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Windows Is Not on 96% of Netbooks
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| The point: Brandon stated a number that may be true for U.S. retail for one
| month of sales, February. But how true is it really if some of those Windows
| XP netbooks also ship with Linux? Again, Brandon didn't misstate the facts,
| but there is also much unsaid. He can be excused for accepting NPD's numbers
| without looking at the greater context. After all, he works for a U.S.
| company and his job is to promote Windows and its benefits.
'We recommend that we *informally* plant the bug of FUD in their ears.
"Have you heard about problems with DR DOS?"'
Are Linux netbooks really returned more often than Windows models?
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| But Philip Solis, an analyst at ABI Research, questions the "reliability" of
| this evidence.
| Solis said in a March research note that Taiwan's MSI had not yet shipped a
| Linux-based Wind at the time of the comment to the magazine. When it did, it
| did "adapt" the operating system for the netbook's smaller size -- an key
| ingredient to Linux's acceptance by consumers, Solis wrote.
| Acer, Asus and Dell have all built customized versions of Linux for their
| netbooks. Solis said that Asus has noted equal return rates for Linux
| netbooks versus those running Windows.
| And while ABI's surveys show U.S. consumers clearly stating their preference
| for Windows netbooks, Solis said that isn't true around the world.
| In Asia, netbook buyers are both thriftier and "and not as tied to the
| Windows environment," Solis said. "They're looking for certain features, but
| they aren't as tied to a certain brand name."
| Solis predicts an increase in Linux netbook shipments this year, from 25% to
| a third of the 35 million netbooks expected to sell globally this year. Under
| that estimate, Linux will be shipped on 11.5 million netbook PCs in 2009.
| Solis is bullish about his prediction because of the coming ARM wave. With
| Microsoft still balking at porting Windows 7 to ARM's mobile CPU, PC makers
| using ARM have no choice but to use Linux.
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