Zonbu officially out of beta with new release

Zonbu logoThe team at Zonbu have been hard at work and the Zonbu is officially out of beta, just in time for the critical shopping season. Congratulations to the Zonbu team.

This is good news as they are facing challenges from the gOS $198 Walmart PC and the ASUS 3eee PC (one of which I expect to order today to take a close look at). That being said, from everything I’ve seen and read, the Zonbu product is still six to twelve months ahead of these products in maturity and polish. However, as we know from the betamax/VHS days, being best doesn’t always mean being first. Now Zonbu needs to execute on their sales and marketing strategy in a competitive market…

I’m really pleased to see that the beta (which we may have played some small role in imposing formally) is over and I do believe that the Zonbu is now ready for prime time, which I didn’t feel it was back in August when I first looked at it. While there are still areas for improvement, they are relatively minor. In it’s current state I feel the Zonbu OS stack represents the best Linux desktop experience for the new/inexperienced user. I noticed the other night when I was cleaning up that I threw out over 50 Linux install CDs and LiveCDs, remnants of my extensive Linux desktop research.

For it’s intended purpose with non-tech savvy users, Zonbu is an ideal product. Even better, it represents a well presented, well maintained and complete web desktop for advanced users too. You can plug it in, turn it on and start using it within seconds. Having a Zonbu is a bit like having a really got IT guy who sets up and maintains your computer for you. Tweaking it and adjusting it so you always have an excellent configuration and experience.

The latest software release has a few small upgrades and changes as noted below:

Version 7.1008 – released 2007-11-14

New features

  • Gnome-mplayer supports audio CD

Improvements

  • Add slideshow screensaver
  • Add search button in File Explorer
  • Temp folder of Azureus and aMule are back inside /Documents and they are not uploaded to online storage
  • Add shortcut keys for the reset scripts
  • Revise the UI of international keyboard selector

Bugs fixed

  • Fix a regression appeared in 6.999 for streaming video
  • Fix the segfault in rdesktop
  • Fix the problem of US daylight timezone

I’ll take a closer look and report back soon.

-Mr. Zonbu

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5 Responses to Zonbu officially out of beta with new release

  1. greggish says:

    The price for just the device without a montly plan went up from $249 to $299. Also they don’t seem to offer the free 2 GB of online storage for those that just want to buy the device outright, I’m also suspecting that they will no longer allow for automatic pushed upgrades for those that don’t spend at least $3.95 for a new plan on their site called “Plan: Upgrades”. So altogether, unfortunately, looks like a bunch of changes for the worse.

  2. I have been looking at Eee PC. You are right, Eee PC craftmanship is terrible. ZonBu is ahead. However, ZonBu is too industrial look (the cast steel or aluminum casing), it wont fly with women. I do not understand why can they make it more emotional. Women will be a major segment.

  3. whootowl says:

    Last night’s roll from beta to v1.0 caught me right in the middle of my deliberations on the purchase of a Zonbu. The new plan options actually simplified my choices and made ordering easier. I no longer struggled with the decision to pay for 2 years up front; I only needed to pay $99 for the hardware and $14.95 for first month’s fee (reasonable shipping and tax also). Alas, the benefit of 3 months free with 2-year subscription was also taken away now that the beta phase is over. Still, shelling out so much less up front removed a big psychological barrier. My only complaint with the order process is that I was given no indication of ship date. Almost 24-hours later, I still do not have any such order status. Small nit, as I am confident I will soon be using a new Mini.

  4. Rigas says:

    Hi whootowl,

    if I see things right you have to subscribe to a two year plan if you want the box for 99,- .
    If you only want to pay 14.95 for one month without any further subscription, the box is 299 ….

    Rigas

  5. whootowl says:

    You are correct. I am obliged to subscribe for two years, but I did not have to pay for the two years up-front. In my mind, this is a sign of confidence on Zonbu’s part. Should the company go under in the near term, I’m thinking the hardware will be mine without further obligation on my part. The hardware has a $425 value to me, as that is what it would cost me to purchase the components from a 3rd party vendor.

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