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Windows Loaded on 96 Percent of New Netbooks

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April 7, 2009 3:44:20 PM

If these numbers, which come from Microsoft, have any validity then what was the worst possible outcome has occurred. Low cost niche computers have been bloated with costly/unnecessary software and hardware.

Why don't people just start calling them what they really are: Full Fledged Notebooks.
April 7, 2009 3:55:02 PM

blazer_123If these numbers, which come from Microsoft, have any validity then what was the worst possible outcome has occurred. Low cost niche computers have been bloated with costly/unnecessary software and hardware. Why don't people just start calling them what they really are: Full Fledged Notebooks.


No kidding. A linux netbook to me is the best netbook you can have. It's fast, reliable and safe. You don't have to worry about adding virus protection and all that.

Why would you need Windows just to surf the internet?
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April 7, 2009 4:04:43 PM

blazer_123If these numbers, which come from Microsoft, have any validity then what was the worst possible outcome has occurred. Low cost niche computers have been bloated with costly/unnecessary software and hardware. Why don't people just start calling them what they really are: Full Fledged Notebooks.


Has the cost of netbooks gone up? Oh...
April 7, 2009 4:20:27 PM

thejNo kidding. A linux netbook to me is the best netbook you can have. It's fast, reliable and safe. You don't have to worry about adding virus protection and all that.Why would you need Windows just to surf the internet?


Well I thought that was obvious, there's no IE for Linux. The Linux users have been praying for MS to come and deliver the Internet as it should be to them but unfortunately it seems we'll have to make due with Firefox or Opera. Besides where's the fun in it if it's not easy to pick up some viruses on your netbook , will you have the same PC experience then ?
Seriously now I can understand Windows as an OS of choice , the interface is familiar to people ( though KDE looks pretty much the same ) and all the apps you know run perfectly. Software support is still lacking on Linux, Skype for instance has a pretty poor version for Linux compared to the Windows one and they're not open sourcing either.
Anyway the netbooks are going to split in 2 groups pretty soon , one will be high end Windows models and then there will be the arm based one for your basic needs. As a more geeky person though I have no problem with Linux and I can get almost all things I want done without Windows.
April 7, 2009 4:45:08 PM

I got myself a portable 7" netbook with Linux. It runs fine, no problems browsing the web or chatting via IM (though I do turn off Flash so a webpage with a million ads doesn't choke-out my C7 processor). I even downloaded a few linux games to play in my sparetime (Simutrans is fun).

However, when I bought my fiancee a netbook, I got her one with Windows installed. The main reason was software support. I didn't want to buy her a portable computer that she couldn't use to play her favorite Shockwave games (lots of them still require IE or Windows). Everything else would have worked fine on Linux (Open Office, Opera/FireFox, IM), but it was the desire to take her games on the go that killed Linux.

Sadly, until software vendors realize that simple applications don't need to be tied to a platform (open protocols and languages like Java allow portability everywhere), we'll continue to see a world dominated by Windows, even for something as simple as a netbook.

This is, of course, ignoring people that want to transform a netbook from a portable net device into simply a "Cheap Notebook". Those people need to realize that's not what a netbook is for, thats what a cheap notebook is for.
April 7, 2009 5:12:29 PM

I'm surprised people are surprised by these figures as Windows does dominate about 90% of the world's operating system market so it isn't quite shocking to me.

To me, Netbooks are just not worth it, it doesn't save you any cost for what you're getting. It's like getting an Athlon X2 desktop for $1000, doesn't make sense to me.
April 7, 2009 5:15:34 PM

I just got a dell mini 9 with bt and webcam for $220. Can't beat that. Came with Ubuntu and I tripple booted OSX and XP. Ubuntu is the easiest and fastest of them. Course I also put in 2GB of ram. I wouldn't use XP/Vista on this for anything if I didn't have a couple apps that won't run on the other two.
April 7, 2009 5:30:24 PM

lets face it windows is pretty much a mass consumer product, and linux is not, go down to walmart, best buy and see what they sell. buy something then try to install it on linux netbook, no way it wont even install because it's windows software. thats the problem, all the software that people easily pick up is written for windows. sure their is some linux stuff, but nowhere near what is available for consumers under windors. linux is something for people who dont like windows, its the alternative for the 5% crowd that never agrees with what everyone else agrees with, they will put up with ctyptic manual installation, anything, just not windows.
April 7, 2009 5:32:54 PM

Well, I have to say that it's a dream comming true for me. I always imagined a world where any hardware, no matter how small, would run the exact same application as do their big brethren on desktop.

