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Windows on 98 Percent of New Netbooks

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

Almost a lock.

There’s an undeniable strength behind Microsoft’s operating system: its ubiquity. It’s everywhere, and it’s what most people learn how to compute on.

When a typical consumer goes to purchase a new computer, it’s understandable that he or she would want an interface that’s familiar to him or her. It’s like buying a car – those who already know how to drive don’t want to learn a whole new way to steer the vehicle.

For that reason, as netbook popularity grew, so too did the market share for Windows in that segment. Early adopters of netbooks may have been more comfortable with working in a Linux environment, but the mainstream consumer still wants to stick with what’s already known.

“The latest data from NPD’s retail tracking service showed that Windows now account for a whopping 98 percent of all small notebook PCs sales at retail in the U.S.,” wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communication Manager at Microsoft.

According to NPD, Windows had less than 10 percent of the netbook pie during the first half of 2008.

While there isn’t much more room to grow when you hold a near sweep in the market, Windows on netbooks grew two percent since early April.

LeBlanc added, “I think it’s important to note that all of this momentum is happening before Windows 7 is even out! When Windows 7 does arrive (and brings slick new stuff like HomeGroup, Aero Peek/Snap, PlayTo and Remote Media Streaming, Windows Media Center that lets you watch and record TV, and more), I think the demand for Windows on these devices will increase even more.”

Of course, several of the Windows 7 features that LeBlanc listed won’t be immediately available to netbook users, as they aren’t included in Windows 7 Starter Edition.

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  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , June 9, 2009 7:31 PM
    Most of the "new netbooks" are overpriced notebooks.
  • 3 Hide
    eklipz330 , June 9, 2009 7:35 PM
    all that has to be done for the lock to be broken is for the company with the glowing apple to make a pasty white netbook for $1200, and sell them to complete morons. it'll go down to like 80% in no time
  • -1 Hide
    Hanin33 , June 9, 2009 7:39 PM
    Quote:
    Early adopters of netbooks may have been more comfortable with working in a Linux environment, but the mainstream consumer still wants to stick with what’s already known.


    i dunno that it's so much with sticking with something that's known over something that has applications worth using. linux's emulation of windows appz is 50/50 at best, still, after all this time and there's very little developed that's on both operating systems. but i guess i'm assuming your average user even understands that some applications need to be installed after purchase and don't already come with the hardware.
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , June 9, 2009 7:46 PM
    Stupid MS, ruin a good thing why dont you. Come in, offer cheap liscenses, then mandate what qualifies for said liscence, and in the process destroy any semblance of technological advancement in the market. Can you say hybrid storage solution? Linux Mint FTW
  • 4 Hide
    computabug , June 9, 2009 8:53 PM
    No MS is just being a smart butt. The main reason why MS is quietly killing netbooks, linux, and software in general is because idiots (i.e. non-tech savvy people/morons) fall for MS's GUI eye candy >.>

    At this point, I feel like blowing up whoever can't name a Linux distro :S
  • 6 Hide
    The Schnoz , June 9, 2009 8:57 PM
    Why would anyone want Windows 98 on a netbook? Jk.
  • 5 Hide
    computabug , June 9, 2009 8:59 PM
    Waaaaait a second.... Does that mean that 98% of netbooks are bought with a windows license, just to install linux on it when we get home? :) 
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , June 9, 2009 9:14 PM
    In a nutshell - "Netbook", a new category of PC with small SSD won't run windows. "Netbook" is never ment to be a small version of a regular PC, so is perfect for Linux. MS retaliates by redefining the definition of Netbook to include spinning platters and offers XP, building a customer expectation that "Netbook" IS just like a little PC. Cue inevitable bloat of hardware specs, until the term "Netbook" now just defines the low end of the laptop market, where MS has (for a long time) held about 98% marketshare anyway. Big news.
  • 3 Hide
    1haplo , June 9, 2009 9:48 PM
    Windows 98 on New Netbooks??? Ohhh......Windows on 98% of New Netbooks...

    So 98 is higher then 7, Then Windows 98 is better then Windows 7 right?

