Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables Linux

Linux Reaches 32% Netbook Market Share 389

Posted by kdawson
from the one-third-of-world-domination dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "Linux netbooks have captured 32% of the global netbook market, says Jeff Orr, an analyst with consumer computer research firm ABI Research. The largest share of netbook sales is in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, according to Orr. ABI's latest figures align with a statement by Dell executives in February of this year, to the effect that Linux netbooks comprised about 33% of Dell shipments of Dell Inspiron mini 9s netbooks. These data points cast doubt on claims by Microsoft that Windows XP has captured 98% of the netbook market (a figure Microsoft later revised to 93%). In an interview with DesktopLinux.com, Orr made clear that the 32% Linux netbook market share did not include either user-installed Linux or dual-boot systems, but was confined to just pre-installed Linux shipments."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Linux Reaches 32% Netbook Market Share

Comments Filter:
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:10PM (#30361108)

    I live in Australia, and find it quite rare to find Linux based netbooks in shops. They are available, but mostly from the more specialist retailers. Even then they only have very low specs.

    I just got back from Singapore, where I was hoping to pick up a cheap Linux netbook to use over there at a conference. Not only were prices similar to Australia for computer stuff, but virtually all the netbooks ran Windows. There were only a couple of places that I came across that offered Linux, and they were not cheap. They also seemed to be older models. I was disappointed.

    That said, anyone who is really interested in Linux would not be satisfied with the simplified versions that come with netbooks. If you are going to wipe the OS to install your own distro, then it doesn't make a great deal of difference what the original operating system is. Any cost savings for having Linux seem to be offset by the premium of buying such a rare beast.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:14PM (#30361142)

    Sitting here in the US, I pretty much only have Dell and System76 as a choice for netbooks. I'd really like to have more Linux based choices.

  • This Just In: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nrozema (317031) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:25PM (#30361200)
    "31% of Netbooks Running Pirated Windows"
  • by baileydau (1037622) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:26PM (#30361208)

    Here in Australia you are quite hard pressed to purchase a netbook with Linux pre-installed.

    I got my original eeePC 701 with Linux, but my newer S101 *had* to come with Windows. At the time the only machine I could find with Linux was a single Acer Aspire One unit. However my wife had her heart set on the S101 ...

    It now has openSUSE (currently 11.2) installed and everything Just Worked (TM), but that wouldn't be included in anyone's statistics (except mine).

    Speaking of statistics, I RTFM, and I couldn't actually see where / how they came up with this statistic. Did I miss something??

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:36PM (#30361292) Homepage

    If you are going to wipe the OS to install your own distro, then it doesn't make a great deal of difference what the original operating system is. Any cost savings for having Linux seem to be offset by the premium of buying such a rare beast.

    I just don't want to put money in Microsoft's pocket for an OS that I have no intention of using. That would mean caving in to the worst kind of abusive monopoly.

  • by RichardDeVries (961583) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:36PM (#30361296) Journal
    I'm a Linux user myself, but I just installed XP on a common desktop box tonight and it was painful. Wifi, sound didn't work out of the box, you have to wait ages for all of the updates and SP's to download and install, reboot far too many times and then you have a empty OS almost without useful apps. Some things were hard to get working (Radeon driver installer throwing errors, Wifi driver refusing to work).
    I wonder how many 'average' users would get XP, Vista or 7 working on a desktop, let alone a netbook.
  • Re:Oh really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire (666512) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:40PM (#30361326) Homepage
    And you think that lack of a professional audio workstation proves that Linux isn't ready for the desktop? If so, I've got some late-breaking news for you: only a vanishingly small percentage of computer users need something like that. I'm sure that if enough people needed something like that there'd be a developer working on it.

    I can't count how many times I've seen opposition to Linux from short-sighted, narrow-minded people like you who think that their tiny little niche is the be-all and end-all of computers and any OS that doesn't revolve around whatever specialist program they need is out and out trash.

  • by srothroc (733160) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:54PM (#30361440) Homepage
    From the article: "Nearly one-third of the 35 million netbooks on track to ship this year will come with some variant of the free, open-source operating system"

    That's pretty vague. Are they including those pre-boot/fast-boot linux distros that seem to be all the rage? I'd hardly count that as a "linux netbook" since the primary OS is still Windows.
  • Re:This Just In: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:57PM (#30361464) Homepage

    "31% of Netbooks Running Pirated Windows"

    TFA claims: "In many of these markets, the $15 to $25 price differential compared to Windows XP makes all the difference." I have a really hard time believing that anyone who has the $400 to buy a netbook will decide to save $20 by buying one without Linux and then installing a pirated copy of Windows. Installing any OS on a laptop is a total pain, and often results in a system with all kinds of problems, like power management and sound that don't work. This is completely different from the situation we used to have about 4 years ago when Fry's was selling desktop Linux boxes for $200, while the cheapest Windows box they sold was $450. Sure, for a 55% discount, a lot of people are going to be willing to do their own install of a pirated OS. A ton of that definitely happened back then, and AFAICT that's actually why Fry's stopped selling cheap Linux machines; people would botch the Windows install and then try to return the computer.

    If I was really going to believe this article, I'd need to know what the country is that is bringing the average up to 32% -- by buying significantly *more* than 32% of their netbooks with Linux. TFA says it isn't China. Several Australian slashdotters says it's not Australia. Are there massive Linux sales in India, for example? Seems unlikely, given that most of the Indian tech support people I've talked to don't even seem to understand what Linux is.

    Another thing I'd need to see in order to believe this article is independent confirmation of the price differential in this mystery country. It's very rare in in the US for Linux machines to sell for significantly less than comparable Windows machines. This is partly because OEMs get huge amounts of money from software houses for loading their crapware onto Windows boxes, and this offsets most or all of the cost of Windows.

