Smoothwall Firewall project

Sunday 11 May 2008

Eeepc addons will spark even better Linux supported hardware

While going through my daily technology feeds, I noticed a news item on the new TV adapter that Asus has launched, it's called the ASUS My Cinema-U3100Mini. Now if you look at the operating systems it supports, it includes Debian Linux, which you might know is the basis for a lot of the modern Linux distributions we all use today. These include Xandros, the operating system that comes standard with the Epc , the ever popular K/X/Ubuntu range of operating systems, Mint Linux, and Mepis. All of these are in the top twenty of Distrowatch, which gives a reasonable idea of what people are using.

Now it becomes obvious, even by Asus's conservative projection of expected shipments of Epc's this year, we are looking at a global market of several million customers for these new addon devices with Epc's alone. If you add in all the additonal customers who already use Debian based distro's, which include now the Dell customer base, there is a real market for hard nosed business people to make some serious money, as Asus is displaying on a daily basis.

It also doesn't take a lot to realise that the open nature of Linux development will enable most if not all of these add-on devices to be ported fairly easily to the non-Debian Linux Distributions like Red Hat, Fedora, Suse, PClinuxos etc.

I think that this technical development has several benefits for two groups of people. The business people looking to supply new markets and make sure their products are in at the forefront of a booming new IT sector. You only have to look at the success of the new Ultra mobile laptops from Asus to see what can be achieved. The second group of people who will directly benefit from this are the users of Linux who will now have access to a wider range of add-ons than were previously available.

As I have both an Epc and a Dell XPS m1330 with Ubuntu, I can't wait to get one of these new little devices to watch TV on the move. Those commute train journeys can be so drab on cold winter mornings, so a little light mindless TV can help make them slightly less boring.

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