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View Full Version : Netbooks set to be huge this year--thoughts?



monsterstack
May 9th, 2009, 06:15 PM
According to these chaps (http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2009/05/09/2003443156) [taipeitimes.com], of course.

Of course a Linux vendor predicting ZOMGMASSIVE increases of usershare is nothing new, but how do you think the netbook thing will play out?

On the one hand there is Windows 7, specifically engineered to run on mouldier hardware. And then there are the expected swarms of ARM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture)-based netbooks [wikipedia.org], an architecture Microsoft may or may not support for some time. Then you have the "instant-on" devices which use Linux, even if they are designed to load Windows in the background.

If Microsoft are going to have to compete on price, how do you think they'll do it with ultra-cheap netbooks? I can't see them making much profit if they go down that road. At the moment they're hedging their bets on the infamous "starter" edition of Windows 7. Will users revolt, or will they love Windows 7 so much they'll immediately upgrade to the proper version?

Exciting times, yes-sir-ree.

meeples
May 9th, 2009, 06:20 PM
i reckon windows 7 netbook will be expensive because i cant see microsoft wanting to seel there "amazing new OS" for very cheap. so i think instead they'll do an ad campaign something along the lines of "why you pay for windows" and it'll suggest that your paying more for quality.


i dont think they'll sell as many w7 netbooks as they think, in my opinion 2010 will be the war between, ubuntu unr, android and probably xp for the netbooks market.

nobodysbusiness
May 9th, 2009, 06:33 PM
The netbooks combined with the instant-on Linux distros will be a major one-two punch for Linux. Still, I have learned recently not to underestimate the force exerted by people who are afraid of learning new things (that is, most people). I mean it. The lengths to which people will go to avoid change is truly staggering.

So while Linux will make gains above it's current one-ish percent (or whatever the exact number is), I would estimate that it won't go above three or four percent in the North American market by the end of 2009. And I admit that this is optimistic.

monsterstack
May 9th, 2009, 06:40 PM
The netbooks combined with the instant-on Linux distros will be a major one-two punch for Linux. Still, I have learned recently not to underestimate the force exerted by people who are afraid of learning new things (that is, most people). I mean it. The lengths to which people will go to avoid change is truly staggering.

So while Linux will make gains above it's current one-ish percent (or whatever the exact number is), I would estimate that it won't go above three or four percent in the North American market by the end of 2009. And I admit that this is optimistic.

Lots (http://blog.linuxtoday.com/blog/2009/05/1-linux-market.html) of people (http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7321) don't trust (http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3818696/Linux-Desktop-Market-Share-Greater-Than-One-Percent.htm) that 1% figure [linuxtoday.com; linux-mag.com; earthweb.com]. Still I know what you mean about people refusing to learn anything new.

chucky chuckaluck
May 9th, 2009, 06:43 PM
funny thread title.

gn2
May 9th, 2009, 06:44 PM
Netbooks have been on sale for two years now, people that want/need one will have already got one, the novelty factor is gone and I doubt that people will tend to shift away from proper laptops to netbooks en masse in the next year.
Similarly, all manufacturers provide Windows options and like it or not these are the ones that people buy in bigger numbers.

mxboy15u
May 9th, 2009, 06:49 PM
Unless the OEMs start seeing some support for configuring Ubuntu onto their specific machines, they will not use Ubuntu. They may be more willing to pay for another version of Linux with some more support behind it...but more likely than not XP and Win 7 will continue to rule the netbook world.

I use UNR on both my netbooks and love it, but Ubuntu needs to come saving document and spreadsheets in a more familiar format automatically, have flash and java support built in and generally be more user friendly out of the box. As discussed in another thread, another huge dealbreaker for lots of people is the lack of IPOD support...especially on travel oriented netbooks.

Einsamkeit
May 9th, 2009, 06:50 PM
Netbooks have been on sale for two years now, people that want/need one will have already got one, the novelty factor is gone and I doubt that people will tend to shift away from proper laptops to netbooks en masse in the next year.
Similarly, all manufacturers provide Windows options and like it or not these are the ones that people buy in bigger numbers.

Yet that might be affected by the upcoming drop of update support for XP, 2011 I think? Not that far away, and without security updates, I doubt they'll continue selling it, perhaps taking XP out of the equation.

monsterstack
May 9th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Unless the OEMs start seeing some support for configuring Ubuntu onto their specific machines, they will not use Ubuntu. They may be more willing to pay for another version of Linux with some more support behind it...but more likely than not XP and Win 7 will continue to rule the netbook world.

I use UNR on both my netbooks and love it, but Ubuntu needs to come saving document and spreadsheets in a more familiar format automatically, have flash and java support built in and generally be more user friendly out of the box. As discussed in another thread, another huge dealbreaker for lots of people is the lack of IPOD support...especially on travel oriented netbooks.