    If you get this far you are gullible!
  • 3 Hide
    SAL-e , June 9, 2009 10:47 PM
    Wow. MS is sponsoring two NPD researches in 2-3 months period. I wonder why?
    Quote:
    The latest data from NPD’s retail tracking service showed that Windows now account for a whopping 98 percent of all small notebook PCs sales at retail in the U.S.,

    Mr. Marcus Yam why you becoming part of Microsoft propaganda? As you can see this data is for Notebooks (not a netbooks) sold in retail stores only. I never seen user that know the difference between OSes to buy from overpriced retail store. And I can bet you that most netbooks are soled online. Stating that MS is holding 98% of the entire market is very unprofessional. I understand why Mr.Brandon LeBlanc is insinuating this. He is MS employee and has vested interest, but what is your interest?
    Also please note the timing of this MS BS is coming days after Computex. We just saw what is coming in near future: Android, Moblin and etc. All this is Linux. I guess that many MS executives have trouble sleeping those days.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 9, 2009 11:55 PM
    It really amounts to an antitrust issue, MS is using it's market dominance to force out Linux. The vendors are to blame as well, but MS dictating netbook specs and then all but giving away the license is fukkt up... Since the Linux Foundation is a non-profit corporation, I don't see them being able to sustain a legal battle against MS. They're also making sure that their is no incentive for Intel or AMD to come out with better hardware by limiting things like Ghz, etc...

    Maybe we should all take a moment to email the netbook manufacturers in support of Linux?

    PS: Everyone go check out OpenGEU, very kick-ass distro based on Ubuntu with Enlightenment e17 desktop. It uses lots of 2d desktop FX, and no 3d desktop FX, so it looks nice and runs well on even the crappiest hardware. IMHO the best Linux for netbooks and any other machine lacking robust 3d capabilities.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 12:29 AM
    Initially they started with aiming the price to be $100 per laptop.
    Practically that was not possible. So they started with $200 per laptop.
    It had Linux that didn't cost anything and was completely opensource.
    Asus took over with the EeePc's and where the first to use a Xandros Linux, which was a hybrid of a debian based Linux and the taskmanager of Windows.
    MS got about $10 per licence for that (I heard).
    This is where everything went wrong. Slowly laptops with Windows XP where released, but the SSD drives (2GB/4GB) of the netbooks where too small to host the OS.
    So they increased the SSD size, as well as improve the looks.
    Added a webcam and upgraded from 0,3 to 1,3Mpix cam.
    Upgraded RAM from 512MB to 1GB, as XP needed more ram to function better.
    They also addressed and improved the SSD's speed,because Windows had more file activity in the background.

    Slowly but surely those $200 laptops became $600 laptops, and the reason why people wanted to buy them vanished (as being cheap desktop alternatives, or cheaper than laptop 'toys' to play around with).
    I got angry at the pricing policy beginning of 2008,which just became too ridiculous! From there on people started noting that a laptop that's often 2-4 times better in CPU speed, RAM, diskspace, and screen size was sold for the same price!

    The Atom processor that costed $5 to produce was sold for $90.
    And MS still found a reason to keep Windows XP, a dying OS, that microsoft wanted to quench in favor of it's (by then) powerhungry 'flagship' of unproductivity, alive, and sell it for $35 or something per laptop.
    It is MS that caused the mini netbook sector to grow, but on the other hand, it was also the reason for netbooks being more than twice as expensive!

    If it was up to Linux,netbooks would function perfectly fine with an Atom, or even a downclocked Celeron M processor, 512MB Ram, and 4GB SSD.

    The subtle increase in OS had a double of price tag as result on these machines.
    Now Netbooks with Windows 7 need to come with 1GB of RAM at least, and an 8GB SSD(if you want to install anything else but Windows on it).
    Probably the battery life will suffer with 7 as much as it suffers from XP compared to Linux. Generally, with the same powersettings Linux can handle 10 to 20min longer battery life than XP on a 3,5 to 5 hours charge. Same probably with Win7. And Win 7 will need a larger battery, but since the density of batteries are about as dense as they can get, those batteries will become larger, forcing the notebook to become larger (than 9"; eg: 10 or 11"). Add the price of Windows 7 for netbooks and your Win7 netbook will end up being bigger in size, hardware, or lasts less in battery, and costs more!
    I expect Windows 7 netbooks to cost at least $50 more than current Atom netbooks.
    Then the newer chipset (CPU + IGP + memory controller on one chip/die), which seems the 'perfect' solution for the lagging Atom/GMA chipset, and your netbook will cost you $600.
    And no person is going to be able to do anything about that... They've lost the original idea of building a $100 laptop, or more practically a $200 per laptop!

