The early days of the netbook were happy ones for Linux advocates, who saw the new platform as the perfect medium to get a Linux distribution into the hands of more users than ever. Initially, that might have been the case – the first few Eee PC machines all came stock with Linux and many other vendors were considering it as an option. That quickly changed, however, with Windows XP taking the lead and holding it despite the higher cost involved due to licensing.
Recent studies have shown that Microsoft’s operating system absorbed nearly 90% of the netbook market, close to where it is on traditional desktops and notebooks. The figure is expected to rise even higher, and analysts believe that Linux will fall from its record high of 70% in 2008 to below 10% this year. With over 23 million netbooks expected to ship this year, Linux is definitely missing a great opportunity for adoption here.