If I have a favourite application, or several of them indeed, I want them on my desktop, laptop, netbook, kitchen PC, TV, and mobile phone as well.

So I'm all for this, and I can't wait for Win7 to come out, so people can trully have one OS that works on all these types of hardware. Well, except on mobile phones.. we'll leave that for Windows 8 or 9.. :D 
April 7, 2009 6:06:01 PM

Really Linux and OSS have more than almost everything for work. The only reason to use windoze would be to play demanding games or if you are mentally retarded to learn a few useful thing for using a new OS / GUI, no I'm not talking of money. And I can see little reason except some hardware support for not using a linux laptop. After all you won't run crysis on a netbook and if you want a few games you have a few simple games like planet penguin racer / supertuxkart / wormux /gnome-kde games etc etc. Or if you want a better game you can play tremulous.

And yeah devs really need to develop cross platform apps. Java's great for simple apps and has become quite a standard. And also in games if you don't need crysis like graphics why can't you simply build a cross platform app using something like OGRE or Irllicht?
April 7, 2009 6:10:38 PM

The reason most consumers want there netbooks to be full fledged ntebooks is because thats what they think they are. they don't know what a netbook is. To them they just see a tiny portable notebook without a dvd drive, which in most cases is acceptable. They don't know what an Atom processor is, how lame the Intel integrated graphics are, and most consumers probably don't even know what an operating system is. I bet many consumers aren't even aware of Linux and just think that if it ain't a Mac it must have Windows on it. Tech saavy people know what a netbook is and what it is for, but your average consumer doesn't have a fucking clue when it comes to computers.
Anonymous
April 7, 2009 6:48:23 PM

I think this is pretty simple - often you can't buy selected model without Vista or you must pay almost the same for netbook without windows (sometimes netbooks witch Vista are cheaper in store (I know I from my beautiful country Poland :p )).
April 7, 2009 6:49:07 PM

This is ridiculous!
Windows in a netbook rules?! what about your antivirus, antispyware, firewall, antispam, antiphishing......
when you realize, you have paid a huge amount of money and have shrank your resources to the ground, and what are you going to do?? install office and internet explorer???
Linux is just great for this, since you do not have to worry about all those, do not have to pay for any protection of office suite, and works well.

The problem lays in mis-information from the very sellers!! they do not know any of this, and the buyer asks them for info? One seller even asked me what the s-video was when I was looking for a laptop!! and that is the man who recommends windows.... cant't believe it.
April 7, 2009 6:52:20 PM

"Microsoft boasts that this is a huge win, as the same NPD source also had Windows as having less than 10 percent of the netbook pie during the first half of 2008."
This should read more like it's a huge loss at customers are unwilling to take a chance with the current OS and instead are switching or downgrading. As far as "less than 10 percent of the netbook pie", perhaps they were referring to Windows - as in Vista. So this prediction could still have truth to it.
April 7, 2009 7:11:41 PM

why would I go to a OS that has very little support of the world? not mentioning only linux or OSX, even XP cuz it's the end of it's life cycle. if I choose windows [7 and vista], cuz it has got the best and the most support. the dark side is the viruses and malwares, and that is solved with only an antivirus and malware protection software!
it's not accidental that windows is Prosperous! simply, it's the best!
April 7, 2009 7:38:36 PM

people still dont get it go down to best buy buy a $5 card game, it wont run a a netbook that has linux installed period. forget the fact that they may be a linux version somewhere, they are not going to search the web for it. then call comcast and say that you have a problem connecting to their service and they ask you what version of windows you are running. windows is the standard. its like with cars here in the us have the driver on the left side, if you buy a car with driver on the right side most places cant handle it, you most likely will have problem getting it registered in most states, you will have problems when you go to your garage for fixes, they won't know what to do, they wont have the parts, everything will cost you more and be more of a hassle so most people go out and buy the default car, in this case the default os, and the default is windows.
Anonymous
April 7, 2009 8:08:10 PM

I think most people buy a XP powered netbook because it costs only slightly more than a Linux one. After purchase it's easier to equip the netbook with either version, and get away with an XP licence key!

