I managed to get an Acer Aspire One a couple months back for £150 brand new. I was interested to see what Acer's Linpus Lite was like and what I found was shocking.
Acer's edition of Linpus Lite is a horrifically simplified interface, almost as if it were designed for children. A few big icons in 4 categories, and that's it. I never did find out if I could actually install anything else. I was also astonished to find that Firefox was only version 2, and so was OpenOffice. Overall, it was a very disappointing experience, and naturally I wiped the whole thing off and installed the awesome Ubuntu Netbook Remix.
Now I can begin to understand why so many consumers have returned their Linux netbooks and asked for Windows instead: because the version of Linux they were given was awful! I cringe at the thought of the number of people who finally decided to give Linux a try, and their first and only experience of using it was Linpus. Linux's reputation must have taken a beating. I'm quite sure that the returns would have been dramatically reduced if UNR had been installed instead. It's far more user-friendly, looks better, performs better, comes with a lot more software, is more configurable and has a huge repository of software to install at the user's will.
I really hope Acer will ditch the monstrosity they currently use and help restore Linux's reputation to that of a fast, stable, agile and capable platform.
On a related point, I'm also disappointed with many manufacturers who offer Linux netbooks with a lower spec than their Windows counterparts. They half the memory, or offer 8Gb SSD harddrive instead of 120Gb, or exclude Bluetooth. Why? Linux may not be as resource-hungry as Windows, but the public's impression will be that they won't be getting a good machine if they buy a Linux version. No wonder Windows has won the netbook market: the industry has failed to deliver the right spec and the right OS.