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Linux and the Mysterious Netbook-to-Desktop Gap
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 18 December 2009 18:29

From Technology News...

Linux netbooks are blazing along, but the Linux desktop languishes. What's up with that? The biggest problem for Linux on the desktop, Slashdot blogger David Masover opined, "is getting manufacturers to support it properly, which includes both shipping everything put together, and dealing with complete newbies looking to migrate from Windows."

'Tis the season to be jolly, and recent statistics make that especially true for Linux users.

Exhibit A: Linux netbooks now account for almost a third of the 35 million or so netbooks to ship globally this year, according to Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI Research.

Specifically, the exact breakdown is 32 percent Linux versus 68 percent Windows machines, Orr said -- a far cry from the measly figures paraded around by Redmond earlier this year!

A Shot in the ARM

Then came Exhibit B -- specifically, predictions out of the recent Netbook World Summit in Paris that Linux will dominate in ARM-powered laptops next year. Furthermore, such machines are expected to take over a significant share of the overall laptop market.

Not even the strongest eggnog can beat declarations like that for lifting a Linux geek's spirits!

Slashdot bloggers were all over the news in no time, chiming in with their two cents.
'Nobody Would Use It'

To wit: "Linux is expected to dominate ARM-based netbooks because Windows doesn't run on ARM (Nasdaq: ARMHY), full stop," wrote PCM2 in one of the Slashdot discussions. "That math's not hard."

The question, however, "is whether ARM-based netbooks will sell at all," PCM2 added. "It doesn't really matter what OS a netbook is running. Nobody buys any kind of computer to run an OS. They buy computers to run apps.

"You can argue all you want that Mac OS X is more elegant than Windows, or whatever -- but if you couldn't get a word processor for it, nobody would use it," PCM2 concluded.

On the other hand: "This is even better than the market share numbers suggest because Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will need to lower their prices to keep Linux from growing faster, and that means they have less money to buy their way into other markets," Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack told LinuxInsider. [More...] [Comments...]



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