Monday, December 31, 2007

eeePC and other 2007 final stuff

A short note on the eeePC from ASUS - I have spent some time playing with one and it is quite nice - the keyboard and trackpad are very small but you can get used to that after some time. The main problem is just as I predicted - the screen - while some people might find it usable I am afraid it is way too small for me - I might consider it when a version with a 10-12 inch screen model will be available but I will not hold my breath ... which gets me to my next point - why that small hit was coming from Asus and not Dell or Apple or somebody else ?

It is not since Asus are incredibly innovative - while they are actually building/trying A LOT more models than Dell and Apple COMBINED, their general strategy only had mixed/unimpressive results.

And just like Dell, Asus does not really have any chance to sell stuff based on myths (and certainly unlike Apple, which is 90% based on that) - the difference is that Asus already knows that while Dell is still 'trying' with stupid choices like the recent pricing on the latitude XT :)

The real reason why Asus managed to get this small gem (still unfinished IMHO but there are like 350000 people out there that tend to disagree with me on this point) is that they didn't have a huge clue on the final results (they have like over 10 small notebook models, from 7 to 10 to 11 to 12 to 13.3 inch screens, prices from 300 US$ to 2000 US$) but they had little market to 'defend' - so instead of thinking how NOT to launch something new, they just went for it and got a very impressive start together with a decent amount of followers!

Make no mistake - we still do not know if on the long term Asus is more committed to future happy customers rather than making a quick buck - and we will see that in less than 12 months if new models with at least a 10'' display, 2 GB RAM and a 16-32 GB solid-state disk will become available. And the absolutely first thing to fix will be the pathetic bus underclocking (which seems more like a dirty fix for a major motherboard-design fu*kup).

Another small observation - I find quite impressive the preloaded Xandros Linux and IMHO you should first give it a try before installing other stuff! But more about that eeePC in a future post.

Surprisingly the major loser in the subnotebook marketplace might not be Dell (which might still sell a few highly overpriced tablets to some government) but instead Apple - which will now see some serious competition already establishing itself in this area just a few months before Apple was probably considering an entry...

Let's finish the last post of the year with a quick review of my 2007 predictions - while most of the predictions were rather generic I can claim at least 9 out of 10 to be hits - even if the iPhone had surprisingly good sales (but probably less than 20% of those activated with AT&T) the global market share is like 0.5% and the only miss was the part with the drop in the stock of the big companies - but that is not a matter of IF and instead a matter of WHEN - certain things have moved at a much slower rate but I still expect to see that precise prediction coming true very soon!!!

That being said - 2008 will bring many interesting new things so let's hope we'll all be able to enjoy those to the max!


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