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Windows Loaded on 96 Percent of New Netbooks

Walk into a computer store and you’ll see nearly all notebooks preloaded with Windows Vista. Check out the netbooks, and you’ll see it’s nearly all Windows XP -- and nearly as in 96 percent.

We’ve been hearing lately that Windows XP will live on through various download programs, but until Windows 7 Starter Edition ships, the eight year old XP will still be ruling netbooks.

Citing NPD data, Microsoft says that 96 percent of all netbooks sold throughout February 2009 came with Windows. We presume that the vast majority of Windows-based netbooks run Windows XP rather than Vista.

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.

That means that there’s been a dramatic shift away from Linux-based OS and towards Windows. Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc explains in the Windows Experience blog, “Because users simply expect the Windows experience. When they realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn’t deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back. Here’s a telling stat: In the UK, Carphone Warehouse dropped Linux-based netbook PCs, citing customer confusion as a reason for a whopping 1-in-5 return rate.”

LeBlanc also explains that consumers are now expecting more out of their netbooks. Gone are the days of the small 7-inch screen that’s just to run Firefox and Open Office, users are now wanting the same things as a notebook, only smaller.

“Some believed consumers wouldn’t want or need their netbook PC to be a full-featured PC,” wrote LeBlanc. “In fact, the exact opposite turned out to be true – a number of analysts and researchers following the space see ample evidence indicating customers really DO want netbook PCs to work like their larger brethren – and that the way the vast majority of consumers make that happen is by buying a netbook PC with Windows.”

This point is no better proved than by the Asus Eee 1004DN with its inclusion of an optical drive. The Dell Mini 10 also includes an HDMI output, and promises eventual TV tuner and GPS support.

Obviously Microsoft likes having 96 percent of the market share (and probably wants more), but it cannot continue to run on Windows XP forever. LeBlanc reiterated the company’s aim to put Windows 7 on netbooks once again, saying, “Looking forward, we can confidently say that no matter how netbook PC hardware evolves, we’re gearing up to ensure that Windows 7 will run great on them. As we mentioned at PDC, we’ve been testing Windows 7 on netbook PCs since before Windows 7 was feature complete, and our plan is to enable these small notebook PCs to run any edition of Windows 7.”

Perhaps the best thing thrifty consumers have to expect from Windows 7-based netbooks is a price tag of around $200.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • theJ
    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?
    Reply
  • tayb
    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...
    Reply
  • mforce2
    Reply
  • mforce2
    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.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    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.
    Reply
  • deltatux
    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.
    Reply
  • michaelahess
    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.
    Reply
  • jsloan
    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.
    Reply
  • LuxZg
    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
    Reply