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[News] GNU/Linux Sub-notebook for as Little as £150

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Get an Acer Aspire One Netbook for $309, shipped

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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?

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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! 

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| “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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