Print 44 comment(s) - last by Jucken.. on Apr 13 at 10:28 AM

Microsoft says that it holds over 90% of the netbook OS market

With the proliferation of netbooks on the market today and the massive popularity of the category, it's hard to fathom that the netbook really only took off in late 2007. Today, netbooks are the fastest growing computer category and the netbook is poised to continue its fast growth despite the poor economy.

Microsoft announced today that it now holds a massive portion of the netbook market with a whopping 96% of all netbooks shipping with Windows today. Considering that most netbooks are shipping with Windows XP and netbooks are the best selling computer category right now, an argument could be made that Windows XP may well be selling better than Windows Vista.

InformationWeek quotes Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc from a blog post writing, "It's hard to believe it's been a year since we first started to see netbook PCs running Windows come to market." As impressive as the 96% of the market figure is, it looks even more impressive when you look back at Windows penetration in the notebook market as of mid-2008.

For the first half of 2008, Windows held only 10% of the netbook OS market. According to LeBlanc, the massive growth of Windows in the category comes at the expense of Linux.

Return rates on Linux-based netbooks have been widely cited as being significantly higher than return rates of Windows-based netbooks. LeBlanc writes that Carphone Warehouse in the UK stopped carrying Linux-based netbooks in many of its stores after seeing return rates as high as 20%.

LeBlanc wrote, "When they [Linux netbook buyers] realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn't deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back."

With many consumers looking forward to Windows 7, the new Microsoft OS is set for a big push into the netbook realm. Lower cost versions of Windows 7 have been tweaked specifically for the netbook market.

Interestingly, even though some Windows 7 variants are being catered towards netbook users, Microsoft will still allow Windows 7 users to downgrade to XP.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Linux is just a gimmick
By fatedtodie on 4/7/2009 12:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
The reason Windows is dominating this market is the same reason it is dominating every other market, it works best. Linux/Unix/etc all are "slim" but they don't do what users (I mean the 90% of users barely smart enough to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time) want. Don't get me wrong, I like windows, but I do because while I know how to use it and I have been a Net Admin on Linux, it just seems like a pale shadow of windows and I have to hunt longer to find software to do what Windows does with little effort.

If Linux was worthwhile people would get it on a netbook, but people want to do their normal ruitine and won't waste their time learning a whole new OS just to have a cheaper netbook.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Bateluer on 4/7/2009 12:26:00 PM , Rating: 5
I disagree. Most users being netbooks are simply used to Windows. Linux is different. These are the people that panic when their wallpaper changes or if their desktop shortcuts are moved around.

They simply don't want to take the minutes necessary to learn the new environment. So they take a perfectly good netbook back to the store.

As a side note, I wonder how many people are buying netbooks, then wiping out the factory OS for more custom experience. I'd love to see an official Canonical Ubuntu netbook spin. Easy Peasy is nice, but its small dev team is holding it back.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By TomZ on 4/7/2009 12:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with Linux, as I see it, is that there is no one thing called "Linux" from a customer perspective. There are all these flavors/variations that are really not the same thing at all. IMO, this fragmentation is what holds Linux back.

By contrast, there is just one "Windows" from a customer perspective, even if they are aware of multiple versions, e.g., XP, Vista, and now 7. People correctly expect that the experience between them is similar, and that their devices and applications will run about the same on all of them.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By fatedtodie on 4/7/2009 1:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly my point. Thank you.

It isn't that Linux is bad, it is... Fedora, Solaris, Ubuntu, Knoppix, ETC!

While there are elements that fly across all of them, Windows is windows =).

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By emboss on 4/7/2009 10:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't that Linux is bad, it is... Fedora, Solaris, Ubuntu, Knoppix, ETC!

Umm, Solaris ain't Linux ...

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Iger on 4/8/2009 4:34:35 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Penti on 4/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Screwballl on 4/7/2009 10:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Try playing with the latest Mint (Ubuntu based distro that includes browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components).... usually they do not include the codecs but a simple online search for "Ubuntu DVD" explains to go to Synaptic Package manager, install libdvdcss2 or libdvdread3 and it automatically installs everything needed to start watching DVDs.