  • by GF678 (1453005) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:05AM (#30361514)

    Even then they only have very low specs.

    That's the point of a netbook.. and the reason why Linux is so popular on them.

    Who said netbooks needed to be low spec? The same people who thought netbooks would only be used for browsing and light typing?

    Netbooks are simply small computers. They should have the capability to do whatever we want with them - this argument that netbooks are destined to only be low spec is short-sighted.

  • by slater86 (1154729) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:05AM (#30361516)
    One would assume that 32% of Dell's sales does not equal 32% of the Market or is that an inconvenient truth for the story
  • by DarkofPeace (1672314) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:19AM (#30361610)
    I agree with the low spec comment. When I was looking for a netbook, the only way to get the extra ram or larger harddrive was to buy the windows version. Just because I like linux does not mean I want it only on the cheapest hardware.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:19AM (#30361614)
    Netbooks are nothing but the lowest end of laptops. Feel free to disagree, but please provide a link to a high-end "netbook" with it.
  • by GlassHeart (579618) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:19AM (#30361616) Journal

    Who said netbooks needed to be low spec?

    For now, physics. Small form factor means small battery, which means the CPU can't be too power hungry.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:21AM (#30361622)

    Why would someone purchase a linux based laptop at around equal price as a windows one to go through the extra steps to avoid paying $7 for a Windows XP Home License ?

  • by Mr. DOS (1276020) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:24AM (#30361640)

    Who said netbooks needed to be low spec?

    Microsoft. Who only licenses XP Home for use on machines below a certain screen size and spec. I think there may be some restriction on Windows 7 Starter Edition as well.

    I know the conversation is "who needs Windows on netbooks?", but it's still at 68% :P

          --- Mr. DOS

  • by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:06AM (#30361880)

    Just find a netbook that is equal or better than a "laptop", and you'll have proven that Netbooks aren't low-end laptops, since you have a laptop with even worse specs than a Netbook :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:07AM (#30361886)

    I think that's the point. He can't choose what operating system he wants to have without jumping through hoops. He is being responsible and jumping through those hoops in an effort to change the current system - which is a very responsible thing to do, as propagating the current system when you disagree with it is laziness.

  • by RichardDeVries (961583) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:58AM (#30362182) Journal
    Thanks for calling me a troll and the people who modded me uninformed. I think what caused the 'insightful' was:

    I wonder how many 'average' users would get XP, Vista or 7 working on a desktop, let alone a netbook.

    I didn't say that installing Linux was easy. It's painful as well, and when something doesn't work, you usually have a BIG problem that's not solved by installing a few drivers. I know that. Still, I'd expect the commercial OS'es to have better install routines. Commenters above you tell me Windows has improved in that regard since XP and I believe them. On the other hand, I'm very impressed with e.g. Ubuntu. I've installed it on a couple of very different systems and It Just Works (R, TM etc.) most of the time. That wouldn't impress me if it was a Redmond OS, but it does when it's a community effort. The same feeling causes me to be a bit more forgiving when it comes to installing a Linux distro.
    By the way, saying "tweaking and recompiling everything" sound like trolling to me.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:02AM (#30362200)

    Netbooks are simply small computers.

    There is small, cheap and powerful.

    You can only pick two. Netbooks are small and cheap, if you want small and powerful then you aren't looking for a netbook.

  • by sc0ob5 (836562) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:06AM (#30362220)
    Yes but if he "owns" it is it illegal to download it?

    Serious question..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:46AM (#30362418)

    Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!

    Try telling that to my ex-girlfriend.

    P.S. I'm not sure what Homer meant. I'm not sure what my response meant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:05AM (#30362506)

    Nobody is reading the numbers right. Mac doesn't exist outside of the USA and like one other country... Linux is much more widespread in comparison anyway. The problem is in the USA Apple and Microsoft have dominated the OS market so everybody gets this impression that Linux is this little thing that shouldn't be developed for. It isn't. It has a larger user base than Mac. The increase in Apple's Mac market share is significant only because it doesn't exist outside the states! The whole world is a much more interesting market than just the states despite the significance of the US market.

  • by JohnBailey (1092697) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @03:56AM (#30362718)

    Because they think at first that they will be fine with Linux. And they are not. Linux fanboys can continue claiming that it's Windows users that are deluding themselves, but they still won't see 30% of even their geek friends running Linux on their netbooks. Of the six Netbooks I saw my friends purchase, four came with Linux. None are running Linux as the primary OS now. I know, anecdoted v.s data, but I'm hearing the same all around.

    Thanks for proving my statement..

  • by hweimer (709734) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:03AM (#30362750) Homepage

    That said, anyone who is really interested in Linux would not be satisfied with the simplified versions that come with netbooks. If you are going to wipe the OS to install your own distro, then it doesn't make a great deal of difference what the original operating system is.

    Not quite true. If it comes with some variant of Linux preinstalled then you know that all hardware components will work right out of the box, even if you install a different distro. No hassle with obscure drivers or poorly supported devices like the much-dreaded winmodems.

  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@nOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:19AM (#30362812) Journal
    I guess parent was modded Troll by some fanboi who has never actually tried to *use* WPA2 while running Linux...?

    What's so hard about using Network Manager?

    WPA2 is right there under the "Wireless Security" tab.

  • by JAlexoi (1085785) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @04:20AM (#30362816) Homepage
    No, the 68% "think" they need Windows on their netbook. (Notice, that the word think is in quotes, because those people don't actually think, they do it on "instinct" and familiarity)

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

Working...