updated 09:45 am EDT, Fri November 2, 2007
Everex $300 Linux Notebook
Everex will have brand-new notebooks that popularize Linux by making it accessible and widespread in the same way Steve Jobs generated success for the Mac, the company revealed today. Like the company's new $199 gPC desktop, the portables would achieve an extremely low baseline price of $300 or less by running a custom Linux distribution known as GOS; the variant on Ubuntu Linux is designed to be more accessible to newcomers but retains the open-source design and typically free licensing. This could be essential for Linux adoption in the general market, where difficult software can easily scare away users; Apple has recognized this, according to GOS Linux founder David Liu.
"The intent of GOS is to take [the Linux OS] to the consumer and do what Steve Jobs did with Mac OS X -- to take an alternative OS and package it for the consumer," Liu added.
Microsoft has typically held control of the low-end computer space but is widely believed to have inadvertently sabotaged its markeshare with Windows Vista. The operating system requires considerably faster components and is known to run slowly on the lowest-cost systems, frequently pricing the systems out of range of less demanding Linux or Windows XP systems. As a commercial operating system, Vista's licensing fee also adds to the minimum cost of the system, which becomes more important as hardware prices decrease.
Everex did not elaborate on most specifications for the notebook platform, but said that systems would include screens between 12 and 17 inches and rely heavily on web links and freely available programs to avoid driving up the cost through software. The current gPC desktop runs a 1.5GHz Via C7 processor to save both cost and energy and may point to the use of a C7 mobile chip in portable systems.