By not having all the junk already installed, most Linux distros are able to have a slim install and only install what is needed and when, this way the bloat is gone. Windows has the bloat with all the "extras" that may never get used ever (how many every day people (non-techie types) actually use Media Center in Vista?) but it has it all in there which causes major slowdowns of the OS. Some of us can streamline and slipstream an XP/Vista/7 setup which allows the OS to run without the extra unneeded junk.

Right now we are starting to see a slimming down of major distro names. Ubuntu seems to have a strong lead with Fedora, openSUSE and Mint a good 40-60% behind. Ubuntu based distros are making the big strides and Mint seems to be the one that may end up taking over Ubuntu itself.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Penti on 4/8/2009 6:34:33 PM , Rating: 1
I know because they don't care about the legal aspect like other distros have to.

It's still not polished, easy and legal enough for other distros thus a problem. No need to rate down my comment. There's so many dependencies in OSS software that you really need a good OOB solution for those that don't accept adding repositories of patent infringing software or corporations who aren't able to do so for fear of legal actions. It means no organization can really stand behind the software and that they can't build solutions built upon it. Thus is a real problem. No need to pick at Windows it's great that they finally include a DVD-player in WMP for Vista HP/U/E. The legal problems means that OpenSUSE, Fedora and Ubuntu can never do the same as Mint. And can't include that software OOB. Or Debian too for that matter.

That geeks run homebrew and warez is a whole nother issue and that don't take away the need for legal DVD-players, good commercial codecs that can be used to developed other media solutions on. Etc. FFmpeg is great, but it can't enter the commercial space. Thus making it just something we use for warez - watching and encoding. I don't mind libdvdcss and FFmpeg, but I can't build a business or offer solutions built with them. Having a OEM who would license a DVD-player and some gstreamer codecs for me would really make me consider buying say a notebook with that offering, especially if those comes in a form so I can install them on my own installation/distro, I would recommend it for others who want to try it out, installation kits (when necessary) for various distros would be great. Thats what commercial distros does, but even SLED and RHEL WS can't offer a DVD-player not even optionally because you can't buy the shit retail. Having to push out Mplayer / VLC / Totem with libdvdcss in an enterprise is retarded. Choice is great and that's why the lack of choice of legal codecs (Fluendo works but why would any one buy those for personal use, they shouldn't have to) and dvdplayers is worrying. It also effects the situation of video editing on Linux. It sucks. I'm sure Discreet / Autodesk Flame, Inferno, Smoke, Flint, Fire etc is great though but those are professional applications. So it's a valid point that it hinders development and thus use of Linux. Theres no software to say bridge that gap between Kino and Flame, Mint can't bridge that gap since it just use the homebrew stuff that corporations cant really take on themselves to support. No support from manufacturers of hardware (say cameras) and no support from ISV offering Linux solutions that is.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Smilin on 4/7/2009 1:39:11 PM , Rating: 4

They simply don't want to take the minutes necessary to learn the new environment. So they take a perfectly good netbook back to the store.


I don't want to take the minutes necessary either. It's the year 2009. I should take the thing out of the box and do my business without having to learn anything. It's a F'n Netbook, not a CAD workstation.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By omnicronx on 4/7/2009 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
I should take the thing out of the box and do my business without having to learn anything. It's a F'n Netbook, not a CAD workstation.
Nicely said, I have linux installed on all of my PC's, but I will be the first to tell you it is more than just users not wanting to 'get used to a new OS'. Linux has a much larger learning curve, plain and simple, and as other posters have noted, this differentiates depending on what Distro you are using. Sure if you know what you are doing, Nix is by far the most custimizable OS out there,

By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 4/8/2009 9:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
I believe many people who take the view that people "don't want to learn a new OS" is because they are in the autistic spectrum called Aspergers.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By yoyoma245 on 4/7/2009 1:55:16 PM , Rating: 4
Minutes? How many "minutes" did it take you to get to your level of expertise and comfort with linux?

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By aebiv on 4/7/2009 1:15:57 PM , Rating: 3
I love suse on my old laptop, it is stable and fast.

However, it took me weeks of hunting and reading forums to get all the software I needed compiled and working. Not to mention some of the hardware.

