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HP Pulling Linux From UK Netbooks

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HP Pulling Linux From UK Netbooks

HP's Mini note 1000 sounds pretty good on paper, the basic reasoning behind it being to take the 2133 and swap the rubbish VIA C7 CPU for an Intel Atom chip. Annoyingly though, would-be owners wanting to buy the Linux option will find themselves at a loss because HP isn't going to sell it in the UK.

HP reckons that XP versions of its netbooks will better serve the UK market which is fair enough. While I would still prefer to see both Linux and Windows options, there is a lot to be said for reducing customer confusion. Many netbooks users probably will be better with the familiarity of Windows. And at least HP hasn't gone the Sony P-series route and opted for Vista!

Given the £400-odd asking price, the HP Mini 1000 as available in the UK isn't exactly the biggest conformer to the original netbook ethos of cheap and cheerful computing. It's not as if it packs an outstanding specification either coming with a 1,024 x 576 pixel screen, and either 60GB hard drive, 8GB, SSD or 16GB SSD.

Link:

Via IT Pro

Jesper

February 6, 2009, 9:59 pm

I guess Linux' big chance in the netbook market came and went. Asus has similarly stopped selling Linux based EEE pcs in Denmark. Real shame!

Ohmz

February 6, 2009, 10:38 pm

I feel a bit sorry for Linux. I'd like more competition in the OS space, but with Windows 7 looking so good, maybe we don't need it?

basicasic

February 7, 2009, 12:37 am

Why feel sorry for Linux? Its free. Nobody has gone bust or suffered any financial hardship over this. If anything netbooks have put Linux on the map. People seem to think because Linux is free it must be inferior in some way when in fact its considered to be far superior to Windows (especially Vista) in most respects.





If people want to pay &#163100+ for Windows 7 good luck to them. People in the know will happily continue using Linux and those that want to use Windows can happily do so.

Francesco Mastellone

February 7, 2009, 12:42 am

Would this laptop have come with 2133's SuSE or Ubuntu MIE? If with the former, UK consumers are better off. But if it's Ubuntu they're missing on, then I feel really sorry for them. They will be paying for a slower OS with a fraction of the features.

basicasic

February 7, 2009, 1:59 am

@Francesco - I read on Slashdot today:





"a new custom version of Ubuntu aimed at netbooks and based on 8.04 Hardy Heron has been released by HP. Targeted to the HP Mini 1000 Mi, the netbook customization comes complete with OpenOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Pidgin, and a few others."





"Overall, HP has created one of the best thought out Linux interfaces for netbooks. The software is designed so that users who have never used Linux should have no trouble performing basic tasks."





Unfortunately only for the rest of the world now.





@Ohmz - According to The Inquirer today commenting on the HP story "the top selling netbook is the Linux based Acer's Aspire One."

ffrankmccaffery

February 7, 2009, 2:41 am

The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people want to continue to use the same windows only programs from their regular desktops/laptops on their netbooks. Several websites still require IE and WMP installed in order for you to view their broadcasts, channel 4 being one of them. So if you want to catch up on ramseys kitchen nightmares on your linux netbook your screwed.

Technology changes, and so sho

February 7, 2009, 2:53 am

Good riddance to it.


Reading comments on other sites, Linux users are up in arms that 'The Beast from Redmond', or 'M$' or whatever, have won the day.


In fact no-one has won anything.


The arguments have been so contradictory around this debacle:





- Linux doesn't cost anything to put on the computers.


True, there are no licence fees, but when the user turns the computer on and asks themselves, 'What the hell is this crap?' then it costs in support to explain to them what's going on and then have to install XP where it should have been for that particular user in the first place.





- Linux is a viable alternative to Windows.


No it isn't and never has been. Users want a computer that will work with everything they have, not just the CPU, display and keyboard. The number of Linux devotees who've put their favourite distro on their netbook and then mentioned that the webcam or whatever doesn't work (each dismissed as unnecessary) is alarming. Also, I have things like a SatNav, scanner, universal remote and other gadgets that just will not work with Linux. I'm not going to write my own app because, surprisingly enough, it's far easier and more rewarding to just use them with Windows.





- We need competition in the OS space.


You have it with OSX (although Apple are more contempible than Microsoft in my eyes as they actually dictate what hardware you must use). Anyway, if you come to realise anything in this life it is that people don't want choice, they want QUALITY, and the two do not run hand-in-hand.





