Have you ever heard of Juno Computers? I hadn’t either. If you have been following me for the past few episodes you would know that I am a recent Linux convert. During this phase I started listening to some podcasts and some of them have sponsors for their shows, and three brands come up all the time:
These three companies all ship Hardware with Linux pre-installed. Like System76 have a wide range of laptops ranging from $899 (or £710-ish in real money) for their Galago Pro and they pre-load that with Pop!_OS its in house distribution or Ubuntu.
Purism with their Librem line up, like the Librem 13 a 13″ privacy & security focused laptop with hardware kill switches for the microphone and webcam. These come baked with a privacy focused OS on top of that called PureOS.
Entroware, these guys offer Laptops, Desktops and Servers, yes Servers with Linux and will ship to UK, France, Ireland, Spain , Italy and Germany. They have been throwing the Ubuntu LTS with their machines since early 2014 and even the sexyness that is Martin Wimpress baby, Ubuntu MATE.
Why am I talking about all these other companies when the title of the blog is about Juno Computers? Well it started when I had been looking around for a laptop, specifically a laptop that runs Linux well out of the box. I did some research into the above and came across Juno Computers.
- 8th Gen Intel i7
- 32GB of 2133mhz DDR4
- Red or Silver
- 1TB M.2 SSD
- Ubuntu 18.04 / 19.04 or Elementary OS
- Only 19.9mm thin!
I had a look at their other offerings and noticed they are very similar in spec to the Entroware and very similarly priced. The thing that stood out to me was the fact they made it crystal clear that they want to help people ‘Make the Switch‘ from other OS’s. They bundle their Laptops and Mini-PC’s with Ubuntu , ElementaryOS , Solus* and an Android based OS called PrimeOS.
They even develop their own in house application on go on top of them of called ‘Kronos‘* and easy 1-click way to install applications that users from any OS are familiar with. For example : Whatsapp , Skype, Chrome , Google Play Music and many more.
All this looked to good, so I reached out to them and the Founder and Owner, Giovanni Caligaris of Juno Computers got back to me.
Giovanni, the first to lead a project in translating LibreOffice to an indigenous language – Guarani (Paraguay), Contributed to other OpenSource software such as OpenMaps and OwnCloud, and now makes Linux based machines born from a passion for Computers and love for Linux.
Obviously we got talking and started asking questions, he gratefully gave up some free time to answer them for me.
What made you start your own business? Specifically a Linux based computer business ?
For the past 3 years I’ve had the idea of starting a Linux business. I used to be a big Macbook fan, but over the years I’ve became frustrated (like many others) with the changes they are making to their new machines. I truly believe many people will consider Linux if everything works right out of the box. Majority of basic users spend 90% of their time on the browser. They might use some other basic apps including Spotify, dropbox, Google Drive Etc. Hence why Juno Computers was created, to help those new basic Linux comers have a pleasant transition.
Do you feel that there is space in the market for your hardware/software combo?
I do. Like I mentioned before and from my experience in working at an Apple Premium Reseller. Most consumers are no more than basic users. Linux can do just about everything Windows and Mac can.
What makes your systems different to say , Entroware’s or System76’s laptops ?
I think what makes us different from our competitors is how friendly we make it for new people to use Linux. By adding Kronos, we eliminate the necessity to use the terminal for the most popular proprietary and commercial apps. Of course for those who are comfortable with Linux, our platform is very versatile. All of our laptops also have distro options, for a fully customizable machine.
What makes Juno Computers as a whole different to these other companies?
Juno Computers targets simplicity and we believe our competitors are mostly focused on offering the best tools for developers and people within the IT industry.
Tell me about ‘Kronos’ how did this come about ? and how do you think this helps new users?
Working at the APR I learned quickly that most people do not know how to install applications on either Mac or Windows. It is a bit surprising since these are machines people use on a daily basis. Kronos was born resolve that issue. We believe if people are going to switch to Linux they will want to be able to install new commercial and proprietary apps with a single click, as they can with the leading OS’s.
elementaryOS , Ubuntu and Solus. What made you decide to chose these as the options for systems ? Were any other OS’s considered , Like Ubuntu Mate ? or Linux Mint ?
I’ve been a long term user of elementaryOS. I love how beautiful the desktop is and how simple it is. Before opening Juno Computers I did some market research and spoke to many non-linux users to find out what type of desktop they liked the most and why. I had them test all kinds of distros and eOS always stood out. Ubuntu is the Linux standard and continues to be the most popular OS. In regards to Solus, we were looking for the perfect fit for our Juve laptop. Since Solus is very very light, it made sense to offer it.
Have you had a thought about Desktops and All in Ones ?
We’ve been considering desktops and particularly All in Ones. At this time we are still studying the market, so it could be a possibility in the future. For now, our focus is still laptops and mini PC’s.
I noticed the Olympia mini-PC ,Why this over a full desktop?
The mini-pc has been very popular for new Linux users. Especially for older new users and people who work in marketing, social media, and developers. It is very powerful, its small and it can do everything a normal size desktop can. Portability is also a key feature to the Mini PC.
Accessories & Dongles? I noticed there is only a Power Adaptor , is there plans to get more items in ?
No dongles for now. Currently all of our machines are pretty well equipped for ports which eliminates the need for using and carrying multiple adapters/dongles for simple tasks. Again, this could be something we look into for the future.
What does the Future look like for Juno Computers, Do you want to Expand your range or refine it ?
We’re working to expand our product line. We would like to get into either tablets or 2-in-1 laptops. I’m a strong believer that Juno and Linux could fill in a gap within the Tablet market, so watch out for that!
With all that said its obvious this UK based Linux computer company has a real passion to get people using Linux, and making it as easy as possible. I look forward to see what comes next from Juno Computers.
More importantly I would love to try one of the out for myself as I’m still looking for a Linux Laptop.
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