Also drivers, most drivers of linux based systems come opensource, while the installation of XP often is modified from an OEM version.
Meaning, installing drivers on a Linux will be just the same as when you purchase a linux, while installing XP on a Lin system you might miss some drivers or software that come pre-installed on an XP pre-installed system!
April 7, 2009 8:25:29 PM

also, ive worked for extremely large organizations, their it departments dont want to support n flavors of consumer linux installs, they have enough problems supporting windows. i remember they buy basically the same old sh*t with the same software, they have images with what you get depending on what you do, so you get windows, developer tools, office, vpn software, ect they dont really install things manually, they often lock down the machines so you can't really install your own stuff. if most people buying netbooks are for large companies, they are just not going to deal with the linux nightmare of different releases. the vpn, backup ect software most likely does not have a linux version. so they cant support linux. also they most likely going to install outlook and tie it to their exchange server, so linux is out. they are not going to install for you open source stuff, that they dont control, have tested, support.

i remember working developing software at these firms and i was not even able to update the perl version that they gave me. if i did i was like on a list of people to get rid of my stuff would not be deployed, ect.

here is a better one, i remeber when i worked at sun they would not even deploy the stuff i did in java, yes java!, it took forever, took a blessing from god, their it folks were like very nervous, because they had still not blessed java to be used, sure they were telling the world to use it. they feared java had some hole which would create a hole in their network, surreal, but it's true.

one more funny thing about sun, all their executives had / wanted very expensive laptops running the latest version of windows and the latest version of microsoft office, not solaris, not open office. it was surreal, but true.

so i'm not surrpised, however sadden, by the news item.
April 7, 2009 8:47:13 PM

I believe a lot of (if not most) people out there who bought a netbook were because it is "cheap" not because they want to buy a "netbook" instead of a "laptop". So it is not surprise that a lot of netbook users would like their netbooks run like laptops (similar OS as in laptops and similar (if not same) softwares as in laptops) (even if is slower).
So is this news a big surprise? to me... though it is sad to say..... but it is not really a surprise to me....
April 7, 2009 10:58:29 PM

i did some googling and...

"Bill Hughes at In-Stat just finished a survey of technology consumers, and he shared the results with me. Out of 1,749 respondents, only 23 had bought a netbook. That's 1.3% -- or basically a rounding error. The netbook buyers almost all were a category of tech consumer Hughes calls "beasts of burden" -- the kind of people who buy multiple tech toys and carry them around. In other words, they are absolutely NOT the general market. They're crazy early adopters who will buy anything.
"

http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/the-tech-observer/...
April 7, 2009 11:19:19 PM

hellwigSadly, until software vendors realize that simple applications don't need to be tied to a platform (open protocols and languages like Java allow portability everywhere), we'll continue to see a world dominated by Windows, even for something as simple as a netbook.This is, of course, ignoring people that want to transform a netbook from a portable net device into simply a "Cheap Notebook"...


How are the vendors and software deveolopers at fault here? If the customers like you are willing to run windows XP this sends a clear message to the developers, code everything for windows XP.

Eventually enough people will be there who simply don't touch windows stuff, and tapping into those markets will require folks to code for linux and other OS releases besides MS trying to convince them Windows is the only platform that matters. Until that day comes around we'll be stuck with MS and OSX ruling the world... which I'm not vehemently opposed to since I like my linux system to not be targeted by every other virus out there.
April 7, 2009 11:59:25 PM

blazer_123If these numbers, which come from Microsoft, have any validity then what was the worst possible outcome has occurred. Low cost niche computers have been bloated with costly/unnecessary software and hardware. Why don't people just start calling them what they really are: Full Fledged Notebooks.


Agreed. Anything with an optical drive becomes a notebook, not a netbook.