- Linux is more stable than Windows.


Well, my laptop running Ubuntu 8.10 crashes just as often as when I had XP on it, and my other laptop with Vista is rock solid. As the Americans would say, 'Go figure.' I'd seriously doubt that the hardware was to blame as it's a Panasonic CF-T5, and Riyad can attest how reliable they are.





- HP had the wrong distro on the netbook.


This is most laughable as the classic defence from the Linux community for why there are so many distributions is that they provide much needed choice and that they are all essentially the same, so to complain that HP had the 'wrong' distro is absurd.





- Windows requires you to buy the extras that come with Linux.


No, Windows works right out of the box. It has a perfectly serviceable web-browser even if the others are superior, a mail client, a media player that is severely under-rated, and enough other software to make it useable in the netbook scope straight away. If you want extra, it can be downloaded easily from on-line.


When I first started up Ubuntu I was confronted with two media players: Totem was a ridiculous video player and Rhythmbox was an utterly awful music player. To get them replaced, I couldn't simply download new programs, I had to use a confusing repository tool to get VLC (which wasn't just one tick-box, but several for one program) and then tried loads of music players until I discovered Songbird which isn't even in the repository. Firefox seemed to require far too many upgrades for my liking and Evolution for mail is just about the ugliest UI I've seen in a long time.





To cap all this off, comments from other sites usually descend into Linux fans making derogatory and expletive laden remarks about the users they were trying to convert.


Great idea: try to get people to change OS, mock them as they do it (have you read Linux support threads?) and then ridicule them when they give up because they don't like being degraded by a crowd of sociopathic bullies who have inter-personal skills bordering on the autistic.





So, why do I use Linux on one laptop and Vista on the other?


Because I like diversity and I'm not expecting Linux to be a quality product. My old laptop has Ubuntu because you can't buy XP any more and it's not powerful enough for Vista. Linux is good for what a netbook _should_ be for, but consumers don't see a netbook, they see a cheap laptop and no amount of talking like Monty Python's Gumby to them is going to change that fact.





If you are really keen on Linux then just wipe off Windows and install it yourself, but don't expect companies to support it when they have shareholders who need paying.





...and for heaven's sake, don't get your Alans in a twist over what is an obvious and sensible decision.

Ryan131

February 7, 2009, 2:48 pm

@Technology changes...





Bravo!





An objective post summing up all of my views on Linux. That repository/dependencies thing was why I ditched SuSE from my 2133 after 8-hours into it's probation period. And what did I ditch it for? The great, glorious: Setup.exe!

padrikas

February 7, 2009, 6:45 pm

@Technology changes, and so should you. - some of your arguments doesn't have any valid ground, and in my opinion, you are just unhappy with some of your experience you personally had. So don't post like a child





- Linux doesn't cost anything to put on the computers. {..} costs in support {..}


if user don't know what Linux is and has no idea what linux is - of course suport will cost him. But the same is with windows - you will need support if you don't know what you're doing. Believe me, we sell support of Windows and Linux Mandriva, and people have a lot problems with XP/Vista whatsoever





- Linux is a viable alternative to Windows.


"No it isn't and never has been" {..}


yes, it is. It does not cover all things you can do with Windows (mostly because of proprietary software), but win does not do all, that Linux can (or with Linux it is simpler). Our company works with Mandriva, and I am using Ubuntu distro, and everything works as it should to (internet, mail, office, VNC, Skype, Hansa FO etc.). No problems with webcam, wireless, scanner, media buttons whatsoever. Of course, if you are going to use some rare/unsupported gadgets you should consider what operating system are supported (some "very" old COM devices does not support XP Pro because of drivers, so people are using Win98, but it is silly to say XP Pro is worse because of that)





Linux is more stable than Windows.


{..} running Ubuntu 8.10 crashes {..}


Linux are stable, but user (if stupid enough) can brake the most stable systems. If you want stability use Ubuntu LTO, and not bleeding edge "playground" with compiz/KDE4/etc. There is no viruses, spyware, tojans in linux. Don't remember my Ubuntu crashing on me on my notebook.





- Windows requires you to buy the extras that come with Linux.


