Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / ASUS

  • Apr 22 / 2014
  • 13

Intel Desperately Struggles To Maintain Relevance Against ARM

Intel, despite Moore’s Law advantages, and serious price-cutting, still has difficulty competing against ARM.“Intel is currently offering its dual-core Atom Z2520 for 7-inch models and Atom 3735G for 8-inch ones, while MediaTek is mainly pushing solutions such as 8382 for the white-box tablet market, the sources said.
Intel’s 7-inch tablet solution is currently priced at about US$20 and the 7.85-inch one around US$27. With a LTE module, which raises the overall cost by about US$20, a 7-inch Intel-based white-box tablet currently has an ex-factory price of about US$50, the sources detailed.
A 3G white-box tablet using MediaTek’s solution has a competitive ex-factory price of US$39.9, the sources added.”
They even have ASUS going exclusively with Intel thanks to huge discounts.

OEMs are paying attention. They will demand similar sharp price-cuts for desktop/notebook PCs and M$’s price will stick out like a sore thumb. GNU/Linux, here we come…

See Intel, MediaTek become favorites in China white-box tablet industry.

  • Jan 28 / 2014
  • 3

More Decay Of Wintel Seen In 2014

One of the key elements of the Wintel plan for monopoly for desktops, bundling the OS with every PC shipped is coming undone.“Scheduling delays and weakened consumer demand for notebook PC replacements are forcing leading PC brands—including Apple, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba—to reduce notebook PC shipments for 2014. According to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Value Chain and Insight Report, the 2014 shipment estimate for the top nine notebook PC brands is 134 million, which is a decrease from the previously estimated 152 million units.” Meanwhile */Linux will ship on more than a billion devices sold to consumers as portable IT and even desktop IT.

“In terms of product design, low-priced notebook PCs with screen sizes between 14” and 15.6”, which are expected to sell for $299, will not be ready before June 2014. None of those models will include touch capabilities, so the touch penetration rate could be less than the 15% estimated for 2014. In addition, notebook PCs with the Duo OS concept, which were created by Intel and PC brands, have been cancelled because Microsoft and Google no longer support the concept.”

Further, Wintel cannot even compete on price/performance at the low end because M$ charges way too much for licensing and restricting the freedom of users to use the hardware they buy to fullest potential. That just won’t fly any longer. There are OEMs who want to compete selling small cheap computers of every kind and they will ship Android/Linux, Chrome OS/Linux and GNU/Linux in 2014. You can bet on that. Margins are too small in this segment to pay the Wintel tax. Meanwhile, tablets, where Wintel has a tiny share is predicted to reach 300 million units in 2014 and 400 million by 2016.

See Leading Notebook PC Brands Reducing 2014 Shipment Targets, According to NPD DisplaySearch.

  • Jan 23 / 2014
  • 12

Wintel Fragments

“Revenue in Devices & Consumer, which includes everything from consumer Windows licenses to Surface, Xbox and Bing, grew 13 percent to $11.91 billion.
Though Windows revenue from manufacturers declined 3 percent, revenue from Surface — Microsoft launched the second generation of its Surface tablets in the second quarter — doubled from the previous quarter.”
While M$’s latest quarterly report looks good for M$, it clearly shows Wintel is split right down the middle. On the one hand, M$ saved its bacon by growing sales of “surface” by $billions. On the other, its old partners, the OEMs, clearly took a big hit. M$ and everyone else are taking revenue from those OEMs. M$ has an unfair advantage against the OEMs. M$ doesn’t have to pay its own licensing fees…

What will the OEMs do? Continue as manufacturing slaves for M$ or go into business for themselves with FLOSS and GNU/Linux and Android/Linux? Wait! They are in business for themselves, right? That means in 2014 OEMs that dipped their toes in the FLOSS pool last year will plunge in. Android/Linux, Ubuntu GNU/Linux, Linpus GNU/Linux and every other kind of */Linux will be shipped in huge numbers. The consumers have shown they won’t pay retailers and OEMs to supply Wintel PCs but for ~$100 less per unit with FLOSS the flow of legacy PCs and every other kind of PCs the OEMs can produce will take off. I wonder how many of those “surfaces” still gather dust on retail shelves? Maybe the retailers took a hit as well. ;-)