Microsoft's failure to properly support ODF in their Office applications is a failure of Microsoft's, and nobody else's.

mikewhatever
May 9th, 2009, 07:05 PM
I use UNR on both my netbooks and love it, but Ubuntu needs to come saving document and spreadsheets in a more familiar format automatically, have flash and java support built in and generally be more user friendly out of the box. As discussed in another thread, another huge dealbreaker for lots of people is the lack of IPOD support...especially on travel oriented netbooks.

Posts like yours surprise me a great deal, because you've mentioned the trivial issues, but left out the real big one. Are you not affected by the intel graphics bug? As for flash and java, the topic is a dead dog I don't want to kick again. As for the more familiar formats, they are only more familiar if you keep using MS office. In my case, I don't even remember what the spreadsheet file extension is. And last but not least, I am not dumb enough to buy an ipod.
I'd love to get a netbook with any flavor of Linux, but they are Windows only, and also ridiculously expensive over here.

hatten
May 9th, 2009, 07:21 PM
I thought netbooks were supposed to be small. I won't get a huge one! (But i might get a small one.)

mxboy15u
May 9th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Posts like yours surprise me a great deal, because you've mentioned the trivial issues, but left out the real big one. Are you not affected by the intel graphics bug? As for flash and java, the topic is a dead dog I don't want to kick again. As for the more familiar formats, they are only more familiar if you keep using MS office. In my case, I don't even remember what the spreadsheet file extension is. And last but not least, I am not dumb enough to buy an ipod.
I'd love to get a netbook with any flavor of Linux, but they are Windows only, and also ridiculously expensive over here.


I am not sure what the bug is and certainly do not feel like I have any graphics problem.

To respond to the other posts, I don't care about what microsoft does, they are the standard right now for office extensions and we should recognize that and tailor the options towards potential customers. Calling people who own IPODs dumb only further alienates our potential user base and is not constructive.

gn2
May 9th, 2009, 09:40 PM
Yet that might be affected by the upcoming drop of update support for XP, 2011 I think? Not that far away, and without security updates, I doubt they'll continue selling it, perhaps taking XP out of the equation.

Xp support is scheduled to continue until at least April 2014, MS is putting a lot of effort into getting W7 netbook compatible.
The Ion will help, with that graphics adapter an Atom 230 can run Vista, so W7 shouldn't be any problem to the next generation of netbooks.

t0p
May 9th, 2009, 10:27 PM
Netbooks have been on sale for two years now, people that want/need one will have already got one

Just because you (and your mates) have already bought a netbook or decided you don't want one, doesn't mean you're in synch with the rest of humanity. I'm sure there are people right now looking at pictures of ultra-mobiles and choosing which one to get.



Similarly, all manufacturers provide Windows options and like it or not these are the ones that people buy in bigger numbers.

That could certainly be a problem. And the imminent demise of XP won't necessarily matter. MS seem prepared to give away Windows for free rather than watch someone buy a machine running Linux. I've seen a lot of offers, sign up for mobile broadband and get a netbook free. They've all been running XP so far, but that could easily be Windows 7 and the chicken-lickens will still go for it. Change is a scary monster.

LightB
May 9th, 2009, 10:33 PM
I still see people buying more tiny laptops with XP than any other windows. The hype machine is rumbling hard for Windoze 7 so the outcome is unpredictable. The thing for them is to reverse the Vista hype, that's why Windows server 2008 was repackaged as a new name, Windoze 7. The effectiveness of the hype machine will be the biggest factor in determining its adoption. It certainly won't be through quality or user convenience because I highly doubt any possible Windoze 7 netbook will achieve usable XP virtualization, which will make Windows advantage moot.

hanzomon4
May 9th, 2009, 10:36 PM
Microsoft's failure to properly support ODF in their Office applications is a failure of Microsoft's, and nobody else's.

They do support ODF formats....

mikewhatever
May 9th, 2009, 10:50 PM
To respond to the other posts, I don't care about what microsoft does, they are the standard right now for office extensions and we should recognize that and tailor the options towards potential customers. Calling people who own IPODs dumb only further alienates our potential user base and is not constructive.

I don't think you realise that there is a problem with MS office formats, no one other then MS can fully support them. Do you really think Open Office should default to a proprietary, and only partly supported format?

Ipods are nice. I hear they are so ubiquitous in North America, that it's easy to believe every other nation is hooked too. That's not the case. Ipod is not the only music player out there, and not even the best one. I think with a proper perspective, dumping ipod users is no big deal at all. There are lots and lots of potential Linux users outside North America, who care little for ipods, simply because they can't afford them. That said it is rather perplexing to hear ipod users cry for help, stuck up to the ears in the hole Apple had dug for them.

Swagman
May 9th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Who in their right mind would want to use Office on a netbook ?

It defies comprehension.