I miss the days of 8.9" eee's. Though I never owned one :p 
April 8, 2009 1:38:10 AM

NivaHow are the vendors and software deveolopers at fault here? If the customers like you are willing to run windows XP this sends a clear message to the developers, code everything for windows XP.Eventually enough people will be there who simply don't touch windows stuff, and tapping into those markets will require folks to code for linux and other OS releases besides MS trying to convince them Windows is the only platform that matters. Until that day comes around we'll be stuck with MS and OSX ruling the world... which I'm not vehemently opposed to since I like my linux system to not be targeted by every other virus out there.


i dont know ive written quite abit of stuff, but unfortunately the problem with linux is the open source mindset the helped create it, you know we want it for free mindset. i honestly can't make anymoney or enough money to justify the effort of having to support all the different platforms, i mean there are a good number of linux distributions, each a little different, installation, ect. if you have a commercial product you have to support linux, aix, hp-ux, solaris, ect, all a little different. also the developer tools are more promitive, i have to do more work. with microsoft people expect to pay so they do, there are not that many flavors, i have to support all the flavors of windows but they are basically the same, the .net development environment is second to none, the market place is huge, not this nitch. yeah sure i can get money in linux indirectly by getting a job using what i created, but no body wants to pay me for it, they want it for free, they want the support for free. so im less inclined to get involved anymore now that im older vs when i was younger.
April 8, 2009 9:11:27 AM

Many people believe Windows XP provides greater battery life than something like Ubuntu (although I can't remember if it was by much). Given that battery life is of the utmost importance for netbooks, this is a win for M$.
April 8, 2009 4:08:33 PM

People are so gullible. I gave someone a netbook with Linux on it, who has absolutely no experience with computers. She loves it. Haven't had a problem with it in over six months.
Windows is only popular because of its ad campaign, not because it's better. Some of you older folks remember when there was a thing called video cassettes. There were 2 formats, Betamax, and VHS. For a while there was competition, but it boiled down to more VHS cassettes and machines were being sold, not the better Betamax systems. It's deja vu, all over again. Same stuff, different day. Microsoft will keep making and selling buggy software, as long as the suckers out there buy it, and as P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute!"
April 8, 2009 4:10:59 PM

I'm guessing people don't want to worry if their favorite web sites will work. They know their favorite IM client works in XP. XP loads their favorite music store and uses their favorite media player. They don't have to smash their face against the wall when they realize that they have no clue how to setup their VPN to work. Do they have some stupid specialized software to connect to their financial system, or some in house MS Access database based app? If so, good luck to the Linux based netbook user.

Also, good AV doesn't slow a system down and linux users get spam the same as the rest of us.
April 8, 2009 4:13:16 PM

People don't buy netbooks to prove a point. What's best is a computer that just works. Ease of use, and I mean knowing already where to click to add a camera or printer.
April 10, 2009 10:15:32 AM

I got an XP-based netbook (it was second-hand, at bargain price), tweaked to have 2 Gb of RAM. It was, simply put, a dog: loaded down by the antivirus, the puny Atom processor couldn't litterally do two things at the same time. The puny i945 IGP couldn't run better than Google Earth (to put things into perspective, a 1999 Ati Rage Mobility M1 can run Google Earth with pretty much the same speed an i945 does, same frame rates and effects enabled).

I installed a Linux on it. Thanks to virtual desktops, virtual workspace and faster graphics performance (Intel sponsors the community driver's development), I can now IM, browse the Intarweb, playback movies, USE A 3D COMPOSITED INTERFACE, and even compile a piece of software (just because I can) at full speed.

Enabling power savings gives the same, if not better, battery autonomy than XP did. Boot and shutdown are so fast that, frankly, hibernation isn't interesting to me (restoring a 2 Gb RAM print from disk is no faster than a boot) eventhough Linux does work here, and (even better) doesn't waste disk space by using the swap partition to actually host the RAM dump (while Windows allocates your exact RAM size on disk, all the time, for hibernation; in the case your RAM consumption under XP is typically 400-700 Mb, it's quite a disk space waste).

This post from an MS marketer cites a 1 in 5 return rate: for the Asus netbooks, which had an improperly OEM Linux install (not all drivers were installed, the distribution tested wasn't correctly set up for the hardware, in short it sucked out of the box), that actually was correct. Other models (from makers that went to the length of actually installing and testing their Linux install), return rates were MUCH lower.

Note: on exact same configuration, a Windows XP Home model will typically cost between 15 and 30 more bucks than the same under Linux. Cases where both would cost the same usually entail lower specs for the Windows machine (see Eee 901: installed SDD for Linux was 20 Gb, Windows was 12 Gb).

And it's actually quite hard to find the Linux models: retailers don't have them (not windows, so the staff is completely lost on them), e-tailers can't stock them fast enough.
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