Asustek adds Ubuntu to Eee netbook offerings

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Asustek will be offering Canonical's Ubuntu operating system in some of its Eee-branded netbooks the open source outfit has said.

Three ASUS Eee PC models -1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX - started shipping this week with Ubuntu 10.10 pre-installed, Canonical announced. Many more models will be made available throughout the year, the firm said.

According to Stanley Chang, product director at Asus, “The ASUS Eee PC has provided, and continues to provide the best cloud computing experience to users, while Ubuntu is an open source OS renowned for its customizability and stability. To fulfil the various needs of a diverse market and user base, the strategic alliance with Ubuntu is absolutely a win-win cooperation.”

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Canonical said that Asus has already started shipping three Eee PC models, the 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX, with Ubuntu 10.10 pre-installed. The OS has been configured to work with the processor and networking hardware on the netbooks.

Asus was one of the first PC makers to ship netbooks, offering the Eee PC with multiple versions of the Linux OS including Xandros starting in 2007. Asus then released Windows XP netbooks starting in 2008 after Microsoft started offering Windows XP Starter, a stripped down version of Windows XP. Asus now preloads Windows on a majority of its netbooks with Linux playing second fiddle.

Canonical's Chris Kenyon, reckons many businesses are turning to Ubuntu "as they look for a cost-effective, proven, and easy-to-use and manage operating system that can be delivered on business-quality laptops. We expect the slim form factor and great design of Eee PC, combined with the great performance delivered with Ubuntu, to produce a real performer in the marketplace.”

The Ubuntu-powered Eee PCs will be pre-loaded with 'a complete office suite', Mozilla Firefox and Adobe Flash.