    One thing is for sure, whatever OS comes on my netbook, I will go with XP!
  • 0 Hide
    computabug , June 10, 2009 1:20 AM
    ProDigit80One thing is for sure, whatever OS comes on my netbook, I will go with XP!

    It seems that you just brutally murdered the point of your super long novel with that last sentence...
  • 1 Hide
    Carlo1440 , June 10, 2009 2:04 AM
    I'm with ProDigit80...except I'd want Linux on my netbook, even though I am pro Windows. It all comes down to using the best tool for the job.

    I knew Apple would take over the portable entertainment market. Why? Because even though they can't sell computers, a year or so before the first iPod came out, all the software technologies like Quicktime were the most used products. I then thought to myself: If Apple gives up on the hardware side of things (computers) and concentrates on the software side of things (portability) they could take off in their own right. Enter the iPod.

    Likewise, the term netbook is self-explanatory. It is a notebook / laptop type device primarily designed for surfing the net. Granted, you might want to run a productivity suite, perhaps some music or videos, and that's it. For this, Linux is ideal. Why? Because it is stable, lean and in some cases, better than Windows. Ubuntu 8.04 does all of that, has everything where you expect it to be so someone that has never used Linux can use it straight away, and has no compatibility problems because all netbook tasks can be handled by Linux. How do I know this? Because late last year, I used Ubuntu 8.04 as a first time user. The only thing it lacks over Windows is the compatibility for things outside of the realm of a netbook. If it can't be done using Ubuntu 8.04 or similar, you need a notebook, not a netbook.

    And is Linux using the same marketing team as AMD? That story on THG a few days ago about AMD reps never being seen compared to the Intel reps applies here as well. Linux should make ONE distribution the one that gets sold with all PC's, with everyone being able to download their own flavour afterwards for free. And I think it should be Ubuntu. Why? Because people that know Linux already have their own preference and can download it themselves. However, people that only know Windows will never see that 'familar face' with Linux with a million distros spread all over the netbook world. Suddenly you are tossing up between 30 operating systems instead of just 2. The reason I think Ubuntu should be the main one is because most of the tutorials I come across seem to be for Ubuntu, which makes it easier again for newbies to take up.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , June 10, 2009 3:34 AM
    computabugNo MS is just being a smart butt. The main reason why MS is quietly killing netbooks, linux, and software in general is because idiots (i.e. non-tech savvy people/morons) fall for MS's GUI eye candy >.>At this point, I feel like blowing up whoever can't name a Linux distro :S


    Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu (I think), debian stable, debian unstable, debian testing, damn small linux, puppy linux...
    That's just what I can remember at this moment, and I'm a M$ fanboy.
    There's just too many to name anyways...

    I would put Ubuntu on a netbook no doubt. Leave my desktop for M$. The best tool for the job, in my belief.
  • -1 Hide
    Darkk , June 10, 2009 6:17 AM
    Carlo1440 The reason I think Ubuntu should be the main one is because most of the tutorials I come across seem to be for Ubuntu, which makes it easier again for newbies to take up.


    You are very close with this. They actually released three flavors of Ubuntu which are server, desktop and now netbook.

    It tells me they are serious about putting Ubuntu on every netbook as an option over Windows. They are on the right track and I think if they continue to develope into a more mature OS for netbooks they actually have something worthwhile.

    So maybe Ubuntu 9.10 for Netbook will be their killer over Windows....maybe.
  • -3 Hide
    Donuts , June 10, 2009 7:27 AM
    Last time I checked Microsoft did not make a netbook. If the vendor chooses to install XP/Vista/7 on their netbook product range then it is entirely their decision. Microsoft will be more than happy to provide them with OEM licenses. I like how all the linux fanboi's somehow manage to blame MS because linux is now not the flavor of the day for netbooks. Their is no secret handshake illuminati get-to-gether at Redmond. The public has decided what they want. Maybe the rest of the world is right and linux is wrong. Fix your stupid hobby opeating system, kill of Stallman, Lunduke and abandon your hippie, communist, FOSS mentality and develop one standard for all distros and linux will slowly gain acceptance. While your'e on that, abandon your elitist attitude with regards to new linux users. You people scare the sh*t out of newbies when they ask simple question. And that is a FACT. This, "you're too dumb to use a PC" attitude when someone faults Linux will never ever help its cause. Anyway I digress... Just my 2 cents.
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , June 10, 2009 9:31 AM
    DarkkYou are very close with this. They actually released three flavors of Ubuntu which are server, desktop and now netbook.It tells me they are serious about putting Ubuntu on every netbook as an option over Windows. They are on the right track and I think if they continue to develope into a more mature OS for netbooks they actually have something worthwhile.So maybe Ubuntu 9.10 for Netbook will be their killer over Windows....maybe.


