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Portables Linux

Linux Reaches 32% Netbook Market Share 389

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, 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."
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Linux Reaches 32% Netbook Market Share

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  • by Psaakyrn ( 838406 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:10PM (#30361110)

    Alternatively, Linux netbook users could have converted their netbooks to dual-boot systems, hence still allowing the possibility of both to be true.

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:28PM (#30361222) Homepage Journal

    I've tried and I've tried to find an Athlon Neo system WITHOUT Windows and I flat can't do it. Sure, a lot of the Intel ones have Linux, but even most of those have Windows on them. Seriously, if I can't find an Athlon Neo system without Windows it's not telling me people want to buy the Linux versions, it's telling me they "settle" for Linux, and I don't like that.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:33PM (#30361260) Homepage Journal

    Go to Officeworks, still half of their ASUS netbooks are Linux based. When the lovely sales assistant starts telling you about the evils of Linux, assure him you know what you're doing and head to the counter.

    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.

    Of course, you'll probably want to nuke the "linux" on them and put Ubuntu on it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:34PM (#30361276)

    Sadly, I have to agree. Although a lot of places carried the original eee pc with Xandros and a few carried the Acer Aspire One with Linpus LINUX netbooks with LINUX are now impossible to find in Australia - even in Melbourne. I've asked lots of retailers and they all say that they can't obtain anything with LINUX.

    FWIW, I find Australians don't like tinkering with technology and are bit insecure. They do love gadgets like iphones. In fact, where they do avoid MS they tend to go for Macs. I remember reading somewhere that Australians buy a larger per capita number of Macs than other countries and my informal personal observations align with this. :-(

  • by bombastinator ( 812664 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:42PM (#30361342)
    Funny that their favorite computer is the Dell Mini 9. It's not a very advanced machine, to the point that it een got discontinued once.
    They brought it back though because it is very popular for the single reason that it has a reputation as being the most hackintoshable netbook there is. This implies that a lot of these netbooks are running more MacOS than linux.
  • Dell Mini 9 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dancingmad ( 128588 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:45PM (#30361364)

    How many of those Mini 9s ended up getting OS X installed on them? That was the only reason I was planning on getting a 9 and since the Windows version costs more, the Linux version is a no-brainer.

    Being sold on the machine and being kept on the machine are two different things.

  • My experiences (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GF678 ( 1453005 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:47PM (#30361384)

    Some people say "Yay! Linux on netbooks means more mainstream acceptance!" From what I've seen however, this isn't the case. Linux netbooks, from what I've encountered, are

    * Generally more expensive than their Windows counterparts (with identical specs)
    * Running some dodgy Linux distro that does nothing to help sell the benefits of running Linux and only provides headaches
    * Often simply not available

    With this being the current situation, I don't see there being anything to be proud of. Yes, it's better than several years ago when Linux wasn't available anywhere mainstream. That doesn't mean things are going well either.

  • by RichardDeVries ( 961583 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:05AM (#30361512) Journal

    Presumably 7 would be more manageable for common users to install on recent hardware than an OS that's eight years old.

    If true (and I think it is), great! Still, why isn't there any research on this? If I were a netbook manufacturer, Microsoft, Apple or Mark Shuttleworth I would be VERY interested to learn how many of those who purchased my computer or OS are sticking with the default setup. Win7 might be easier to install, but I still don't see my dad buying or pirating a Windows disk and installing it himself. Do netbook buyers give Ubuntu a try before changing to Windows? What makes them decide to keep or ditch it?

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:39AM (#30361738) Journal

    I'm a Linux user myself, but I just installed XP on a common desktop box tonight and it was painful.

    I totally agree with this. I have done a number of installations on hardware that pre-dated XP-SP3 using an XP disk with SP3 streamed in. Lots of hardware is not supported. I have even come across a laptop where the standard sound driver from the chipset manufacturer will work -- as long as you don't want to use the built-in speakers. The last install I did left me with a system with no working NICs. I ended up booting into Linux so that I could download the Windows network drivers onto the system.

    After installing XP, you then have to install some applications, update it multiple times to get all the updates. Most Linux installs are way easier.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @01:51AM (#30362128) 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.

    XP is dated now, and its built-in "let me search the Internets" driver thingy doesn't really work (in all my time using XP - which is since it still said it's "Whistler" - I haven't seen it find anything even once). Hence the installation hell you describe.

    Starting with Vista, this changed a lot. First, a lot of drivers was baked into the base OS (XP was distributed on CD, Vista on DVD - a lot more free space on the latter for the drivers). This means that, most likely, wireless will work out of the box.

