This has really been bothering me for the last month or so: I think Zonbu may well have one of the nicest, easiest to use, most consistently integrated and user friendly Linux desktops available.
I don’t say that lightly, as I’ve used it extensively for the past four months as my home Internet machine and I’ve now moved my wife on to the platform.
But I have strong lingering concerns that the Via CPU and graphics chipset that Zonbu is currently shipping as their hardware platform is going to be rapidly eclipsed by better performing, better marketed hardware running other, less impressive, Linux distributions.
Hardware is a commodity business – let the experts do their stuff…
Don’t like Intel? AMD has this whole “integrated platform” story they are pushing. Get one of their boards, maybe a 690G for example. Let them help you tell the hardware story. Or ape the Asus platform and use a bigger screen – co-opt the ASUS boys, they seem to know what they’re doing in the Linux space and they have great credibility in the hardware space.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there is a difference between being right and doing the right thing.
Zonbu has never really been a hardware company and I think its time it takes a serious look at the three year viability of the existing hardware (especially in light of every increasing web video and web 2.0 demands) and ask whether its time to sample some other platforms.
I think the Zonbu OS stack, the automatic updates, the online storage, the whole soft model is great and could really mark a new day for affordable computing. They are executing really well on that part of the business.
I would hate to see that opportunity lost to hardware choices that don’t live up to the business models potential.