Those tiny keys and screen are NOT suited to officey style stuff.

So thats the Office bit scrapped.

NEXT.. The entire purpose of the netbook is

Email.. & surfing and playing a few choonz.. all for a quarter of the cost of a laptop.

THATS IT

If you want bigger/better.. Get a laptop... Thats EXACTLY what Microsoft is persuading you all to do.

Guess what O/s comes preinstalled on nearly ALL laptops ?

Sounds like WIN to me.

monsterstack
May 9th, 2009, 11:49 PM
Microsoft's ODF support. Torn to shreds by groklaw (http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20090503215045379).


I still see people buying more tiny laptops with XP than any other windows. The hype machine is rumbling hard for Windoze 7 so the outcome is unpredictable. The thing for them is to reverse the Vista hype, that's why Windows server 2008 was repackaged as a new name, Windoze 7. The effectiveness of the hype machine will be the biggest factor in determining its adoption. It certainly won't be through quality or user convenience because I highly doubt any possible Windoze 7 netbook will achieve usable XP virtualization, which will make Windows advantage moot.

The failure of Linux to pick up on the netbook has disappointed me. When they first hit the shops, you would often see them running a distribution of Linux. But they messed it up. Often the Linux netbooks were priced more expensively than the Windows ones without any real justification at all, other than a few extra gigabytes priced at about 800% the going rate for hard-disk gigabytes. And then there were the distros themselves: a lot of manufacturers made their own custom distros that turned out to be not configured properly, and some distros shipped without proper repositories so users had no way of updating their software. Now you rarely see them at all in the shops, and even amongst the few retailers who do sell linux computers such as Dell, the only way to buy them is by getting thirty links deep at their site.

sgosnell
May 10th, 2009, 12:24 AM
Ubuntu has nothing to do with the format in which Open Office documents are saved. It's not that hard to save them in MSOffice format if one wants.

iPod support will come just as soon as Apple releases the source code. That will happen just about the time you see pigs soaring with the eagles. In the meantime, I won't buy an iAnything. I just don't see the point, because there are other brands available for far less money that do the job just as well, and use common connection methods. My Sansa Fuze works very well. If you buy an iPod, then you're forced to use iTunes, and you should know that before you pay all that money. I won't do it.

The main problem I see with netbooks these days is that they're getting much bigger, very quickly. My 8.9" model is as large as I ever intend to buy, regardless of OS. There will continue to be a market for small computers, just as there will be a market for huge ones. Personally, I'll buy a small one without any MS software of any kind.

gn2
May 10th, 2009, 12:28 AM
~ And the imminent demise of XP won't necessarily matter. ~

Especially as five years is hardly "imminent".
MS will keep supplying Xp for Atom hardware until the Ion becomes standard fare.

For the record, I don't own a netbook, nor does anyone I know.
I have no plans to buy one.

Sealbhach
May 10th, 2009, 12:29 AM
If I was buying a netbook, I woudn't get anything smaller than a 10" screen. I hate tiny screens.

.

monsterstack
May 10th, 2009, 12:33 AM
Especially as five years is hardly "imminent".
MS will keep supplying Xp for Atom hardware until the Ion becomes standard fare.

I think a lot of XP-using netbook owners don't realise they only have XP because Microsoft needed a competitor for Linux. If things had gone Microsoft's way, XP would have already been dead by now. They keep extending the kill date, because till 7 is released, they have no choice. Hardly ideal for them.

will1911a1
May 10th, 2009, 12:35 AM
funny thread title.

I was thinking the same thing. :D

I know I'll be getting my wife a netbook for Christmas.

Too bad it will have XP on it.

gn2
May 10th, 2009, 12:39 AM
I think a lot of XP-using netbook owners don't realise they only have XP because Microsoft needed a competitor for Linux. If things had gone Microsoft's way, XP would have already been dead by now. They keep extending the kill date, because till 7 is released, they have no choice. Hardly ideal for them.

They're already shipping Vista on Atom hardware (http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/9606805/Acer-Aspire-Revo-Intel-Atom-N230-1-6GHz-2GB-160GB-Vista-Home-Premium-Desktop-PC/Product.html).
The key is having a decent GPU, this is where the Ion from Nvidia comes in, once it is adopted, Xp is toast.
Most buyers couldn't care less what OS is on it, so long as it runs the applications they're familiar with.
Not everyone wants to start learning a bunch of new stuff.

starcannon
May 10th, 2009, 12:45 AM
Netbooks are the current rave; and with good reason. I can have all of my productivity apps in a truly mobile on the go package. Less than 4 pounds, smaller than a standard text book, and plenty of computing power. I love my netbook, my wife loves hers, and my daughters love theirs. We run Ubuntu on all of them.
Dell Mini 9 with 16gb sdhc card -- Me
MSI Wind 120gb hdd -- Wife
Asus Eee 4g with 16gb sdhc card -- Oldest Daughter
Asus Eee 4g with 16gb sdhc card -- Youngest Daughter

I upgraded all of them to 2gb of ram, and put an intel pro 3945 wifi card in the wifes MSi.