No, Windows works right out of the box. {..} Totem was a ridiculous video player and Rhythmbox was an utterly awful music player. {..}


can you convert FLAC to MP3 w/ Windows out of the box? IExplorer is awful and there is no Office whatsoever. Dunno whats wrong with Rhythmbox, I see it as a great player. Amarok is nice too. VLC installation IS few clicks in Ubuntu, so no need to lie - 5 years old can do that. Most of free software is available and easy installable in linux, same as in windows or even simpler (because of repositories).





But


all in all, there is a HP Netbook we are saw here loosing linux. Is it good to remove an option to choose linux? no. you choose what suits you best. For a netbook I need internet/skype/mail, and that it, so the most basic linux is enough. When It comes pre-installed, user knows that there is no driver/compatibility issues and that's a great thing.





if user can not adopt new OS/features/layouts/commands - he should not start using linux and complain.





If someone is unhappy with his/her experience with some distributions - he should use windows.


And what if he/she can not?


funny,


what would he/she use without linux?

Francesco Mastellone

February 7, 2009, 6:53 pm

Thanks 'Technology changes, and so should you.'! I didn't quite figure until now that Linux was not a "quality product" because it didn't meet your criteria. I don't like the way you speak your opinions as if they were absolute, but just as you run a Linux distro(but apparently can't take the minutes needed to learn how to use it) despite not liking it, I think I'm going to address your issues with Linux anyway.





-Linux doesn't cost anything to put on the computers: support can be offered either commercially or by the open source community. It doesn't have to cost a dime on the hardware manufacturer.





-Linux is a viable alternative to Windows: the premise for this point doesn't have much to do with its content, since you speak about hardware compatibility. About that, hardware manufacturers will make damn sure that the chips they use are compatible with Linux, when it's what they ship their computers with.





-We need competition in the OS space: I'm sorry, this seems rather basic to me. Do you know what happens to markets with no competition? Software ain't any different. Windows would NOT be as good as it is(that's not saying much though) if not for Microsoft's "fear" of other initiatives. I hope you'll agree with me on what I deem a fact.





-Linux is more stable than Windows: your mileage may vary. If, however, the majority of internet's infrastructures are based on Linux servers, and they are, I would say that Linux's stability is undeniable.





-HP had the wrong distro on the netbook: you're saying that Linux distros are all alike. I personally don't think you've tried more than two of them.





-Windows requires you to buy extras that come with Linux: I'm gonna edit pdfs, use Java applications, rip some cds in FLAC format and listen to them, chat with my friends with whatever protocol pleases me, produce professional grade 2d graphics and a variety of contents in multiple formats on my stock Linux distro now, if you don't mind.





Also, I think I'm going to take offense at each of the randomly-directed insults at the end of your comment and ask you to go blather somewhere f'n else, you poorly-informed troll. I trust that Trusted Reviews won't censor that, since apparently they're cool with you talking about autism and implying a certain inferiority of things diverse.

sockatume

February 7, 2009, 7:37 pm

Uh, the Mini 2140 is the Mini-Note 2133's real replacement, and AFAIK that's going to be available with the exact same OS selection.

smc8788

February 7, 2009, 8:47 pm

I think we can see from the last few comments that Windows and Linux distros are aimed at VERY different end users.

basicasic

February 7, 2009, 10:50 pm

The fact is that HP are only deleting Linux in the UK and a few European countries. North America and the rest of the world are getting a new improved version of Ubuntu installed. I think its just a pity that choice is restricted for no logical reason.





As for the Linux v Windows debate I have no axe to grind either way. I happily used DOS, Windows 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, Me and XP but my experiance with Vista was so awful I decided to give Ubuntu a try and took to it like a duck to water. I found it a doddle to install and actually enjoyed learning to get more out of it. Some of what Technology Changes says is true (esp the Linux snobs who look down their noses at newbies and scoff at appeals for help) but much of it is I think is utter rot.





Choice is a good thing. There is plenty of room for both Linux and Windows.

mjaffk

February 8, 2009, 4:48 am

I don't like linux personally, but i'd love to see the option still for the users can already have licences and be not willing to pay extra penny for pre-installed stuff they don't need.

ffrankmccaffery

February 8, 2009, 5:15 pm

Technology changes: your thoughts have been proven prescient. Out come the personal insults and the blame shifting and the key inability to think critically. Its just this very kind of attitude that has for years ignored the advice of industry experts to standardise on a single toolkit and packaging format so software developers and hardware manufacturers could write professional grade software and drivers that they cry out for.