Linux has a place, but that place will never be mainstream. I'm looking forward to W7 on netbooks, as I see this to be a great advancement of mobility.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By majorpain on 4/7/2009 1:21:46 PM , Rating: 1
Last week bought Acer Aspire One 150-1543 for my wife, its shipped with Limpus Linux, it looks very nice but its quite limited, as it should be for people that use a netbook for what it was built: browse, sent/receive emails, type texts, etc... Wife didnt like it at all, she said she couldnt find Office shortcuts... So i told her i would install the new Windows 7 the next day.. i installed gOS 3 and changed the shortcuts icons to look like M$ icons.. bottom line: shes using it and shes happy with it.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By noirsoft on 4/7/2009 5:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Had you installed Vista or actual Windows 7, I bet she would have been happier still.

Also, do you always feel the need to satisfy your wife's requests with deception? That doesn't say much for your marriage.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2009 5:07:51 PM , Rating: 1
So i told her i would install the new Windows 7 the next day.. i installed gOS 3 and changed the shortcuts icons to look like M$ icons.. bottom line: shes using it and shes happy with it.

Was it THAT important to you that your wife use Linux, that you had to straight up LIE to her ? Then further deceive her with MS icons ?

So you patronize her concerns, lie to her, and deceive her. All so your precious Linux could win the day over what SHE wanted. Man what a great marriage your building there buddy...

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By StinkyWhizzleTeeth on 4/8/2009 9:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
This guy did exactly what his wife wanted her to do. You are being too literal with what she said.

I think this guy interpreted what his wife was really saying correctly was figurative rather than literal. She wasn't saying she wanted Microsoft software, but that she wanted it to work like Microsoft software. If she was a geek and realized that Linux could be made to look and work like Windows then she would've said that. But she probably isn't a geek. All non geeks talk about computers in figurative ways, and us geeks have to translate into literal language for our own understanding.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2009 3:33:11 PM , Rating: 1
If she isn't a "geek", why in the HELL would you give someone LINUX !!??

If you are going to tell me that Linux is for the average pc user, save it, cause that's bullshit and you all know it. I have tried every distro that is a so called 'Windows alternative' and not one of them are without major roadblocks between the OS and the end user.

All I know is, the guy said "She wanted Windows". How am I being too literal ? There is a time to be a man and stand your ground, and there is a time to not.

Now I don't care how he treats his wife. But it just seemed so silly to me how he described the efforts he made to keep his wife from Windows even though it's what SHE asked for.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Penti on 4/7/2009 1:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well Linux would be fine if they just offer a complete none-crippled distribution instead of the Linpus or Xandros POS that the Linux people wont touch with a 12 foot pole and just cripple the Windowspeople. It's a computer you need stuff like Adobe Flash and legal proprietary codecs. So people can use their illegal warez. XP Home is a toy anyway you can't connect it to a corporate network or anything. A Vista Business license would add another 100 dollars. 100 dollars to get XP Pro is a lot, but they are just used as toys hence a XP H netbook is fine for the Linux people who want to hack on their own favorite distro any way.

And you wont have a cheaper netbook with Linux, licensing legal codecs by the OEM and i.e. set up a complete solution would cost more then a XP H license. Patents aren't free.

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2009 4:00:44 PM , Rating: 4
Agree with the OP.

Linux does certain things very well, but for a desktop, it's bullshit and you all know it. It's just not ready for prime time on the desktop, and you idiots know it.

*waits for rebuttal* " Shut up Reclaimer I set my grandmother up with Ubuntoo v 3.45 with hacked Red Hat distros wrapped up in a Fedora 10 with parts of Debian 5 I found ! And she loves doing E-mail on it !! DEATH TO WINDOWZZZZ !!! "

RE: Linux is just a gimmick
By Penti on 4/8/2009 8:03:58 PM , Rating: 2

You really has to acknowledge the problems to fix them, that's why I often complain about multimedia on alternative platforms. Home usage has nothing to do with how well it does on enterprise desktops. From a enterprise desktop you can always use RDP / Citrix to use whatever Windows apps you need. Macs got the same problems. You got multimedia but you don't get a MS office up to real corporate use. RDP is there to save you. You can't and shouldn't avoid MS apps because you will need them for serious use. You can choose a editing desktop with FCP / OS X though. But that's not a corporate desktop.
There's no replacement for MS Office or other proprietary formats and apps without open formats. OOo isn't a replacement but just a fairly competent word processor. It can't and shouldn't be a drop in replacement.

