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Gartner: Mini laptops keep PC market from sinking

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| Early in June, Acer dove into the mini-laptop market with the Aspire One
| netbook, which is designed to use Intel's Atom N270 chip. Acer's netbook runs
| either the Linpus Linux Lite operating system or Windows XP Home.


Hazy Computing

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| Sounds a little like science fiction and I believe we already in this era.
| For example, would modern day banking, health-care, communication, to name a
| few, be possible without computers. If we turned off the banking computers
| mayhem would surely result. We already trust networks of machines that
| interact in complex ways. At the personal level, my Linux laptop manages the
| complexity required to view a web site, read email, and write an article, all
| with simple movement of my fingers.



Buying A Netbook? Think Linux

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| Compare this to Ubuntu Linux, which ships on Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks,
| among others. Ubuntu issues a major update every six months, and it
| guarantees support for each of these releases for at least 18 months. And
| unlike the XP-Vista upgrade path, it's safe to assume that an Ubuntu update
| won't instantly turn a perfectly serviceable PC into an overpriced space
| heater.
| In addition, many of the latest netbooks offer solid-state disks, rather than
| traditional hard disks, for persistent data storage. Here, too, Linux holds a
| key advantage: It runs extremely well on netbooks using SSD technology, while
| the same systems running any version of Windows XP are likely to suffer
| unacceptable I/O performance...


Mandriva unveils Linux for netbooks

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| Linux publisher Mandriva has unveiled a version of its platform designed
| specifically for the new breed of mini laptops.
| Mandriva Mini is aimed primarily at vendors of so-called 'netbooks', and is
| customised for this category of small form factor device, Mandriva said.


Mandriva leaps into the netbook market with the GDium

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| Lately it's hard to avoid the buzz about netbooks - the small, cheap laptop
| systems that were popularized by the Asus Eee PC (which, of course, Mandriva
| Linux 2008 Spring supports very well). Many in the community have asked if
| Mandriva is going to get directly involved in this market. Well, the answer
| is yes! Mandriva is providing the innovative operating system for the
| upcoming GDium netbook system, produced by Emtec.


Microsoft to limit capabilities of cheap laptops

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| Microsoft plans to offer PC makers steep discounts on Windows XP Home Edition
| to encourage them to use that OS instead of Linux on ultra low-cost PCs
| (ULPCs). To be eligible, however, the PC vendors that make ULPCs must limit
| screen sizes to 10.2 inches and hard drives to 80G bytes, and they cannot
| offer touch-screen PCs.
| The program is outlined in confidential documents that Microsoft sent to PC
| makers last month, and which were obtained by IDG News Service. The goal
| apparently is to limit the hardware capabilities of ULPCs so that they don't
| eat into the market for mainstream PCs running Windows Vista, something both
| Microsoft and the PC vendors would want to avoid.
| [...]
| Microsoft notes that the OSes under consideration for the devices include
| Windows and Linux. Some PC makers have expressed a preference for Linux
| because it helps them keep down the cost of the devices.
| [...]
| By offering Windows XP Home Edition at bargain prices, Microsoft hopes to
| secure its place in the ULPC market and reduce the use of Linux, according to
| an official at one PC maker, who asked not to be identified because he was
| not authorized to discuss the program.
| "[Low-cost PC makers] have made some good inroads with open-source, and
| Microsoft wants to put a stop to it," the official said.
| The official did not seem opposed to the program. It should stimulate more
| competition between Windows and Linux in the ULPC market, and it could
| invigorate sales because consumers who want an easy-to-use PC are likely to
| prefer Windows, the official said.


Microsoft U-turn to stop Linux dominating ultra low cost PCs

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| By offering Windows XP Home Edition at bargain prices, Microsoft hopes to
| secure its place in the ULPC market and reduce the use of Linux, according to
| an official at one PC maker, who asked not to be identified because he was
| not authorised to discuss the programme.

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