In case the reader is skeptical, take a look at the numbers:

2012 Q3 2013 Q3
M$’s Licensing Revenue $5.70b $5.38b
M$’s Hardware Revenue $2.81b $4.73b
M$’s Sum $8.51b $10.11b

Essentially, M$’s take from the global IT budget of consumers rose $1.6b and the OEMs’ fell… That is a huge change to the “partnership” enslavement licence. Wintel is broken and M$ neither can nor wants to put it back together. The same thing is happening to the “resellers” who get to point businesses at M$’s cloud never to be seen again…

I’m OK with this. The “partners” of M$ will now have to work for a living and get involved with FLOSS or die. M$ can afford to become an OEM if necessary but it will also have to work for a living. Good. M$’s gross margin for consumers dropped $1b while it rose $1b for businesses. That’s the choice that has been made. Hundreds of millions of consumers freed themselves from Wintel in 2013. 2014 looks to be an even better year.

See Microsoft’s quarterly numbers spring past estimates | The Seattle Times.

  • Dec 27 / 2013
  • 8

Oh Those Pesky Netbooks!

Remember 2007? That was the year ASUS threw Netbooks at the world and they stuck. They were running GNU/Linux and sold out globally. ASUS had to double and redouble production to keep up with demand. Then M$ interfered with market forces by paying OEMs to install XP and kill off GNU/Linux, or did they?

Was it the netbook or Ubuntu GNU/Linux that eroded the monopoly? What they started it seems Android/Linux and Chromebooks will finish. Since shipments of Android/Linux devices exceed that of M$’s OS, this trend should continue for years to come. There’s no telling the situation in a few years except that M$’s decline was delayed but not prevented by M$’s evil deeds. Meanwhile, GNU/Linux, as Ubuntu GNU/Linux and Chrome OS will pick up whatever pieces of IT Android/Linux leaves.

  • Nov 29 / 2013
  • 0

FLOSS Inspires Diversification In Hardware For Small Cheap Computers

Never has IT been more diverse. All kinds of units are shipping today with single, dual, quad and penta 32bit cores, but soon 64bit cores will be everywhere and there will be a few octal cored chips. It took Intel decades to reach that level of performance but ARMed CPUs fueled by low cost FLOSS software have advanced far in just a few years. Diverse companies in a highly competitive market can diversify to explore different niches to hold or grow market-share instead of a single company giving us what they want to do comfortably ensconced in their blanket of monopoly. Unlike monopoly where there’s one winner and a bunch of slaves, everyone can win today with a market that’s huge and growing rapidly. Even when the market matures and doesn’t grow so rapidly there’s still room for many suppliers to meed diverse needs. Many more people can afford IT now.


  • Sep 10 / 2013
  • 2

Writing On The Wall For Wintel

Head of Acer gets it partly right:
“Since Wintel’s business strategies can no longer create profits for partners, many downstream IT players have turned to other ecosystems to seek profitability, noted Shih, adding that Google’s open platform strategy is not the main attraction prompting IT players to join the Google camp.
Linux is also an open platform, but this has not helped it receive similar attention, Shih noted. For an ecosystem to have a chance of growing and staying strong, it must have leadership adopting strategies that allow all partners to earn profits.”

see Wintel destined to eventually fail, says Acer founder.

There is no difference in the profitability of an OEM using GNU/Linux or Android/Linux except that OEMs largely have ignored GNU/Linux. Dell makes money on GNU/Linux. ASUS did too until they took a bribea marketing deal from M$. ASUS was selling out globally their eeePC with GNU/Linux. Dell is rapidly expanding the number of stores selling Ubuntu GNU/Linux in China and India. Ignoring GNU/Linux may be the reason Acer has been struggling for the last few years. It tried to make money on low-end Wintel systems that no one wanted to buy instead of profiting from huge volume of GNU/Linux systems with larger margins.

