Huawei is beginning to feel the effects of Chinese restrictions. After declining sales for the second quarter, which will surely continue to drop in the coming period due to rumors of the Mate 30 series with no access to Google services, the company has started delivering laptops without Windows. The first models that come with a pre-installed Linux operating system have already gone on sale in China, but it is not entirely clear whether MateBook devices will abandon Windows and other regions.
The first models of Huawei MateBook laptops shipped with Deepin Linux distribution are MateBook X Pro, MateBook 13 and MateBook 14. The Deepin operating system is developed by a Chinese company that uses Linux code. Those who are worried about this Linux system have the source code available, like other similar distributions, produced by companies and entities from other countries.
Unlike other variants of Linux, Deepin is recognized as one that comes from the start with a nice design and easy-to-use interface, something that other variants of the market don’t offer. Huawei should give users a smooth transition from Windows, but as PCs are concerned, they are not necessarily blocked on Linux. Customers can independently install Windows 10 from a USB stick if they wish, but the operating system will have to be purchased separately, being no longer pre-installed on the computer.
The only thing that raises suspicions about Deepin Linux is its cloud platform, which offers storage and synchronization between devices. With regard to servers hosted in China, the data stored on them could be easily accessed by the Chinese authorities upon request. Probably the safest solution for those who buy the new Huawei MateBook would be to install Windows on their own.
We are rather curious to see what will happen to the MateBook laptop series in the near future. Huawei has bought components in advance for their development, but Intel has already launched new processors for mobile platforms. The variants that will remain on the market will be outdated rapidly, while the stock of parts will eventually be consumed. The solution of replacing the operating system with an open-source one will not solve the problem of components; Intel and AMD are the only manufacturers of PC processors and are originally from the US, so inaccessible to Huawei.