96% of U.S. netbooks are Windows-based, Microsoft says

While Linux initially made significant inroads into the burgeoning world of netbooks, Windows now commands an overwhelming majority of that market—at least in the United States. So says Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc in a post on the Windows Experience Blog.

LeBlanc isn’t just pulling data out of thin air. He quotes NPD Retail Tracking Service numbers that say Windows only showed up in 10% of netbooks sold in the first half of 2008, but the OS’s market share reached a comfortable 96% "as of February 2009." (In case you’re wondering, Microsoft apparently defines netbooks as "small notebook PCs with a screen size 10.2" and smaller and a price under $500.")

The blog post goes on to enumerate the advantages of running Windows on a netbook, and LeBlanc notes that both MSI and Ubuntu Linux backer Canonical "stated publicly they saw Linux return rates 4 times higher than Windows." Clearly proof that users can’t live without Windows.

To be fair, we’ve also seen Dell and Asus claim no differences in return rates for Linux and Windows netbooks. Asus CEO Jerry Shen also said last October, "A lot of users like the Windows XP, but in Europe a lot of people want the Linux option."

Comments closed
    • nick58b
    • 11 years ago

    In response to the Microsoft blog, the Canonical blog: §[<http://blog.canonical.com/?p=151<]§ Unsurprisingly, the two don't agree with each other. "when customers are offered choice on equally well-engineered computers around a third will select Ubuntu over XP. " "Continually repeating that we ‘confirmed’ a 4x return over XP when we did nothing of the sort is really not worthy of a great company like Microsoft."

    • stmok
    • 11 years ago

    Its interesting to see Microsoft, the supposed 800lb gorilla, doing everything they can to stop a solution that has largely been maintained by a community. (Intel, IBM, Red Hat, ATI/AMD, etc are also part of it; as they make contributions…In addition to the enthusiast/volunteer community).

    I say let Microsoft chant marketshare! As well, let folks like *[

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 11 years ago

    MS is very proud at not having been shut out of a shiny new part of the PC market. But that doesn’t mean its going to get any easier for them as this type of device crawls into ever cheaper price points. Unless they start basically giving Windows away, they are going to loose the market, sooner or later.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    compared to the regular desktop penetration rate, Linux is really cleaning up. 4 whole percent! That’s what, like 10x the normal adoption rate?

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Linux shrugs, continues on. Marketshare or not. It does enjoy the attention thoughg{<.<}g Rub its belly!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 11 years ago

    I’d like to point out Microsoft is trying to compete with a open source OS, and brag about it. I think they could do better things with their time and PR resources than try to compete against something that isn’t competing with windows at retail, how do you think windows would do if you could pick up a ubuntu disk for free at any electronics retailer. But you can’t because linux isn’t competing with windows, it’s just there as a option.

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      Considering how many manufacturers were lobbing Linux onto their machines it certainly makes sense for Microsoft to make their market superiority visible. Not to mention the constant comparisons Linux users make to Microsoft products.

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    96% of Microsoft claims skewed or false, Forge says.

    Equally valid statement.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Let me guess, you own a Linux netbook.

        • Forge
        • 11 years ago

        If you can’t address the facts, attack the poster.

        You never fail to live up to your reputation, Meadows.

          • indeego
          • 11 years ago

          To his credit, you did put yourself in your statementg{<.<}g

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Suggesting someone owns a Linux netbook is a form of pejorative now?

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    I run XP because I use my Eee900 for retro gaming. These machines run games from up to 2001 or so very well. If I wasn’t into Windows 3D gaming, I’d probably run some form of Linux. But I don’t really see it being particularly advantageous. Of course it’s neat from the geeky angle. My Eee900 is the Linux model (bought cuz it came with more SSD space) but I put XP on immediately.

    I find it interesting to see people claim Linux runs faster and smoother than XP on this hardware and that it’s supposedy lighter on the resources. I really find that hard to believe with any of the heavier distros (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc). No doubt there are lightweight options to play with though. Hell, XP was designed for ~1 GHz Celeron + 256MB boxes (how many of those have I cleaned up lol) and we have much more than that with the netbooks. Most ship with a gig of RAM and that’s extreme luxury for XP. Lightning quick is how I’d describe the XP experience on here, ignoring the SSD write speed issues.

    On the other hand, it is very entertaining to see people trying to run Vista and 7 beta on these machines. heh. I definitely don’t see the advantages there.

