Flickr: iamcootis
Flickr: iamcootis

Cheap laptops may (or may not) be helping spur computer sales during a recession. But that doesn’t mean the companies making low cost mini-laptops aren’t feeling the pinch. DigiTimes reports that Asus and MSI, the makers of the Eee PC and Wind netbook lines, are both planning to reduce their workforces by around 10%.

Asus will reportedly layoff about 460 people, while MSI will eliminate around 1,000 workers. It’s not clear what, if any, impact these developments will have on the companies’ netbook lines. Asus has already announced plans to consolidate its Eee PC lineup, and says the workforce reduction will help the company focus on handset, monitor, and optical disc drive work. MSI says the job cuts are part of the company’s “regular operational process.”

via Eee PC.net

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5 replies on “Asus, MSI to layoff workers”

  1. I note that virtually all of the recent netbooks have hard disks and offer Windows XP, and only Windows XP.

    When you buy XP, for most people this means having to buy heaps of additional software, including subscriptionware (virus scanners and other anti-malware) that often saps perfromance. The final outcome is an expensive minature laptop without an optical drive that runs boring but expensive Windows XP slowly.

    There are virtually none offering a full Linux desktop. Where Linux is offered, is often a lame version (such as Xandros or Linpus) which is locked down or has very limited repositories. Very often, the Linux version is only offered on lesser hardware.

    If an OEM manufacturer had enough gumption to offer a full Linux version, running on the exact same hardware as their XP offering, trimmed of bloat but still with access to full repositories, configured ready to go out of the box with no need to add anything else for most users, then I’m sure there would be no need for layoffs.

    KDE 4.2 (nicely configure for a netbook) + Akonadi PIM + OpenOffice 3 + Firefox 3.1 would possibly fit the bill nicely. A fully functional and fast ultra-portable desktop with nothing extra to buy.

  2. Maybe the layoffs are related to these companies’ larger markets in components, and the global crunch in demand for them?

  3. You are missing the point of ‘netbooks’. They are PORTABLE (long battery life, low weight) at prices 3-5 times lower than the ultraportable laptops. You won’t find a portable laptop at the price of netbook – they will either be too heavy or the battery would be too short ….

    Having a bulky laptop won’t stop people from buying a portable netbook. Many comment that they will sell their previous laptops …

    The only group that doesn’t need a netbook is the one that has ultraportable/ultraexpensive laptops already.

    1. You may be right, but we probably are talking about different kinds of people who define portability differently. I am a college professor who sees many students in my classroom (and at local coffee shops) carrying laptops. These students cope with laptop poundage and battery life. On this site I sometimes read posts by business people who want a battery that lasts for the duration of a transcontinental flight and who plan to carry a computer all day and not just from dorm to classroom or car to coffee shop. There are different markets. Not everybody finds a laptop so painfully bulky that they are willing to spend $500 a netbook.

  4. I realize that there is not just one kind of netbook buyer. Depending on the purpose for the computer, the buyer may be willing to pay as a much as a cheap laptop costs (or not). Yet I think that prices over $400 aren’t going to appeal to most buyers. In fact, I suspect that market pressures will force the typical price closer to $300. At least in the industrial world, for most potential netbook buyers, purchasing one is not a necessity. Many already own a laptop. There also should be a market for bare-bones netbooks if they can access the Internet and support wordprocessing, all for close to $200.

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