Thursday, 18 December 2008 13:35

Asus confirms Linux netbooks market decline

Netbooks market maker Asus, the champion for the past year of Linux advocates the world over, has confirmed that sales of Eee PC models pre-loaded with Linux have fallen in the wake of availability of Windows XP versions.

Yesterday, executives from Acer, Toshiba and Dell told iTWire that Windows XP had now established the same sort of dominance in the netbooks space as it has long held in the desktops and notebooks markets. Both Acer and Toshiba indicated that more than 90% of their netbooks shipped were Windows XP models.

Asus, whose chief executive Jerry Shen is a renowned Linux fan, caused a stir when it brought the Eee PC 701 to market in October 2007 with Linux as the only option. However, by March 2008 Asus was showing off the Eee PC 900 loaded with Windows XP at the CeBit computer fair in Hannover and had started production of an XP version of the Eee PC 701.

Asus informed iTWire today that familiarity of consumers with the Windows platform has caused a shift in sales since models pre-loaded with XP had been made available.

"At the time of launch Linux volumes were higher as it was the only offering," a spokesperson for Asus wrote in an email to iTWire.

"ASUS recognised a demand for a Windows-based netbook. As such, the shift now is more towards Windows due to customer demand for Windows XP being that consumers are more familiar with the Windows platform," the spokesperson added.

The Asus spokesperson said the company would not disclose the actual ratio of Windows XP netbooks to Linux currenly being sold.

It is becoming harder to find Eee PC models pre-loaded with Linux at major retail outlets, although some smaller specialist computer stores and chains still stock them.

Meanwhile Eee PC sales have continued to grow rapidly in Australia, according to the company's spokesperson.

"ASUS has seen increases quarter to quarter. Models that are in demand and that we are seeing the highest sell through are the 10” versions."


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.



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