Would You Buy a Non-Windows, Non-OS X PC?

By  |  Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:09 am

T-PollThe IDG News Service’s Dan Nystedt has a report today that Taiwanese electronics behemoth Foxconn is planning to build “smartbooks”–even cheaper netbooks, basically–built around ARM processors. Their lack of x86 CPUs means they’ll run some flavor of Linux–perhaps Moblin (backed by Intel) or, eventually, Google’s Chrome oS. We know they won’t run Windows–not unless Microsoft comes up with a really cheap, ARM-compatible version of the OS.

I don’t think that Foxconn’s machines will be aimed at most of the people reading their post–they’re for folks in emerging nations for whom even netbooks are unaffordable. But all the recent news involving netbooks and netbook-like systems running Linux and variants thereof (as well as other alternative OSes such as Symbian) inspired today’s T-Poll.

For decades now, nearly all consumer PCs have run OSes from a grand total of two companies: Microsoft and Apple. (Yes, I know about the advances that Linux has made–I’m a Ubuntu fan–but the OS has yet to gain any permanent traction in the consumer arena and its market share remains tiny.) Either all this new activity relating to other OSes is going to amount to something, or the companies involved are wasting their time.

Queue the T-Poll:


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. tom b Says:

    Untapped market: scientific instruments. Most mass specs, liquid chromatography set-ups, etc in labs run Windows. This is highly undesirable because supporting Windows is very expensive and you have to reboot, at a minimum, every couple of days. A netbook with some kind of LINUX and good drivers (supplied by vendor) would be very desirable.

  2. rami Says:

    Ditched Windows one year ago in favor of Linux (Ubuntu) -never been happier

  3. Mike Says:

    i love ubuntu…i have 3 computers and 2 have ubuntu and other has widows xp which i don’t use offen!

  4. Jon B Says:

    Familiarity seems still to be the main driving force in OS choice. I used linux (Fedora) in work previously as it was recommended by our parent company and now find using Windows slow and unresponsive.

  5. Matt E. Says:

    Disclaimer: I’ve been a UNIX System Admin for the last 18 years, a Linux Admin for the last 12 years.

    I made the switch from Windows to Linux about 10 years ago and have never looked back. I’ve been using Ubuntu Linux for my personal machines for the last 2 years. I couldn’t be happier! There’s nothing I can’t do with it! I even play most most of my favorite Windows games thru Wine.

    Here’s what I’m doing with my rigs:

    Main workstation – Ubuntu 9.10, Intel Quad core 2.5 GHz, 4GB RAM, 2TB HDDs, BFG/Nvidia 8800 GTS:
    – Grahpics: Gimp
    – Virtulization: Virtualbox – hosting Windows XP for work VPN (last thing to be replaced)
    – Media conversion: WinFF, audacity, Devede, Avidemux, dvd::rip, K9copy
    – Media playback: VLC, Miro, Hulu, MythTV (DLNA streaming)
    – Games: Wine – City of Heroes, Call of Duty, StarCraft, etc.
    – Internet: Firefoxweb broswer, Thunderbird email, Pidgin, Skype

    Internet server: Ubuntu 9.04
    – VirtualBox Host for 2 Virtual Machines
    – Postfix Email virtual machine, Ubuntu 9.04
    – Apache 2 webserver virtual machine, supporting multiple sub-domains.

    Media Server: Ubuntu 9.10
    – 4 * 1 TB HDD, Raid 5,
    – MythTV(for DLNA streaming)
    – Secure file share via SFTP & SCP and other protocols