Interview with Zonbu CEO Gregoire Gentil

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Zonbu is poised to become the de facto standard for hassle-free, environmentally-friendy,  secure computing. I’ve been using the Zonbu desktop unit since August and I’ve fallen in love with it. I recommend it to everyone I know who’s looking for a home PC or one for their children.

With Zonbu’s announcement of their new notebook, manufactured by Everex (which I will be testing shortly), I asked Zonbu’s CEO, Mr. Gregoire Genil, a few questions.

ATG: Mr. Gentil, The Zonbu concept is like every good idea in computing rolled into one. Who first originated the idea?
Gentil:  I don’t think that anyone is the owner of the idea. It’s more a
trend that customers don’t want anymore to bear the hassle of managing
their PCs, especially as US households have more and more PCs. Fixing
your PC could be fun because you may like to do it, but doing [it] for your
wife, girl-friend, kids or the second PC in the kitchen or in the living
room becomes a real pain. And I’m not sure that customers want to buy
fat PCs with an OS that is, in itself, more expensive than our full-featured
zero-maintenance product. We want to be to the PC what Japanese cars have become to the automotive industry: reliable, simple and affordable
products.

ATG:  Did the problems inherent in Microsoft operating systems influence
the Zonbu concept in any way?
Gentil:  Definitely. Microsoft has done an amazing job in the 80s-90s but
much like the gas guzzlers of the 70s, the traditional PCs pursuit of
performance at all cost is having a negative impact on the environment and
is becoming a huge burn for customers. Our product holds on 700MB with
all the applications your need when Vista is already 30GB and you don’t
have everything you need.

ATG: Zonbu supports a wide range of hardware but only two MP3 players.
Are there plans to add more supported players?
Gentil: Actually, we support a lot of MP3 players, including all iPod, NJB
players and all players that store the music like a USB key chain.
Beyond this support, we intend to add more and more support for USB
accessories. We are constantly adding new drivers to increase the
support of our 1500 printers and 800 cameras. We have also just added
support for webcam.

ATG: Will Zonbu ever be available in retail stores or are you going with
a web-based sales model?
Gentil: For the moment, we are web-based sales only. We would like indeed to extend to retail next year.

ATG: What is the one best reason to buy you could give to a potential
Zonbu customer?
Gentil: One simple word: hassle-free. Aren’t you fed up to manage your
computer, finding the right plugin to watch such or such video, taking
care of your backup, fighting a malware? Fire yourself as IT
administrator of your home.

ATG: And go get a Zonbu and start enjoying computing again! Thank you very much, Gregoire, both for your excellent answers and the prompt response.
Gentil: No problem!

Cheers!
The Geek

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