Microsoft will push but...

Story: Microsoft strikes back at Linux netbook pushTotal Replies: 13
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Jun 03, 2009
12:10 PM EDT
Microsoft will push and some vendors may respond as Asus appeared to do yesterday. There are too many independent minded vendors touting ARM and MIPS netbooks right now. If they can get them into stores and into the marketplace there is little Microsoft can do to stop them from eroding the MS market share. Oh, and then there's the small matter of the Chinese government pushing Loongson processors. The Chinese government is one of the few entities on earth with more resources than Microsoft.

Still, he's right to raise the alarm.

Jun 03, 2009
5:37 PM EDT
The only way MS can hope to play a part is to resurrect the platform independent nature of the NT kernel. Then again, MS has prooven itself to be incapable of managing challenging projects (cough Vista cough). I wonder how they would fare with multiple platforms, like ARM, Mips, Sparc and their stronghold x86.


Jun 03, 2009
7:24 PM EDT
Quoting:If they can get them into stores and into the marketplace there is little Microsoft can do to stop them from eroding the MS market share.

Pushing WinCE or what any free software user would do when encountering hardware certain software doesn't run on.: porting XP / Win7 for ARM/MIPS?

Jun 03, 2009
7:31 PM EDT
A port to ARM or MIPS is not trivial. It's also unlikely Microsoft would want to port XP. It would have to be Windows 7. At the very least Linux is going to be the sole OS on theses platforms for a year or more. WinCE gives that PDA experience while Linux gives you all the functionality people expect from a PC. If Microsoft want to try and compete with WinCD let them try. I don't think they will have much success if they go that route.

Jun 04, 2009
12:35 AM EDT
Not a programmer...but aside from MS porting 'Dows to ARM or MIPS, wouldn't app vendors have to port their applications also? Would that be painful or trivial?

Jun 04, 2009
12:45 AM EDT
If the applications use the standard Windows API, and stick to straight Visual C/C++/$LANGUAGE, then the Microsoft-supplied compilers for ARM or MIPS would (should) reduce porting to a simple re-compile.

Jun 04, 2009
4:18 AM EDT
Well, people keep saying how netbooks are not supposed to be complete replacement systems - just companion appliances, and thus defending the use of abstract, stripped down / reduced functionality distributions instead of proper distros with full access to. And armed with that logic... why not run WinCE on these?

ARM/MIPS does provides a window of opportunity for FOSS, not a safety net. I think previous windows of opportunity like this were blown by shipping netbooks with rubbish like what the Eee came with. I think Asus both opened the door for Linux into the mass market, and simultanously poisoned it.

Jun 04, 2009
4:46 AM EDT
Most netbooks, if run with Linux, can be full fledged PCs that do most everything. I know I use mine for everything and anything and don't find it lacking. I think the PC-as-appliance think was what the manufacturers thought would happen, not what actually happened.

Lemote is shipping their MIPS based machines with Debian. That can and should be satisfactory.

The Moblin interface does make sense for small screens and I'm glad to see "normal" distributions (SUSE, Ubuntu, etc...) adopting it. That, to me, is the middle ground that netbook manufacturers should have found from the start.

Android? Since Google hasn't even allowed a desktop version to be downloaded, well... who knows?

Jun 04, 2009
4:52 AM EDT
Quoting:Well, people keep saying how netbooks are not supposed to be complete replacement systems - just companion appliances

IIRC it's Microsoft that's saying that mainly, and only to push "Look, the same thing with Windows does do everything! It's familiar!"

Jun 04, 2009
5:48 AM EDT
At the computer show we were at on Sunday (we had a stand - Feral Penguin Computers), there was another exhibitor there with a Win XP based netbook. In comparison to my Ubuntu powered netbook it was slow liek wading through molasses to use. I commented on this, and the bloke said, well it's only supposed to be used for Web surfing and such, but I can't imagine that experience would be any too exciting. I pointed out that my Linux powered netbook was not only not slow, but was capable of being used as a highly portable stand in for my main desktop machine, he had nothing further to contribute.

I managed to demonstrate just how responsive the Linux powered netbook is to quite a number of people, and explained to them that with Linux on the machine I was able to use the netbook as a stand in for my desktop machine while travelling.

It amazed me just how slow the Windows machine actually is. It's no wonder people are returning them in droves.

Jun 04, 2009
6:41 AM EDT
> It's no wonder people are returning them in droves.

I'm patiently waiting for the news articles saying "Windows netbooks have xy% return rate, z times that of Linux netbooks." No, I'm not holding my breath while doing so.

Jun 04, 2009
1:45 PM EDT
jdixon: That article is coming now that I actually have some data. I'm going to write it.

Jun 04, 2009
1:55 PM EDT
> I'm going to write it.

I know you will, Caitlyn, but when will I hear it from Mary Jo Foley and David Coursey?

No, that's not meant to be taken seriously, merely making a point.

Jun 04, 2009
2:28 PM EDT
Point taken. I can't control what others do. I can control what I do. I'm getting published more and my articles are appearing in more places. This enables me to be an alternate voice.

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