      • stmok
      • 11 years ago

      Consider doing a little research to inform yourself that there is a “netbook remix” version of Ubuntu. (Its actually standard with Dell Mini series netbooks). => §[<http://www.canonical.com/projects/ubuntu/unr<]§ On top of this, Intel has created a reference distro for their netbook platform. You might have heard of it...Its called Moblin. => §[<http://moblin.org/<]§ They have donated the whole project to the Linux Foundation. In the near future, you'll see a flood of netbook optimised variants of distros appear...All thanks to Intel's contribution.

    • Auril4
    • 11 years ago

    I usually use Ubuntu on my laptop when I go to the library.
    It feels good not being just another Windows drone like everyone else there.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Do you go to the library to get judgedg{

        • no51
        • 11 years ago

        It’s where all the hotties are.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          All of the hottie Linux nerds who give a rat’s ass which OS you’re running?

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Well, there was this one girl, but it turned out she though it was OSX. When I said “Ubuntu”, she got all offended, said “Yeah? Same to you, retard”, and walked.

            Maybe next time.

            • no51
            • 11 years ago

            You should’ve said Mandriva, cause my little mandrivall the ladies crazy.
            Or Gentoo, cause I’m so gentoo you.
            Maybe Slackware, cause if you give me a little slack, i’ll ware you out all night long.

      • dmitriylm
      • 11 years ago

      I totally agree with you. I’ve also thrown away all my kitchen utensils (knives, forks, spoons) and resorted to using my hands for all eating purposes to distance myself from all those utensil drones! Ha, that will teach them!

      • Vrock
      • 11 years ago

      q[

    • alphacheez
    • 11 years ago

    I would say a major reason people choose windows models is due to the fact that many of the Linux models only come with ssd drives which are notoriously slow. I wonder how many of these windows netbooks then have Linux installed on them.
    Were I to buy a netbook I would probably not care what OS it came with and just put something like Ubuntu netbook remix on it.

      • designerfx
      • 11 years ago

      lol what? Notoriously slow SSD? Do you know what you’re talking about?

      The only reason for the SSD was to raise the price above the windows model.

        • cheesyking
        • 11 years ago

        Yes the SSDs in netbooks are SLOW. Many USB flash drives are faster.

        That said I still got my netbook with an SSD because I wanted the shock resistance. Speed and capacity aren’t everything.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Yes, he does. That’s how SSDs at any capacity get into $249 netbooks. Cheap, slow flash with an equally cheap controller on the front end.

    • Swollen_Goat
    • 11 years ago

    #5 I haven’t posted here before,is everyone as smart as you? Did I say power computing? XP will not even run a few low power apps effectively on Netbooks with 1GB of RAM.
    I’m not a Windows basher,but I have done lots of testing with a few of these netbooks, and Linpus Lite runs much better than Windows XP in this case.
    I hope I don’t have to dumb anymore of my posts down.

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Heard of the reply button?

      In any case, I’ve used a netbook with only 512 meg of ram running windows XP. I run my email, a web browser with a number of tabs open, and an instance or two of open office and it runs fine. I simply am not sure what you’re trying to do with it that bogs it down so for you. Mine has a mechanical hd which I’m sure helps.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      Do you own a netbook, or you’ve just done testing?

      If you own a netbook, what make/model is it?

        • dmitriylm
        • 11 years ago

        I’m actually running a netbook with Windows 7 and it has no trouble meeting my daily browsing, video playback, music playback and word processing needs. It will even play Quake3 and Hitman2 without issue which I think is more than I could ask for.

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Back in the day with 256 MiB of RAM, people used to use XP for basic as well as “power” computing – for what it’s worth – and they were mostly satisfied, except those 3 people who said the OS was a bloated piece of excrement. As such, there’s just *[

        • Swollen_Goat
        • 11 years ago

        I worked on a Dell Inspiron Mini 12 that came pre loaded with XP and it worked, but it was slow. I found that just running messenger, and a few browsers slowed the netbook down, Plus the wifi and power saving mode was buggy. After installing Linpus Lite it ran much faster and I could run more apps. I have had similar results with an Acer Aspire One. It’s no surprise at all, as Linpus is resource friendly and built for this hardware. Sorry if it sounded like XP was unbearable, just slower than I liked.
        As I originally said, it’s unfortunate that people are hooked on XP, as they are taking a performance hit and using an OS that is not suited for this hardware.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    So much for “Linux market penetration”.

      • bittermann
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah…Vista for the wi………ooooops that’s right, bloated Vista can’t run on them! I guess XP won’t be dying after all no matter how much the vista fan boys want it too!