Francesco Mastellone

February 9, 2009, 4:12 am

Let's not be uselessly refined and call his "prescience" what it actually is: trolling. Out of the blue, he gave a neat long list of faulty points against Linux, sprinkled it with unexplicit insults, then essentially said "the people who will feel offended by this will insult me".





Not to go off topic, his points are all invalid. I find myself in agreement over yours, however. Windows does NOT have packaging standards, but it doesn't need them as much as the hugely varied Linux environment.





Note however that it is not because of some universal childish behaviour that the Linux world is free of such standards. The open source community is huge, not even Linus Torvalds could make a package format universally accepted nowadays. If a single one ever gets accepted, it will be because of natural laws of user software adoption. So far, the open source community hasn't been significantly hindered by the lack of such standards: quality software(e.g: Firefox, Pidgin, GIMP) still manages to spread anywhere thanks to a little community effort. If in the future commercial companies will need to address Linux user bases they will probably join in huge efforts comparable in nature, for instance, to those of the Bluray/HD DVD war.

smc8788

February 9, 2009, 5:14 am

To be fair, calling him a troll is a bit harsh, isn't it? It's not exactly fitting with the stereotypical trolling profile to construct a long list of arguments (be they right or wrong), although in fairness it could have done without the insults.





It seems to me like he is just someone who has had a bad experience with Linux and decided to vent his frustrations (I certainly know there is more than one such person, especially those coming from a Windows-only background - I was in the same position myself when I first used Linux).

Technology changes, and so sho

February 9, 2009, 8:48 am

I'm 'just someone who has had a bad experience with Linux'?


Oh puh-lease.


I started playing around with Linux about 8 years ago with TurboLinux and have played with Suse, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, PCLOS, Mandriva, Gentoo and others.


Just this weekend I changed my installation from Ubuntu 8.10 to Suse 11 on my laptop because it supports my hardware better and I had to alter the xorg.conf file to support dual-head properly. I'm hardly an amateur, and I'm certainly an case-study for how needlessly complicated Linux is.


My frustrations are because, in all that time, I've watched the Linux community squander chances to really make it big.


Linux snobs turn their nose up at support for proprietary formats, and yet have to release 'bad' and 'ugly' repositories so that users can do what they really want. Can I convert FLAC to MP3 in Windows? Yes, because both can be supported with easy, legal downloads from websites. Linux cannot use MP3 without a 'bad' repository update because MP3 is a proprietary format owned by the Fraunhofer Society.


The Linux community is horribly fragmented (as alluded to in ffrankmccaffery's comment) and having a 'hugely varied Linux environment' is not a good thing.


Competition in any space leads to reductions of prices (harldy a good thing when you start out free), not increased quality, and users _will_ eschew choice in favour of quality. Here are two examples:


-There are sites like TrustedReviews that provide excellent reviews so that we know how to limit our choice to only those items likely to be of a good quality.


-Apple restrict their users to a rigid choice of hardware and software so that they can guarantee the quality of the user experience.


Apple's OS is based on UNIX, but at least their users can go to a shop for _friendly_ advice on how to correct their woes. In fact, can you imagine turning up to a 'Linux' shop with a simple problem? You couldn't write comedy like it.


Companies like HP buy a contract from Microsoft to support the laptops. Users who have problems contact HP for support and then HP can collate all of the complaints and send the most common complaints to MS for correction, which can then be disseminated through Windows updates and HP updates.


The company in which I work puts Linux-like software on its devices. The staff use them for test purposes and we are told to report _any_ problems regardless of whether we think they've been reported before or not. This leads to powerful data mining techniques to work out, amongst other things, which problems are more common than others, to priortise fixes.


In the Linux community, if you report a problem that has been brought up before you're dismissed with a stream of invective.


What's doubly insulting here is that HP are a long standing supporter of Linux and comments on other sites make them out to be the heralds of the AntiChrist for dropping support. Linux is expensive to support when users have certain expectations (i.e. WinXP).


My frustration is that it's not as if it's difficult for Linux to make the alterations so that the jump between OSes easier. Pure arrogance gets in the way.


Just take a look at this:


http://marketshare.hitslink.co...


http://marketshare.hitslink.co...


Less than 1% Linux, and the trend is hardly shooting up.


In fact, if current trends are followed, there will be more iPhone users than Linux users by the end of the year.


