Zonbu Update – New OS Release in March

February 5, 2009

Gregoire of Zonbu recently posted an update to the Zonbu support site at http://www.zonbu.com/support/

They are lowering the price to $10/month, waving cancellation fees and hoping to get out an OS update some time in March which will include FireFox 3 (finally).

Without quesiton, they are struggling.  The market has changed dramatically since they launched and we started tracking them.  There are now dozens of low cost/low power netbooks.  Linux and Windows XP are popular OS choices and the economy has contracted substantially.

On the positive side, the unit I put in our lobby for public use has given us not a single day of issue in almost an entire year.  Previously we had to re-do the windows box about every 90 days for various reasons, so it clearly makes a good kiosk for basic web browsing.  However, the low CPU power and poor video playback limits the viability for anything serious.  I have long said a board based on the AMD 780G with the strong built in graphics would completley change the game for Zonbu (although up the power consumption).  We’ll see if there is a new hardware generation coming.

Personally, I’m hanging on to my subscription because I want to see how they do. If the new release is as solid as the current one, it will be a welcome improvement and very usable. At the same time, I had to admit I have installed XP on a seperate compact flash card and I’m playing around with other uses for my quiet and low power hardware, in case the Zonbu thing doesn’t play out.

Here is the full update from the Zonbu site…

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