While it remains unclear how large of a market there is today for budget mobile PCs, many big names in the PC industry are betting on its potential growth. Asus, Acer, Intel, and many others on the hardware side are all eager to push low cost laptops and cheap PCs to retail.
But one huge factor that is helping them achieve the low cost of these units is software. The group behind Linux distribution Mandriva is watching closely which way the wind is blowing and they now want to join that crowd with their 2008 Spring distro release focusing on this type of hardware.
In particular, their latest release is aimed at the Asus Eee PC. This could be a boon to Asus and other vendors, who are starting to see Microsoft creep into their territory with versions of Windows running on this hardware. Microsoft is not likely to lie down and see their behemoth desktop market share dry up, so offering easy-to-use desktop suites should be a high priority for Linux vendors wanting to hold onto it. The Mandriva 2008 Spring release is expected to focus on ease of use, offer drag and drop interfaces for managing digital content, PDA support for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry phones, and more.