    Not a chance. No matter how good ubuntu or any other linux will become - it won't win over windows unless windows 7 somehow turns out to be a lot worse than it seems possible.
    Those of us who know about all the options would in all probability still recommend one with windows to people who ask, even if we ourselves were the few running a linux. You simply don't want to teach grandma to use vista on one pc, and ubuntu on the other, and have to worry about telling her which things she can do on what, and why it doesn't work on the other.
    Windows wins. Not nessecarily because it's better (though I believe that), but because it's the system people are already familiar with. No real news in that, it's just how things are. Microsoft need to fuck up a lot before someone switches.
  • -2 Hide
    ossie , June 10, 2009 11:21 AM
    SAL-eWow. MS is sponsoring two NPD researches in 2-3 months period. I wonder why?Mr. Marcus Yam why you becoming part of Microsoft propaganda?

    Yummy boy knows well, where his paycheck comes from... m$ ads. No wonder TH has it's m$/wintel fanbozo$ collection.

    m$'s "netbook" is just an overpriced low spec notebook with a crappy CPU and crappier (if not the crappiest) "o$". Just wait for vi$hta sp2+ (aka $even), for new heights on resources consumption. It will get even, otherwise quite good, notebooks to their knees. It's a win-win situation for m$ and net(?)-/notebook manufacturers - more and more HW, for just a bit more, lousy eye-candy. The consumer just loses.
    DonutsLast time I checked Microsoft did not make a netbook. If the vendor chooses to install XP/Vista/7 on their netbook product range then it is entirely their decision. Microsoft will be more than happy to provide them with OEM licenses. I like how all the linux fanboi's somehow manage to blame MS because linux is now not the flavor of the day for netbooks. Their is no secret handshake illuminati get-to-gether at Redmond. The public has decided what they want. Maybe the rest of the world is right and linux is wrong. Fix your stupid hobby opeating system, kill of Stallman, Lunduke and abandon your hippie, communist, FOSS mentality and develop one standard for all distros and linux will slowly gain acceptance. While your'e on that, abandon your elitist attitude with regards to new linux users. You people scare the sh*t out of newbies when they ask simple question. And that is a FACT. This, "you're too dumb to use a PC" attitude when someone faults Linux will never ever help its cause. Anyway I digress... Just my 2 cents.

    Just burped your brain (aka single neuron)? Donuts seem to have serious side effects - no wonder coppers like them.
    neiroatopelccNot a chance. No matter how good ubuntu or any other linux will become - it won't win over windows unless windows 7 somehow turns out to be a lot worse than it seems possible. Those of us who know about all the options would in all probability still recommend one with windows to people who ask, even if we ourselves were the few running a linux. You simply don't want to teach grandma to use vista on one pc, and ubuntu on the other, and have to worry about telling her which things she can do on what, and why it doesn't work on the other.Windows wins. Not nessecarily because it's better (though I believe that), but because it's the system people are already familiar with. No real news in that, it's just how things are. Microsoft need to fuck up a lot before someone switches.

    Just wait for vi$hta flop #2 (aka $even)... All the mad spinning and ads won't help - businesses have no incentive at "upgrades" to DRM-o$. Just DX fankiddies gulp the bait - hook, line and sinker - but they are such a tiny marketshare.
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , June 10, 2009 11:45 AM
    ossieJust wait for vi$hta flop #2 (aka $even)... All the mad spinning and ads won't help - businesses have no incentive at "upgrades" to DRM-o$. Just DX fankiddies gulp the bait - hook, line and sinker - but they are such a tiny marketshare.


    Can you give me a timeframe or deadline for when you think this is going to happen? And have you even tried win seven? Since you compare it to vista just because the looks are shared a bit, I assume all you've done is seen some screenshots. They've got less in common than redhat 5.2 and centos 5.3 .... and they're very different products!
    As for businesses - I happen to work for one, as member of the IT staff, and I can't say we're dreading windows 7 much. We're not going to load it onto an athlon xp 1800+, but we aren't afraid of the system.
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