One wonders why ...
By nah on 4/7/2009 12:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will still allow Windows 7 users to downgrade to XP.

RE: One wonders why ...
By TomZ on 4/7/2009 1:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
That would be a silly downgrade. Windows 7 is far better than XP.

RE: One wonders why ...
By Pirks on 4/7/2009 1:52:47 PM , Rating: 3
Downgrading from Vista is silly too but people do it anyway.

RE: One wonders why ...
By Fallen Kell on 4/7/2009 5:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Let me preface this with the fact that I have Vista on 2 systems at home and I love it.

But for a netbook, downgrading from Vista is a SMART move. There is a certain threshold in terms of system specs for Vista to run as it is meant to run. I am sorry, but I havn't seen a netbook yet which meets or exceeds those specs. XP is a little more forgiving on lesser powerful hardware.

Linux is by far the most forgiving on lesser powerful hardware, but you need to know how to run it and configure it, because as others have said, the included distro's are crap crippleware. I'm a Unix and Linux System Administrator and run linux on my primary desktop at work and Solaris 10 at home. While they are really great once you have them configured, most people just don't know how to configure them.

RE: One wonders why ...
By saiga6360 on 4/8/2009 7:34:04 AM , Rating: 2
Find me a killer app that doesn't work on XP and we'll talk. People will stick with XP because it works and nobody like getting forced into a change. I swear, people just like to use something new for the sake of being new. Vista is a waste.

You want to convince people to buy the next Windows? Say it is just as good as XP but newer and make it CHEAP. Otherwise, the regular joe wouldn't give a crap.

RE: One wonders why ...
By Pirks on 4/8/2009 2:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
Find me a killer app that doesn't work on XP
Crysis DX10, Stalker Clear Sky DX10, etc.
it is just as good as XP but newer and make it CHEAP
Windows 7 Starter Edition.
the regular joe wouldn't give a crap
Yeah, the regular joe would buy another netbook with Windows 7 Starter.

RE: One wonders why ...
By saiga6360 on 4/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: One wonders why ...
By mikefarinha on 4/7/2009 1:49:29 PM , Rating: 3
That is what any smart company does.

RE: One wonders why ...
By saiga6360 on 4/7/09, Rating: 0
Windows Dominates Netbook OS Market
By chrismartin on 4/7/2009 1:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with Linux is you would have to spend sometime to learn Linux, while all the versions of windows are kind of same (Every version has the same start button and programs).

You can easily find support for windows like I am subscribed with IT24BY7. I have unlimited support plan of IT24BY7 ( and whenever I have issues like spyware or performance problem with my ThinkPad, I contact them and they fix it immediately. It’s easy.

RE: Windows Dominates Netbook OS Market
By TomZ on 4/7/2009 1:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
There's a support site available for Linux:

By majorpain on 4/7/2009 1:52:47 PM , Rating: 2
FTW!!! :P

If this was Slashdot
By jiteo on 4/7/2009 1:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'd mod the story flaimbait ;)

RE: If this was Slashdot
By Suntan on 4/7/2009 1:40:41 PM , Rating: 1
Kind of what I was thinking, but then all stories on DT are.


By therealnickdanger on 4/7/2009 2:15:01 PM , Rating: 3
Facts only become flamebait in the eyes of the reader. ;-)

As to the sensationalism of DT articles... no comment.

The reason that linux does not work
By yoyoma245 on 4/7/2009 1:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
for most people is that it doesn't run the same programs that windows runs. Case in point without office, people can't format documents to display correctly within the office environment.

I work with a group that uses powerpoint to make presentations a lot (as do most people in business). If I make a presentation in open office and then send it to someone who uses microsoft office - there are small differences in the way that the documents are displayed. These differences matter when you're trying to make a good looking presentation. Pictures overlap eachother differently, text is aligned differently, etc.

