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ASUS Eee Pad EP101TC
ASUS and Google Android are making sweet, sweet tablet love

In with the new, and out with the old, ASUS says.  The company is ditching Windows in at least one of its upcoming EeePC tablets and switching to the increasingly attractive Android OS from Google.

ASUS is preparing two tablets for launch -- a 10" display, 675g (1.5 lb) chassis model and a larger 12.1" display variant.  Both devices were demoed at Computex 2010.

The larger tablet used a full install of Windows 7 Home Premium -- that much remains unchanged, as of now.  The smaller tablet, though, was first shown off with a Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system, which now appears to have been ditched in favor of Android.

The 10" Eee Pad 101TC is reportedly currently running Android 2.2 "Froyo", but will ship with "Gingerbread", also known as Android 3.0.  Android 3.0 is expected to land during the holiday season.  ASUS may even opt to wait till CES 2011 to announced the final production plans, according to some rumors.

For ASUS the upcoming tablet series is critical.  The company, which launched the netbook craze, has seen the torch stolen by Apple, as the market cools to netbooks and heats up to tablets.  Apple itself has been vocal in predicting the demise of the netbook movement.  However, if ASUS can craft a more functional, cheaper alternative to the iPad, it could well return to glory.

ASUS is not the only key player opting with Android over Windows -- Dell also is using Android for its tablets.  Meanwhile HP's tablets are expected to run on webOS from its recent acquisition Palm.  That means that the 12.1" Eee Pad EP121 may be an endangered species -- the only high-profile upcoming Windows tablet from a major manufacturer.  Despite that, Microsoft insists that it hasn't given up on tablets.



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RE: Bummer.
By xRyanCat on 7/21/2010 2:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
It's up the the manufacturer to license the appropriate codecs from the various consortiums(mainly MPEG-LA). Dell already provides mp3, and encrypted DVD playback on all PCs that ship with Ubuntu.

Google won't ever include patent-encumbered codecs in the code of Android because that goes directly against the principles of open source software. However it's a relatively trivial matter for the makers of these tablets to include it. And even if they don't, installing the playback function yourself couldn't be more simple. In fact, if you play a file in vanilla installation of Ubuntu it automatically detects and downloads the appropriate codecs for you. Try that with Windows.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














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