        • Sargent Duck
        • 11 years ago

        Windows 7 for the win!…when it comes out

        • ManAtVista
        • 11 years ago

        Never heard of Moore’s law I take it? These netbooks will soon be powerful enough to run Vista, and Win 7, so I don’t know what you’re carrying on about. An OS sale is an OS sale for MS, as long as it’s not linux, what do they care? Hell until recently MS would sell you Win 3.1, for all the computers that can’t support the ‘bloated’ XP, again MS is just as happy, so…

          • Waco
          • 11 years ago

          Moore’s Law doesn’t say anything about computers getting faster. Perhaps you should go read it again. 😉

            • blubje
            • 11 years ago

            true. §[<http://www.plexoft.com/SBF/J02.html#Joy-s-Law<]§ says something, but these aren't laws. further, it's clear there are no limits to how fast microsoft can create bloated software to overwhelm these machines.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Vista would actually run on those netbooks, despite all that Madman said around, and Windows 7 is going to be an exponentially better choice than sticking with that old coot XP.

        • Kurotetsu
        • 11 years ago

        Have you actually tried running Vista on one (don’t bother, I already know the answer)? Every instance I’ve seen of Vista running on a netbook was a complete success (as in, Vista ran beautifully).

          • dmitriylm
          • 11 years ago

          I’m running Win7 with perfectly acceptable speed on a netbook as we speak and its no faster than the Vista install that came preinstalled.

          • bittermann
          • 11 years ago

          Yes I have…and no it didn’t run worth cr*p. Every instance a complete success huh? I call BS on that one…

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t, I’ve successfully run (not just installed) Vista systems on computers as crippled as an older Sempron processor or 512 MiB of memory. There’s every reason to believe you’re the one talking “BS”.

            • bittermann
            • 11 years ago

            Prove it…talk is cheap and BS statements are useless. If Vista runs so well on netbooks then why are they using XP/Linux instead of Vista? Saying it doesn’t make it true.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            I’m not going to make a couple of home videos about 2-3 family computers just for your enjoyment.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            It wouldn’t be for his enjoyment, it would be to prove your claim that Vista runs well on those systems. You’re the only one going that far so it’s up to you to prove it. Without evidence or even anyone else coming close to agreeing we can just assume that you’re making it up or saying it just for the sake of arguing.

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Technically, both of them have made claims and neither of them have proven them, nor are they in a capacity to do so with this medium since they’re talking about subjective user experiences.

            I think it’s pretty obvious that Vista can run on a netbook. How well it appeals to you or me is something else. Personally, I can see the platform performance difference under XP by running my netbook and my notebook back-to-back on the same external monitor at the monitor’s native resolution (which takes away the visual scale difference of the two units, making it more obvious that things lag a bit more on the netbook hardware). But when I’m using my netbook it doesn’t bother me, since I have lower expectations in exchange for the greatly improved portability, while other people whine about it endlessly on every Atom or netbook thread TR posts.

            • Kurotetsu
            • 11 years ago

            In order to keep costs down.

            Its cheaper to bundle a license for an outdated, EOLed version of Windows compared to their newest one. Linux is free to use, so that knocks down the price even more.

            It has nothing to do with performance.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    The initial run of netbooks barely had enough ram to run XP properly. Now however with 1GB standard, it’s more feasible.

    Adi

      • Hattig
      • 11 years ago

      I remember when XP ran on 256MB and 512MB was extravagant.

      My netbook runs Linux and it’s great. Vista would bog it down and XP irritates me no end. Instead I get a modern hardware accelerated desktop with all the effects, and all the applications I need. Then again I know my needs from a netbook are different from what other people want.

      I have had problems (enough that I couldn’t recommend that hardware and OS to anyone else, but the hardware is now Intel Atom based and thus probably not an issue any longer), but that’s HP’s fault for selling a Linux netbook that had hardware not supported by Linux, and picking a poor variant of Linux (SUSE 10) on top of that. Ubuntu Netbook Remix should hail a new generation of Linux netbooks, hopefully with supported hardware.

    • Swollen_Goat
    • 11 years ago

    Too bad for those people as I found that XP really bogged these netbooks down and was only able to run a few apps effectively.LINPUS LITE ftw.

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      Wait…you expect to do power computing with many apps open on a netbook?! You may want to rethink that.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      Welcome to Tech Report!

      I notice that you created your account just before posting this, and I wanted to be the first to welcome you.

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