2 years ago I made a concerted effort to run linux while interfacing with my teammates. I didn't even have a copy of windows running. When this problem with the display issue of office vs open office popped up, I tried installing crossover office - maybe some other product as well. They don't fully support office 2003 or 2007. Those are the programs that my office mates use. Then I tried installing wine and then installing office - there was some problem with putting in a cd to install. I suppose if i had dedicated an enormous amount of time I may have gotten a virtual machine running windows to run office. But who wants to work in a virtual machine all day long?

Because there isn't the final polish applied to linux - and the programs that people use right now are not FULLY compatible with programs in linux - people can't use them.

Another issue is that most people do not have time to learn how to install new operating systems/compile new software/find alternative software/resolve differences and work around differences between different pieces of software. Most people have to get their jobs done, and when they are not working they want to relax in front of the tv or with their family or at a video game ...

Linux is certainly a valuable piece of software. Its great that we have another OS to choose from. Competition is always great. But if linux wants to compete with windows its going to have to come up with a solution for these problems. If it doesn't want to compete with windows - then it doesn't.

By Penti on 4/7/2009 2:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
XP H aren't for corporate use. If you need office then run office. Same applies to macs as office for mac aren't really up to corporate use. You can connect to a Windows Server running in application server mode if you like to use windows apps but not run a VM. Proprietary programs will never be able to be cloned legally and perfectly when using closed formats. If you see my previous posts you see that these are mainly legal problems, those can't be solved by the community, you can't legally offer many solutions for free. You even can't if you pay for it. As you probably can't license it in the scenario of giving it away.

By giskard88 on 4/8/2009 8:45:33 AM , Rating: 3
This whole story needs to be viewed with linux's 0.9% share of the desktop market. The early market share of linux netbooks was purely due to windows being unaffordable at the time, and was naturaly going to go away once windows was available at a similar price. Market share is king for a whole bunch of reasons, so it's not surprising windows fares much better, however, this is still a major increase in the number of consumers using linux desktops.

By Jucken on 4/13/2009 10:28:20 AM , Rating: 3
There is NO problem with Linux
By n0nsense on 4/7/2009 5:13:55 PM , Rating: 1
Nice MS advocates.
Please continue to use your Windows whatever version.
Just stop saying that Linux has problems.
The only problem is somewhere between the input (mice+keyboard) and the output (monitor).
Dell reporting that about 30% of their Mini shipped with Linux (Ubuntu) and return rates are same as Windows.
About codecs etc.
I don't remember any version of windows to understand something but wmv or wma. It does not tell you where to get codecs.
Ubuntu does. It will offer you to Automatically download and install necessary packages (you call it programs).
You want flash ? install it exactly the same way you do it on windows. Even native 64 bit which does not exists for windows.
You want all things preinstalled? Buy Dell. Even your beloved proprietary DVD software preloaded.
The only arguable thing is gaming, which is not relevant to netbook.

RE: There is NO problem with Linux
By Penti on 4/8/2009 7:42:20 PM , Rating: 1
It's great what Dell does and that's why people are not hating it. Ubuntu is a real distro that people actually use. It's not enterprise grade but neither is XP H. It lack a commercial RDP / Citrix client but again it's not a enterprise desktop. is fine once you don't need it for corporate / work stuff. If you need to collaborate in a Windows environment then buy that. (XP H won't cut it if you need to join a domain, without hacks)

You can't buy the Minis with Linux in Sweden though :) Not being able to buy LinDVD or whatever Dell uses now in retail is a problem too. (That shit must be outdated as hell now though) Linux is easier in most cases, but I still think it's a problem that they recommend homebrew codecs in 3rd party repositories rather then try to find a solution for it. I have no problems with Dells ubuntu netbook offerings (other that I can't buy it heh), I do however think the Xandros and Linpus stuff is just a waste. People want full distros. And linux isn't some way to save money what dell does costs at least as much as a XP H license for netbooks.

By vapore0n on 4/8/2009 8:04:47 AM , Rating: 2
Now if we had real numbers on how many users stayed with the pre-installed OS, and how many switched to Win or Linux, or even MacOS, then that would really be some valuable numbers.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki