Fight Windows tax with a penguin stick

Fight Windows tax with a penguin stick

Summary: Make your netbook a real PC for no money down. Avoid the Windows Tax and upgrade your performance.


Two of the big trends at the recent CompuTex show were Windows and chip memory.

Vendors all showed Windows exclusively, even on netbooks costing under $300 at retail.

The latest models had a lot more chip-based memory, called SSD (Solid State Drive) in Taiwan, with drives the size of a credit card carrying 64 Gigabytes for under $140.

Hardware vendors don't much care about the "Windows Tax," Microsoft's plan to push upgrades of the Windows 7 it will ship with netbooks (at a reported $3 each) to Home Premium, which costs much more.

Microsoft hopes that its alliance with Chinese and Taiwanese OEMs will also lead to a surge for Windows Mobile, which will be delivered as an embedded operating system at that low price.

It's a real market threat.

Netbook owners will be encouraged to pay the upgrade price so their gadget becomes a real PC.

During CompuTex I found a possible answer to this at the side of my own netbook, where I hung a 32 GByte Corsair Flash to make up for the fact that my HP Mini came with just 2 Gbytes of main storage. (Shown is the 64 GByte version.)

Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, whom I met for the first time at the show, did not need a Corsair on his HP Mini, and noted it came with Ubuntu installed, from the HP online store.

But with stick prices falling and companies looking for ways to increase their value with software, there should be an opportunity to load Linux on a stick you can practically give away, or sell sticks with software that will swap out Windows for Linux and save the old install in case the customer wants to go back to it.

Call it the Penguin Stick.  Make your netbook a real PC for no money down. Avoid the Windows Tax and upgrade your performance.

By putting Linux on a stick, you have hardware you can get a price for, and that price should enable retail distribution, which is Linux' main weakness.

It may be OK for Linux to be invisible, but it's not necessary.

Topics: Linux, Hardware, Mobility, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • Who needs LinSux?

    Only poor, jobless and ignorant guys who think they are pros like Linux Geek need LinSux. If that small amount of money feels like tax then you need to work harder and get a better job. By the way am about to play GTA 4 on my DELL XPS @Windows 7 x64 RC. Can you do that in LinSux?
    • Yes, Linux sucks.

      <div style="width:214px;height:320px;background:url(&#104;ttp:// -48px -28px;float:left">.</div>

      &#160;It sucks more than anything<br/>&#160;that's ever sucked before.

      <div style="clear:both">It sucks, it sucks, it sucks!</div>
      InAction Man
      • did you look at the picture?

        This is the second time this image was used as anti-Linux. Can you see that the message on the "Juice Box" is the Windows' logo that says "We suck more and that's guaranteed"? Now if it was to show that Linux sucks, I would have a Shop-Vac sucking up the penquin.


        A dual-booter.
        • he was being facetious

          I am pretty sure that he intentionally put the Windows picture on there. He was being facetious to the poster he was replying to. He was trying to put down Windows.
          • The first time I saw that picture it was a Linux wallpaper. nt

        • Well you have to understand...

          Without some red squiggly underline or cute "wizard" to explain the "proper" use of the picture, it's easy to get mixed up about what the image really means...
          ReadWryt (error)
      • Wow! How clever.

        You made a word out of Linux and a swear. I didn't read your short post. I've seen hundreds like it. Almost exactly like it as a matter of fact. Why don't you get a new script. Nobody bothers to read your nonsense because they've read it before. Ok, you've made your anti Linux statement, now run along, on Interstate 95 preferably.
      • Penguin is SUCKING!!

        • Yeah, but look who is getting sucked

          sucked to the bones!!!
          InAction Man
          • Does Not Matter...

            ... A sucker is a sucker, is a sucker, is a sucker! Period.
          • ...and two to take them...

            Yes, you are correct of course...P.T. Barnum knew it as much as Bill Gates does today..heheh
            ReadWryt (error)
      • Only to the illiterate

        Linux only sucks to the illiterate and the ones who can't learn. Nothing hard about it. As a matter of fact learned Linux in a matter of 1 day.
    • Proof is in the pudding...

      Windows is a niche gaming OS and here's the proof...

      "By the way am about to play GTA 4 on my DELL XPS @Windows 7 x64 RC"

      Who cares? Most people are playing GTA on a console...and at that an Xbox console...which runs Windows...which further proves my point. Windows is a niche gaming OS.
      • Not niche

        "Windows is a niche gaming OS and here's the proof..."

        It's the largest PC gaming OS by far. Just because consoles exist doesn't make it "niche."

        "Who cares? Most people are playing GTA on a console...and at that an Xbox console...which runs Windows...which further proves my point. Windows is a niche gaming OS."

        You must have the worst definition of "niche" I've ever heard.

        Core gamers have always been around and will always be around, and they're a pretty diverse group - they're not a "niche." Just because the Wii pulled off an unexpected surprise doesn't mean the Xbox is suddenly a niche product.
        • Do you understand what niche means?

          2 a: a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted <finally found her niche>

          d: a specialized market

          Windows specialized market it gaming. The first and last thing you here out of a Windows fanboy's mouth is..."I can play games" because thats all Windows is good for. Everything else is done better on other platforms.

          Any console is a niche product. Its made specifically to play games.
          • "Everything else is done better on other platforms. "

            Do you really believe that?

            Because if so, damn, you are Clueless Maximus.
            Hallowed are the Ori
          • I believe what I see and do everyday.

            I compare Windows to other platforms side by side day in and day out. Windows wins on games. Thats it.
          • You Have...

            ...Convinced yourself of this, but having little success convincing anyone else, hence, the number of windows user vs other platform. By the way, give the old bribe the oem triade a rest.
          • Gotta love the self contradiction . . .

            "Windows specialized market it gaming."

            Windows can be used for gaming, yes, but that's hardly the only thing it does.

            Good grief.

            Gotta love the tangled, self-contradictory logic you've resorted to. Calling a general purpose OS "specialized?"

            Hello, most of the world uses it for word processing, email, accessing the Internet, business applications, and the list goes on. Yeah, you can game on it, but that's hardly the only thing it does.

            "Everything else is done better on other platforms."

            Right, that's gonna depend on your needs and your definition of "better." I'd say that's a pretty subjective argument that may not hold true from all points of view.

            Technically speaking, it [b]is[/b] a general purpose OS and capable of all of the basic functions expected from an OS. Just because you think it is weak in some areas does not mean it automatically becomes a specialized OS.
          • No contradiction....

            The original poster proved my point. The only thing he could say good about Windows is that it plays games. Windows is meant to be a general purpose OS but the only thing it is good at is gaming. Its a niche OS for gaming.