Windows 7, Linux Battle For Netbook Supremacy

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Windows 7, Linux Battle for Netbook Supremacy

Shane O'Neill,

Thursday, January 15, 2009 3:00 PM PST Possibly Microsoft's most important strategic goal for Windows 7, in addition to redeeming the brand damage done by Windows Vista, is to dominate netbooks, now the fastest selling segment of the PC market.

This may not bode well for the Linux operating system. With netbooks, the open-source OS with a highly tech-savvy audience found a market where it could legitimately threaten Windows. But Linux will face an uphill battle in this category now that the sleeping software giant has been awoken to the opportunity that netbooks present, say industry analysts.

Top netbook vendors Asus and Acer, which together account for the majority of the netbook market, run Linux on roughly 30 percent of their Eee PC and AspireOne netbooks respectively-a figure that dwarfs Linux's nearly 1 percent share of the higher-end PC market. Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo released netbook products in the fourth quarter of 2008, all in the US$400 price range and offering a choice of either Windows XP or some flavor of Linux.

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