    Once it gets any sort of network connection, then things really get going. The ability to search for drivers on the Net was integrated into Windows Update, and it really works this time - normally, after you first boot into Vista/7, you'll get (apart from the usual bunch of security updates, "Live Essentials", and Silverlight) a list of drivers that it thinks are needed for your hardware. So far in all my experience it was both correct and complete - at least I haven't noticed any hardware not working, and I haven't installed a single driver manually in the last two years or so (had to install software for my network printer/scanner combo though, which is because it is a tray app to which the scanner sends output).

    With early Vista, the bigger problem was that, while it would happily download drivers for you, the drivers themselves were often crap and resulted in system instability (video drivers especially - I've seen spectacular graphic glitches from both NVidia updates on my desktop, and ATI updates on my laptop). This was mostly ironed out in the first year after Vista release, however, and by the time 7 got here it's all kosher.

    So the only problem you're likely to get with 7 is installing it on hardware that's not fast enough for it. It runs a speed test during installation, though, so I suspect it will warn in that case.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:04AM (#30362212)

    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.

    Singapore is the most western city in Asia, what else can you expect.

    Kuala Lumpur on the other hand, I found plenty of Linux laptops and desktops around. The Linux variant was often about 50 Ringgit cheaper then the Windows model. Try Low Yat Plaza in KL.

    A few in Bangkok as well but for the most part machines will just have a pirate copy of windows installed in Thailand, especially when a copy goes for about 70 Baht (that's the price for farang, Thais pay less).

  • by Idou ( 572394 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:35AM (#30362370) Journal
    I have seen the Netwalker from Sharp at every major electronics store that I have gone to in Tokyo recently ( []). It exclusively runs Ubuntu and is one of the smallest and cheapest netbooks you can get in a store.

    Then there is always the Dell website. You can get even cheaper mini 10s from there. I have purchased 2 such machines for friends and family as return gifts (Okaeshi). Doubt either know they are running Linux, but they are plenty happy to have a convenient webbrowsing/Skyping machine.

    I would say there is quite a bit of activity recently in this space in Japan, if you know where to look.
  • Re:Oh really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:52AM (#30362448)
    Its been said before, and Ill say it again-- Wine Is Not an Emulator. And its not just a tagline-- many things run near- or better-than- native speed-- I had World of Warcraft running on a dualboot, vista / ubuntu system. The vista system got 1/2 the FPS in directx mode than ubuntu, reading off of an NTFS partition using OpenGL and Wine.

    In case thats not clear-- Vista, running its native graphics API on its native filesystem type, got 1/2 the FPS of a linux distro using the "secondary" API, a non-native filesystem, and so-called "emulation".
  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (bob_eissua)> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @02:57AM (#30362476) Journal
    I thought a netbook was by definition a low-end, portable laptop used only for browsing and light typing. You know, a "net" book...

    Microsoft's marketing team is trying to push that definition because otherwise they'd have to lower their prices.

    AU$180 for an OS, plus AU$350 for an Office suite is a marginal value proposition for an average priced (AU$1000) desktop computer. On a AU$300 netbook, it makes no sense at all.

    In reality, netbooks are at least as capable as mainstream business machines from just a few years ago. They have no problems running the same software and, given a large external screen, would make very useful low-cost business machines. The prospect of businesses realising that scares the shit out of Microsoft.

  • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @07:55AM (#30363702)
    Wasn't the whole point of a netbook to put in components that draw as little power as possible to enable a smaller form factor at a longer uptime for the simple tasks most people want to do? If you want a small, powerful device that's a subnotebook.

    Of course, in the domain of portable computers there is a plethora of ill-defined and somethimes trademarked terms that ensure nobody knows what anyone else is talking about - als The Register commented on [] earlier this year. In twelve months "netbook" and "notebook" may very well be synonymous.
  • Re:Oh really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by featurelesscube ( 1107925 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @09:22AM (#30364122)
    wrong. If you are a pro a large comfortable room full of outboard gear from respected manufacturers is a must. Plugins are beloved of the 'bedroom' crowd who can't afford real equipment.
  • Re:My experiences (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ath1901 ( 1570281 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:03AM (#30365332)

    Some statistics to back it up. lists 320 netbooks out of which 11 run linux. Only 1 is sold in more than 5 stores. Most are sold in only 1 "non-mainstream" stores.

    One year ago, the linux acer one was on display everywhere, same with the eee. The blue linux aa1 was about $140 cheaper than the blue windows aa1 (I know, because I bought one).

    Now, the linux machines are almost non-existant and more expensive.

    About the dodgy linux distro, acers linpus version sucked! I didn't realize how much it sucked until I installed CrunchBang with the Kuki kernel. Suddenly, the temperature control was better, the boot up faster and the overall responsiveness was better (not to mention the layout, repositories, programs etc). It now feels like a real computer!

    I could rant about it for hours but the short version is: The acer linux was pure crap. Portuguise amateurs (the magnificent Kuki people) did it better.

    I love my linux acer but it doesn't run the OS that came with it. If I had to buy a new one, I'd have to pay the M$ tax.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.