Monday, December 10, 2007

Linux's next big niches: Low-End PCs and Mobile Phones

It's been several weeks since I posted on the goings on in the Linux front.

These past few months have shown that two big niches are opening up for Linux.

1. Low end PCs
: Walmart started selling low end PCs for $198 running a flavor of Ubuntu Linux stacked with Google software called gOS. The PCs completely sold out in a couple weeks. Now Walmart is trying to get more in stock for holiday season. Furthermore, a new line of of low-end PCs are emerging, all running Ubuntu or other Ubuntu derivative, and all figured to do great in the future market place.
If you could build a no-frills PCs that ran Linux, why not make sub-$500 computers with a bit more power and sell them to consumers? That's exactly what Asus did with its Linux-powered ASUS Eee UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC), which lists for about $400. At about the same time, Everex introduced its gOS TC2502 gPC. Available first only from Wal-Mart, these $199 desktop systems are also now also available from ZaReason, an open-source VAR.

And how are these sub $500 computers and laptops doing? Everex is building them as fast as it can and has announced that its forthcoming laptop version, the CloudBook, has already been picked up by a major U.S. reseller. At the same time, according to an unconfirmed report, ASUS is planning on selling 3.8 million Eees in its next fiscal year.

2. Mobile Phones: Google announced it was creating a mobile phone OS called Android, based off of Linux. They are encouraging developers to work together using the open source software to build apps for this OS. Thus, you will see a lot of development gearing toward Linux in the Mobile world.

Things are looking good for a wider Linux adoption in the future. Red hat being named the best IT vendor of all doesn't hurt either. Linux won't be losing the enterprise niche any time soon.

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