Linux on netbooks not a big hit

By Justin Mann on March 5, 2009, 8:59 AM
When the concept of a netbook was initially brought to market, it was usually pitched as a very portable device that was able to remove much of the cost involved in hardware and software. The software costs, for instance, were supposedly largely offset by adoption of Linux desktop distros to power them. The Eee PC was one particularly pitched as Linux friendly, and the assumption made was that people would opt for a lower cost Linux machine as opposed to a stripped-down Windows XP.

That's not the case, though, and in fact is far from reality. As it stands, Microsoft sees just about the same adoption rates on netbooks for Windows that they do on desktops. When you isolate netbooks, the software giant has about a 90% market share with Windows XP. A lot of this was assisted by them offering a discounted license fee for XP on netbooks, accompanying it with a set of certain limitations on things like hard drive size. Even though Microsoft's profit margin for netbooks isn't terribly high, they are probably more than happy to take than to take nothing as it still gives them control of the market and a lot of influence on netbook vendors.

User Comments: 2

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brianleach said:
This doesn't surprise me at all.I use XP on several machines so know it well.However being tempted by the simplicity of Linux I purchased the Maplin Minibook which uses a basic version but couldn't really get on with it.It had all the basic functions but I couldn't customise it and I was unable to get some necessary plugins on the browser to work so only basic functionality was possible.That might be my lack of Linux knowledge of course but having now sold the minibook and bought an Asus 901 with XP I feel that I have a device which is pretty close to my full size laptop.
Jesse_hz said:
The problem is that the Linux distros that come installed on many netbooks are so stripped down that they are almost useless.If you want to run Linux on your netbook, blow out whatever came pre-installed and install Ubuntu.[b]Don't[/b] buy a Linux-based netbook thinking you are gonna be able to use it the way it ships.
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