[gnulinuxinasia] CHINA/SINGAPORE: Asia PC Makers Warm up to Linux

  • From: "Frederick Noronha [फ़रेदरिक नोरोनया]" <fred@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: gnulinuxinasia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 01:45:11 +0530


Asia PC Makers Warm up to Linux
Lenovo will join a growing number of PC makers that are selling
systems outfitted with the open-source platform

by Victoria Ho

World's No. 3 PC maker Lenovo on Monday said it will make laptops
preloaded with Novell Suse Linux available for sale in the fourth
quarter of 2007, to both business customers and consumers. The Chinese
company made its announcement this week's LinuxWorld Conference and
Expo in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 6 to 9.

A spokesperson for Lenovo Asia-Pacific told ZDNet Asia the company
plans to bring the Linux sets into the region by the end of the year.
It will offer standard configuration models, as well as limited
configurations that can be purchased through its business partners,
said the spokesperson.

Just last week, ZDNet Asia's sister site ZDNet UK reported that Acer
laptops preloaded with Ubuntu Linux were on sale in Singapore.
However, reports later surfaced that this installation of Ubuntu was
carried out by an independent distributor in Singapore, not Acer.

In an e-mail response to ZDNet Asia, Acer confirmed its Linux editions
come with Taiwanese distribution Linpus--and not Ubuntu, which is
commercially supported by South African company Canonical.

Acer declined to comment on targeted sales figures for its Linux
laptops, or whether it was planning to offer this option in other
parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

Bryan Ma, IDC's Asia-Pacific director of personal systems research,
expressed doubt that the latest show of support from PC makers truly
reflects a growing Linux fan base in Asia. Instead, Ma believes there
is a portion of users who buy the cheaper Linux sets only to install
pirated versions of Microsoft Windows on these systems.

"In most of the countries in Asia, save for some like Singapore,
pirated software can still be readily found," the IDC analyst
explained. "It's a trend that's been going on for a good number of
years in the region."

According to figures from the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the
Asia-Pacific average piracy rate, including Australia and Japan, stood
at 55 percent last year. Estimated revenue losses due to piracy
increased by 44 percent to US$11.6 billion in 2006, compared to US$8.1
billion the year before, BSA said. Revenue losses in China alone
totaled US$5.4 billion last year, while India saw losses of US$1.3
billion due to software piracy.

Ma said: "Consumers are very price-sensitive, and may not be as
resistant to using pirated software as businesses because there is a
lower likelihood of someone doing a spot check on your household [than
a company]."

In May, Dell Computer announced it would offer Ubuntu as an option in
the United States. It has also recently announced that the United
Kingdom, France, Germany and China will receive shipments of the Linux
sets, too. Dell has yet to announce similar plans for the Asia-Pacific

Provided by ZDNet Asia—Where Technology Means Business

Frederick Noronha  Journalist http://fn.goa-india.org
E: fred@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or fredericknoronha@xxxxxxxxx
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784, Sonarbhat, Near Lourdes Convent, Saligao 403511 Goa India

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