The writing is on the wall. If you want to make tons of money selling PCs, you need to use FLOSS and */Linux because your competitors are doing that and laughing all the way to the bank. You can’t pay M$ ~$50 per copy and do all the work of building systems and selling them while M$ sits on a huge pile of cash sipping lemonade. Your competitors are taking that $50 and using it to reduce prices or improve performance for customers. Who will win that competition?

  • Jul 26 / 2013
  • 36

OEMs Are Seeing The Light

“Acer and Asustek have been pushing forward in marketing hardware/software-integrated cloud computing solutions focusing on educational applications and web storage, respectively, according to the companies.”

see Acer, Asustek actively marketing cloud computing solutions.

For more than a decade, OEMs have been living with paper-thin margins because they have fairly cheap labour in Asia and many competitors. They have been grumbling that M$ and Intel have been taking the gravy and leaving the OEMs with dirty dishes. The OEMs are mad as Hell and not going to take it any longer. They are already diversifying into ARMed devices, and FLOSS such as GNU/Linux and Android/Linux. Now, they are looking into services. They have a huge advantage, because he who installs the cloud API on the devices gets first crack at selling the customer the service…

Clouds are very competitive. Public clouds are lead by Amazon but private clouds are lead by OpenStack. Either would be usable by OEMs.

Oops! Instead of OEMs working for free for Wintel, OEMs will soon be operating like normal businesses working to please their customers and working for themselves. No longer slaves, they don’t have to take orders from Intel and M$. They will be free. Consumers and businesses may also see the benefit and the last lock-ins of Wintel will fall away.

Services that OEMs can sell this way include file/backup/security/search/web service and anything their imaginations come up with to distinguish them from their competitors. More businesses are using web applications every day and these are easily implemented on the web or in the cloud. Many small businesses may be able to do without servers at all if the OEMs set things up for them reasonably well. That cuts Wintel out of the clients, servers, web applications and cloud services, just about everything in IT. Wintel may be able to “partner” with some OEMs but not all and the OEMs that opt for ARM, */Linux, and FLOSS will have a huge price/performance advantage.

Already, */Linux is doing well in the cloud arena. Intel can, of course compete against AMD in servery but ARM is on the verge of entering in a big way and FLOSS works just as well on ARM as x86/amd64.

  • Nov 12 / 2012
  • 13

Ubuntu GNU/Linux PC Sales

Like it or not, Canonical has salesmen and they are getting the job done:

  • Dell now has 400 stores in China pushing Ubuntu GNU/Linux on PCs,
  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux has shipped on $7.5 billion worth of hardware in the last 2 years,
  • Dell, Lenovo, Asus and HP are all shipping Ubuntu GNU/Linux PCs,
  • In 2011, Ubuntu GNU/Linux shipped on more PCs than MacOS did in 2007 (7.05million in AAPL FY 2007), and
  • “Kenyon cited the German insurance company LVM Insurance, who have Ubuntu deployed on over 10,000 desktops; Consultancy firm CapGemini who are rolling Ubuntu out on 10,000 desktop in the next 2 years; Google, who have 10,000 Ubuntu-based desktops and laptops in use; and the Ministry of Defence in The Netherlands, who are using an Ubuntu-based client across a staggering 40,000 desktops.”

It pays to advertise and it pays to employ salesmen. Assuming Canonical continues on its upwards trend, they have long ago surpassed the mythical ~1% all by themselves and we should expect their market share to have reached critical mass by now. That is, they could well ship on 9% of PCs in 2014. Competition on price/performance is coming to many retail shelves these days. The world no longer assumes the most expensive PC is the best PC or, at least, the most relevant PC for many.

see Ubuntu PC Sales Skyrocket in 2011.