CyberTech Rambler

May 9, 2008

Yes, there is a difference, but my worry is the difference might be artificially created

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 1:59 pm

Lyman of 451 CAOS Theory was worry that we did not read beyond the headline of the recent revelation from APCMag that Windows-based Eee PC 900 is cheaper than their Linux-based cousin, i.e., we forgotten that the Windows version is slower and that the Linux version pack a bigger hard disk.

I did noted the two factors first time. And immediately realize that this can be a sinister marketing ploy to protray Linux in a bad light. Get a joe-consumer, put him in a store, show him the two EeePC, which one is he going to take? He don’t know (and probably don’t care) about the difference in hard disk. Not being technologically inclined he will not know Windows is actually running slower. He look at the price and say why should I pay extra for something I don’t know (Linux) compared to something I do know (Windows). Well, that is still OK. However, he would be left with the impression that Linux is more expensive and, if he care to read the hard disk size, Linux requires beefier hardware. In other words, this can be a careful marketing ploy to damage Linux.

OK, I will concede that a lot of other factors can lead to the difference between the Windows EeePC and Linux EeePC. The first is the expected sales volume of both. I will say Windows EeePC will probably outsell the Linux version. Now one will normally argue economy of scale kick in that will make Windows EeePC cheaper to make and hence cheaper to consumer. However, lets not forget that both versions of EeePC will share the same production line and the decision on Windows or Linux is simply done at the very last minute, probably when the hard disk were slotted in. Both share the same distribution channels etc. Hence, if we have both EeePCs with the *same* specs, the cost of licensing Windows is unlikely to be small enough to cover the additional cost of swapping out Windows for Linux.

The second is EeePC 900 market positioning. You need a marketing boffin to explain the details to you but essentially, they might be worried that EeePC 900 Linux edition’s market will overlap with existing EeePC offering, cannibalizing their existing market rather than expending it. This is a more likely reason. However, this argument is marred by the fact that EeePC 900 Linux is not on the same mass market retail shelf as existing EeePC offering. This is of course assuming that existing EeePC do appears on mass market retail shelf.

What I am worried, is EeePC striking a marketing deal with Microsoft to make EeePC Linux look bad in general, Linux in particular. The signs are more than sufficient to satisfy conspiracy theorists of course. Microsoft’s abuse of market power history, proven by antitrust authorities world wide, means trust in the company for not using illegal means to stifle competition is simply not there.



  1. Please see this australian site:

    * ASUS eee PC 900 Black Notebook Intel CeleronM 900MHz with Win XP Home: $799.00 inc GST

    * ASUS eee PC 900 Black Notebook Intel CeleronM 900MHz with Linux: $649.00 inc GST

    With idem configurations the Linux eee PC is ~U$S150 cheaper

    Is this possible?

    Comment by orlando — May 9, 2008 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  2. […] Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 10:18 pm A reader Orlando said in a comment to my musing about the difference between Eee PC Windows and Linux might be an artificial one that […]

    Pingback by EeePC list price « CyberTech Rambler — May 9, 2008 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

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