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.