @Refuse the Licence Terms

    I'm with Dave on this one... the important issue is to get maximum publicity for the "refuse the licence, get money back" and also to hit as many Web sites as possible with links to a download of the Linux distro for the Eee...

    Faced with "get more money back, and get a faster/more secure/more software accessories", a significant number of "ordinary" users will jump at the opportunity.

    Thanks Billy Gates... it's good to know that you were sincere in pledging to re-distribute Microsoft's ill-gotten monopoly abuse gains... :-)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    >"the computer maker is to charge less for the Windows version of the Eee PC 900 in Australia than the version using the open source OS."

    Fantastic! So you buy the cheap windows version, then you uninstall windows and demand the windows rebate! You get it cheaper than either version and can put linux on it yourself!

  18. KenBW2
    Thumb Up

    Sounds good to me...

    I abandoned Xandros in favour of eeexubuntu anyway. So buy windows version, decline licence, jump straight to your distro of choice :) .

    that is as long as MS don't quote it as a "sale"

  19. Bill Cumming

    The real story is this:

    "At the official launch, the company told journalists that 'Microsoft has been a longstanding supporter of Asus' to explain the price discrepancy. And — get this — only the XP-based machine will be sold at mass-market retailers, while the Linux-based model will be consigned to computer stores."

    So the XP version is going on sale in the big stores! While the Linux version is stuck in the small independent retailers.....

  20. steogede
    Gates Horns

    The Real Scandal

    Is that both models are significantly cheaper than the UK are paying. Why do only Australians get an MS-Tax rebate?

    @David Simpson

    >> can't we have less cellulite

    David, if your stomach can handle it, look more closely; it is a trick of the light, she doesn't have cellulite. The photographer could have tried a bit harder (or at all), I reckon he must have been distracted by something...

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Nice direction

    First linux was "in" because it was cheaper.

    Now linux is "in" because it is better.

    I quite like this progress, and as a matter of fact I have paid for linux for the first time in almost ten years.

    For Windows not once. (well the company has. dearly).

  22. Harry WWC

    it's not as bad as you think, really


    as an Aussie, currently typing on an eeePC 701 (which I love), this pricing is not as bad as it seems.

    Remember, the version of Linux being distributed is Xandros Linux - presently about $100US download version.

    In general, we see the 'microsoft tax' is around $70US, the $30US difference is around the $40AU mark, so it's "close".

    Let's face it, most of us that move to the 900 (and that includes me) will get the WinXP cheap and cheerfully, then repartition the disk and load something like eeeDora or Ubuntu and get the best of both worlds.

    In many cases this is a "win-win" (pun intended :')


  23. storng.bare.durid


    errr... lads, I'd wait for the atom on.

    But I guess that's easy for me to say seeing I've already a 701.

  24. Allan Rutland


    That the UK models are both the same price though...for the 12GB XP or the 20GB Linux ones (at distribution anyhow, haven't bothered looking at what the online bucket shops are doing with them though).

    This does seem to put the XP machine at a slightly better option for the fact you do get a license for XP with it as opposed to having to buy one on the Linux shipped machine (should you want to).

    The pre-shipped XP machines are well in the market of the general users now also...who wouldn't normally go near Linux with a barge pole as they don't like change. And the price is at a point which would appeal to them.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ahh look at the murder crow, the most obvious reason that the linux version shall be more expensive is becouse Asus shall most likely have to provide their own support for the Linux operating system. Where as with MS they just farm off OS problems.

    Sure Linux is free but supporting it isn't.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just looks like MS is fixing the market

    The extra space on the SSD for the Linux model, accounts more for the price difference, and that extra space is kinda useful.

    But, not offering Linux on the smaller SSD or MS on the larger does not allow the comparison to be between Operating Systems, which of course MS is pretty scared to do,

    With the way Linux is actually installed and operates on the EEE, it may actually make sense to have a larger drive, Linux updates far more often and far more rigorously than MS based products. There is also a far larger collection to choose from so drive space is a bit of a premium. With that said I am sure there is something else behind this discrepancy of availability.

    Personally I would prefer computer manufacturers to offer no OS on the system, and instead ensure that all the hardware specs are open, and write drivers for most of the major kernels. This should be a standard option on all systems, not something that is pretty much unheard of in the laptop and pre-assembled market. I am quite tired of having to format the existing OS which is an extra step in the process of getting a machine to work.

  27. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo

    Have a Windows Eeeee PC

    And sync it with your windows Desktop PC, truly nobody cares, if you want to take this thing out and about it want to plug it in to all manner of mobile devices and photography equipment etc... Why would you piss around with Linux trying to get things working??? Of course the windows version is going to sell better; asus don't want to throw their R&D money away..... I think we should all thank MS for allowing this product to become much better instead of just and expensive brick.

  28. Trix

    Speak for yourself AC

    "So the extra cost is in the flash memory. Tony suggests (probably rightly) that the Linux EeePC target audience isn't really going to care too much about the extra 8GB."

    Well, we might not *need* the extra storage, but we *care* about it. I'll have that for a few more AVIs, thank you.

    As for SpitefulGOD, have you actually used one?

    "Why would you piss around with Linux trying to get things working??? "

    Funnily, enough, it Just Works in its Linux incarnation... and not using the Mac pricing model either. I've had a lot more hassles trying to get Sony Ericsson and Nokia phone storage drivers working on XP (since you actually have to install drivers) than any Linux system I've used (where you just plug the device in, and voila, there's your storage)

  29. Stephen

    Here's another idea...

    If the Windows version is the one going to the larger chain stores and the linux version to the computer stores it might just be a price difference to reflect how they sell. The computer stores will bargain and cut prices but the chain stores tend to sell at or near to RRP.

    So the effective price will be similar, most likely still less for the linux version.

    Real world pricing rarely matches those announced...

  30. Anonymous Coward


    Are you seriously that stupid???

    What wireless AP wont work with the inbuilt wireless adapter?

    What digital camera / mobile phone / music player will not be able to connect to the USB port and work OOTB?

    Methinks you should get off your knees and actually try one out before spouting nonsense.

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