The Asustek PR representative in Australia has told iTWire that there is no word from Asus when or if a Linux version of 1000HE will be shipped. I haven't checked with Acer with what it intends to do but I reckon it's a fair bet that a Linux 10-inch netbook from that company is about likely as rain in the Sahara tomorrow.
In his excellent recent article UnderNetbook: A tale of two markets iTWire writer and reviewer Stephen Withers pointed out that "netbook" is a somewhat nebulous term.
A netbook 18 months ago was one of those original Eee PC 701 boxes that were little more than oversized mobile phone that couldn't make calls but could surf the net while travelling, could make skype calls and do some basic computing tasks. The 7 inch screen, tiny keyboard, limited storage and lack of computing power made them a very limited device.
In fact, the original Eee PC concept - Easy to Work, Easy to Learn, Easy to Play - seemed to be targeted at kids. However, because the early devices were only available on Linux they became a favourite of the Linux geeks who lauded the fact that at last the Linux desktop had arrived.
Then - shock, horror - Asus started shipping Windows XP versions of its new breakthrough product. The rate at which its netbook market multiplied when the Windows versions started shipping no doubt caused Asus, Acer and others to realise on which side the bread was buttered.
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