$190 Netbook for the US market? Why not?

Ed Brill just wrote about the announcementof a Ubuntu-base Netbook with Symphony and LotusLive for $190.

I wrote a comment, but I want to expand slightly on ithere.
I wonder aboutother markets? I can see some big opportunities in the US and Europe for IBM/Lotus. If I could buy an inexpensive Netbook like that for Erik, my nine year old son, I would get him one tomorrow. He could then bring it between his moms place and my place, just connect to our respectively WiFi networks. He could even use it at school, if his school allows him to use it there.
Erik’s computer at my place is already running Ubuntu 9.10, he have been using Ubuntu on his home computer for almost a year now. He could care less what operating system it has. He play some online games at Nick.com (even ifthere are a handful ofgames not working in Ubuntu/Firefox as they use ActiveX), go on Facebook to play Farmville and watch videos on Youtube.
He also check his webmail accounts (he had one through his old school). Typical Netbook useage.

So, what wouldbringing this to the USand European markets do for IBM and Lotus?

Well, you would get Ubuntu-based laptops with Symphony and LotusLive out among kids and teenagers. They would get used to theLotus products. What do you think will happen when they hit the job market and workplaces in a few years? I think they will be proponents of Ubuntu and Symphony/OpenOffice (and OpenSoftware in general).

A few well-spoken and enthusiastic people, who know the product and what you can do with it, can change the software a workplace is using. I think a lot of the migrations from Notes/Domino to Exchange/Sharepoint/Outlook is driven exactly by that, one or two people coming from the outside and showing a handful of cool applications and talking about the benefits of the MS stack. The CEO’s will listen to them (just like they listen to a consultant but not an internal IT worker saying the same thing). Who will the CEO listen to, the old-timer in the IT department that likes Notes, or the new young go-getter with a fresh MBA talking about all the new things like Enterprise 2.0, cloud computing and other buzzwords he learned in class, at a university or college where every student must use Microsoft Office…

I told the story before, how I came in as a 23 year old fresh employee to a workplace where everyone used WordPerfect. With a background at Microsoft, andseveral years of using Word for Windows, it took me just 6 monthsto exterminate WordPerfect and get everyone to switch to Word, just by showing the advantages (as I saw them) and write a clever macro or two that save the users a lot of time each day.

Ithink getting the products out there ("show the product") is much more important than abstract advertising for Smart Planet or Lotus Knows. Yes, those are ways to get the name/brand out there, but how many car commercials do you see where no vehicle is shown?


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