PC manufacturer Asus has announced that they are releasing three Eee PC netbook models with Ubuntu pre-installed. The three models that will be available with Ubuntu are the 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX. Asus also announced that they plan make more models available with Ubuntu. The version of Ubuntu that will ship with these netbooks is Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.
This represents a homecoming of sort for the Eee PC models. Asus released the first Eee PC netbook with Xandros Linux installed. However, they subsequently replaced the operating system with Windows Xp, citing the high return rate of the netbooks with Linux.
Chris Kenyon, vice president of OEM at Canonical, said that Canonical has leaned from the mistake with Xandros Linux.
The netbooks previously sold with Linux, people hadn’t pre-installed all the right media codecs – it wasn’t necessarily a fantastic web experience. That has fundamentally changed.
The Ubuntu netbooks that Asus will sell will have Flash installed by default, along with the media codecs. These are normally not included in the Ubuntu installer because they are proprietary software.
Canonical and Asus’s decision to pre-install Ubuntu with these non-open source codecs will not go down well with some people. However, if Ubuntu is to truly achieve any significant market share, some compromises like this will have to be made on the way.
Pricing for these netbooks are not available yet.