02 June 2009

Anathematising Abject, Apologetic Asus

I've always praised Asus for coming up with their innovative Eee PC form factor, and for really building on the strengths of GNU/Linux; no more, after a pusillanimous display of abjection before Microsoft.

A day after an Asustek Eee PC running Google's Android operating system was shown at Computex Taipei, top executives from the company said the project will be put on the backburner for now.

That, on its own, would be fair enough - after all, Android clearly is still somewhat rough at the edges. No, the problem is this:

Moments after sharing a news conference stage with Intel executive vice president Sean Maloney and Microsoft corporate vice president, OEM Division, Steven Guggenheimer, the chairman of Asustek, Jonney Shih, demurred when asked about the Android Eee PC.

"Frankly speaking, the first question, I would like to apologize that, if you look at Asus booth we've decided not to display this product," he said. "I think you may have seen the devices on Qualcomm's booth but actually, I think this is a company decision so far we would not like to show this device. That's what I can tell you so far. I would like to apologize for that."

He apologised? For daring to show an Android Eee PC, when one of the main functions of shows is to stake out the high ground for future projects?

And just to insult our intelligences a little further:

When asked about rumors that Asustek faced pressure from Microsoft and Intel over the use of Android and Snapdragon in the Eee PC, Tsang said "no, pressure, none."

Riiiiiiiiight: no, pressure, none - perhaps he should have read his Hamlet (Act III, Scene II) a little more closely. If there was no pressure, why on earth did he apologise, making himself and his company look awkward? - it just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, that's it, I hereby anathematise Asus, and cast it into the nethermost abyss. I shan't be buying any more Asus machines (we have two, and I was about to buy another), and I shall be strongly recommending that others avoid them too since the company is clearly not in control of its own destiny....

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