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Get an Acer Aspire One Netbook for $309, shipped

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| This particular model comes with an Intel Atom processor, 8.9-inch screen,
| 8GB solid-state drive, built-in Webcam, 5-in-1 media reader, and 512MB of
| RAM. It runs on the Linpus Linux Lite OS and includes a three-cell battery,
| which Acer says is good for up to three hours. CNET got 2 hours and 14
| minutes in its battery-drain test and awarded the Acer three stars out of
| five in its review (which called it "the best all-around Netbook we've seen
| for less than $400").



Linux can save UK schools billions: Part 2

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| To reduce these we can do the following simple things:
| * * * Stop using expensive software and use free software instead. Free, open
| * * source software such as Linux is, of course, just that - free. OSS is
| * * increasingly a 'shoe-in' for most of the expensively licenced proprietary
| * * software used in schools. Open Source software is uniquely able to use
| * * low energy consuming hardware. For example Linux desktop computers can
| * * use one tenth of the power of Vista PC. Linux mini-notebooks (small
| * * laptops) typically use one tenth the power of a Windows Vista laptop and
| * * cost between £100 and £200. Low power means low heat production, so
| * * schools can turn of the air-conditioning now required simply to deal with
| * * the heat produced by hundreds of PCs.
| * * * Use a VLE for all teaching resources. Open Source VLE Moodle is free
| * * software but this is immaterial compared with the main potential benefit
| * * of a VLE which is providing a web-based unified interface to access
| * * electronically held resources. Once students have personal low cost
| * * wirelessinternet-enabled devices they can access these resources and will
| * * not need the endless printouts. The new £100-£200 Linux netbooks are the
| * * obvious choice.


The £99 laptop: how can it be so cheap?

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| A new laptop computer for just £99 sounds like the kind of offer found in a
| spam e-mail or on a dodgy auction website. But the British company Elonex is
| launching the country’s first sub £100 computer later this month and hopes to
| be making 200,000 of them by the summer. It will be aimed at schoolchildren
| and teenagers, and looks set to throw the market for budget laptops wide
| open.
| Called the One, it can be used as a traditional notebook computer or, with
| the screen detached from the keyboard, as a portable “tablet” – albeit
| without the planned touchscreen that Elonex had to abandon to hit its £99
| price tag. Wi-fi technology lets users access the internet or swap music (and
| homework) files between computers wirelessly.
| [...]
| The secret is simple: open-source software. The One runs on Linux, which is a
| rival to Windows but completely free to use. Open-source software can be
| freely swapped or modified by anyone who wants it. In the past such operating
| systems (there are several of them) have been outgunned by the more
| sophisticated Windows programs. However, an open-source operating system is
| ideal for low-cost devices as it performs well on less powerful, cheaper
| hardware.


Mini-laptop sweeps through schools

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| RM, the company supplying the Minibook computer to schools, sold out its
| first order of 6,000 within weeks, and is now projecting school sales of
| 30,000 by the end of the year. They are attracting the attention of IT
| teachers, and with them a multimillion-pound market in school computing so
| far dominated by Microsoft, the Goliath to RM's David.
| [...]
| Last year the government spent £801m on IT equipment for schools. Microsoft
| has the lion's share of the market, but the Minibooks circumvent this iron
| grip by using Linux open source software instead of Microsoft Windows Vista.


Shuttle KPC K45: £180 Linux desktop

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| Shuttle piqued our interest recently when it announced the KPC -- a low-cost
| Linux desktop PC you'll be able to buy for a paltry €199 (£180 including
| VAT), or for €94 (£85) in K45 barebones form. *



How will Linux win the OS wars? From the bottom up!

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| So therefore, best way to win the war of the operating systems is not to go
| after the high end market.


Low-cost laptops make PC makers mull margins

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| “Computers have been an exception. If you look at consumer electronics, a DVD
| player was about $800 10 years ago – now they sell for $20,” she says. “The
| [computer] industry has been able to keep the price flat by focusing on
| gazillion-gigahertz machines running really bloated software and that’s
| worked for years since the IBM PC revolution.”
| [...]
| OLPC found a strong uptake for a “give one, get one” campaign it launched in
| North America in November. It discovered consumers were willing to pay $400
| for an XO – the price meant another XO would be given free to a
| developing-world child. It is now launching OLPC America to extend the cheap
| laptop concept for children in the US.

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