Linux has 32 percent of Netbook market says study

We were all wondering whether Linux could make a comeback in Netbooks after Microsoft jumped in and dominated the Netbook operating system market soon after Netbooks came on the scene.

Now according to an analysis of the latest research on Ultra Mobile Devices from ABI, things could be looking up for Linux.

ABI project that almost 35 million netbooks were shipped in 2009. Although the ABI research doesn’t go into operating system specifics, a Computerworld story by Eric Lai quotes ABI analyst Jeff Orr as saying that Linux will represent 32 percent of netbook sales this year.

We all know that Apple doesn’t have a Netbook so if Linux has 32 percent of the share the remaining 68 obviously belongs to Microsoft.

These figures are significantly higher than what Microsoft has projected. They claimed that Linux only has a 7 percent share.

If the ABI figures are accurate and there’s no reason to believe they’re not, then not only has Linux increased their share, Linux will overtake windows completely by 2013 says Orr. The reason given is that sales of Netbooks are increasing in developing countries.

At the moment the largest chunk of Netbooks sales is in Japan, Australia and New Zealand revealed the ABI study. So it’s also a mistake to think that just because most people in the USA are using Windows on Netbooks that the same applies elsewhere.

“Just because you live in the United States, don’t assume that everything is on Windows” Said Orr.

Consumers outside of the US don’t have as much experience with Windows so do not have the same fear about changing over to a new operating system, Orr apparently told Lai.

So if Linux are on the way up again, what should Microsoft do if they want to remain the dominant player?

Orr suggests that they would have to do what they did before and slash prices on their Windows XP, Windows CE or Windows Mobile.

“They need to get a play started now,” he said.

Okay so even though Linux have managed to up their share of the Netbook market to 32 percent it may be a bit premature to think that Linux will be able to sustain or increase that share.

We mustn’t forget that Windows 7 is on the loose now and so far is doing great so we’ll have to wait and see whether Microsoft topples Linux once again.


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