I don't want that to be the case, but it will be.

gurnaik

February 9, 2009, 3:50 pm

Personally, I use Linux because I like the freedom. To quote gnu.org:





"Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software."





That, and the fact that I'd rather not contribute any money to Mr. Gates' wallet.

Francesco Mastellone

February 10, 2009, 2:13 am

As ever, insults make it difficult for points to get across. But I do agree more with what you're saying this time. I'll start with the bad though.





You're hardly an amateur, have been using Linux for 8 years, but resort to changing distro because you want better hardware support? That's funny. Wanna know what else is funny? Today I read your comment, I went downstairs, grabbed a monitor, back upstairs I plugged it in my pc, and configured it to work how I wanted. Total length of operation: five minutes, give or take. And what do I have to thank? Why, the Nvidia X configuration tool... Which is proprietary! Don't bother bringing the issue of "bad" repositories to the table. All it took for me to listen to mp3s on my Ubuntu 8.10 pc was to open the media player and let it sort itself out, something Windows has never managed to do, at least in my experience.








And I've used Linux for less time than you and tried less distributions, apparently.





"The Linux community is horribly fragmented (as alluded to in ffrankmccaffery's comment) and having a 'hugely varied Linux environment' is not a good thing. Competition in any space leads to reductions of prices (harldy a good thing when you start out free), not increased quality"





I'm sorry, it's hard to explain something I find obvious. Will it suffice to say that when your product is completely free and open(e.g: riproducible) it can even compete against its children?











"users _will_ eschew choice in favour of quality. Here are two examples:





-There are sites like TrustedReviews that provide excellent reviews so that we know how to limit our choice to only those items likely to be of a good quality."


Review sites work in a context of choice. They do not limit your choice, they help it. When a company has monopoly over a market(no choice context) and destructively works against the rise of rivals(Microsoft's disdain for interoperability, its business practices, and something else probably), do you think quality wins?








"-Apple restrict their users to a rigid choice of hardware and software so that they can guarantee the quality of the user experience.





Apple's OS is based on UNIX, but at least their users can go to a shop for _friendly_ advice on how to correct their woes. In fact, can you imagine turning up to a 'Linux' shop with a simple problem? You couldn't write comedy like it."





Haha, I guess so. That's why we have newsletters and forums, and they don't work any worse. But I guess Linux users must have traumatized you: I personally find Apple ones less helpful and more flauntful.











"Companies like HP buy a contract from Microsoft to support the laptops. Users who have problems contact HP for support and then HP can collate all of the complaints and send the most common complaints to MS for correction, which can then be disseminated through Windows updates and HP updates.





The company in which I work puts Linux-like software on its devices. The staff use them for test purposes and we are told to report _any_ problems regardless of whether we think they've been reported before or not. This leads to powerful data mining techniques to work out, amongst other things, which problems are more common than others, to priortise fixes."





That's much simpler than in the OSS world, where you can speak to the developers themselves or contribute to bug lists. Yeah. Say, do you contribute solutions to OSS projects, or is barging in with lists of faults your modus operandi? That might have to do with the arrogance you feel treated with.











I do agree with you on one point however: Linux's "fragmentation" and lack of a single direction is detrimental to its universal appeal. That's because consumers don't know what open source is, they don't know that the OS in their netbook came for free, nor that Windows, despite being bundled, certainly didn't. They may be afraid of the number of distributions, nevermind the fact that some of them exist to better cater to individuals like them. Quality is the last thing on their minds as they, having only had experience of a single OS, have no notion of it.

Francesco Mastellone

February 10, 2009, 3:29 am

Huh, what's with all the spaces?

Haberland

February 10, 2009, 9:53 pm

Linutop strongly believe in giving users the maximum freedom of choice and flexibility. An open source, Linux-based operating system is the ideal platform that allows users to get most of their devices. Additionally, open source allows running systems more cost-effective because users do not have to pay for an operating systems and applications from the established vendors. We are convinced that open source operating systems will become even more popular amongst many professional and semi-professional users in the future.


Even in the area of consumer technology there is strong opportunity for open source. It will be very interesting to see how the market reacts on the Google mobile phone with its open source operating system and what effect this might have on the established systems like Symbian and Windows Mobile.


Businesses are under incredible pressure to become more flexible and reduce costs at the same time. This will drive demand for more developer friendly and cost efficient systems in the future &#8211 which is exactly what open source operating systems like Linux provide.

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