While I know people are running Vista and 7 on these things, I would imagine it to be a painful experience. I just scrubbed Vista off and put Ubuntu 9.04 on a Dell I did for a client, the machine has a Intel Quad Core CPU, 4gb of ram and an ATi HD 3xxx video card in it. Vista was sluggish even on that machine, I couldn't imagine trying to pull it off on a netbook; it'd redefine "hurry up and wait".

sgosnell
May 10th, 2009, 01:11 AM
I woudn't get anything smaller than a 10" screen. I hate tiny screens.You hate tiny screens, I hate lugging huge boat anchors around. For you they sell big computers. For me, they sell 8.9" netbooks. There is a widely varied market.

Warpnow
May 10th, 2009, 01:21 AM
If ARM support can push the hardware costs of netbooks below $100 and the linux community develops a stable and lightweight OS for them, I think they'd do quite well.

There are 3 or 4 sub $100 netbooks in foreign markets but they mostly run windows CE with a 400mhz processor. Windows CE is not hard to beat.

LightB
May 10th, 2009, 01:31 AM
Microsoft's ODF support. Torn to shreds by groklaw (http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20090503215045379).



The failure of Linux to pick up on the netbook has disappointed me. When they first hit the shops, you would often see them running a distribution of Linux. But they messed it up. Often the Linux netbooks were priced more expensively than the Windows ones without any real justification at all, other than a few extra gigabytes priced at about 800% the going rate for hard-disk gigabytes. And then there were the distros themselves: a lot of manufacturers made their own custom distros that turned out to be not configured properly, and some distros shipped without proper repositories so users had no way of updating their software. Now you rarely see them at all in the shops, and even amongst the few retailers who do sell linux computers such as Dell, the only way to buy them is by getting thirty links deep at their site.

What do you expect? Yes, people are stupid, including retailers and store PC vendors, then there's goofballs like pwnd*tar. It doesn't help that M$ pushes their weight around to make things difficult, with their "MS tax", and the like. They bully hardware vendors, this is well documented. Denials of it is the same as an Italian Mobster saying he don't know nothin. But ultimately of course most of the people have just used XP and don't want to change from that, and if a different choice isn't completely rosey, they won't care for any inconvenience. The path of least resistance is what people prefer and what an entity like M$ has always been eager to concoct for them. Still, though, XP will only get older and different names of the NT kernel are on uncertain ground.

phaed
May 10th, 2009, 01:45 AM
I don't see why there would be a huge surge in netbook sales unless people were getting them for the wrong reasons. They are not meant to be production machines. You're not supposed to spend hours on them a day. They are mobile Internet terminals, basically, and suitable for people who do a lot of traveling.

Frankly, I would get annoyed trying to surf at 1024x600 resolution.

If people want primary computers, they should get laptops.

monsterstack
May 10th, 2009, 02:21 AM
What do you expect? Yes, people are stupid, including retailers and store PC vendors, then there's goofballs like pwnd*tar. It doesn't help that M$ pushes their weight around to make things difficult, with their "MS tax", and the like. They bully hardware vendors, this is well documented. Denials of it is the same as an Italian Mobster saying he don't know nothin. But ultimately of course most of the people have just used XP and don't want to change from that, and if a different choice isn't completely rosey, they won't care for any inconvenience. The path of least resistance is what people prefer and what an entity like M$ has always been eager to concoct for them. Still, though, XP will only get older and different names of the NT kernel are on uncertain ground.

No arguments about Microsoft's bullying tactics. Not even the staunchest Microsoft fan would refute that. I am really curious, though, to see how the Windows 7 Starter Edition fares in the ultra-low-cost netbook market. It's the only conceivable way for Microsoft to make a profit. But do you think users will revolt? The path of least resistance looks like a rather different path when users find themselves having to pay extra to use more than three applications at the same time.

sgosnell
May 10th, 2009, 04:30 AM
My Eee 900 is my primary computer. I've given my honking big HP laptop away, and I rarely bother to even turn on my desktop. I don't want or need a huge laptop, nor do I want to be tethered to a desktop machine. 1024x600 is plenty for me. You're free to spend your money on whatever you like. My money will be spent on something small, light, and cool-running, without a spinning HDD.

LightB
May 10th, 2009, 02:40 PM
No arguments about Microsoft's bullying tactics. Not even the staunchest Microsoft fan would refute that. I am really curious, though, to see how the Windows 7 Starter Edition fares in the ultra-low-cost netbook market. It's the only conceivable way for Microsoft to make a profit. But do you think users will revolt? The path of least resistance looks like a rather different path when users find themselves having to pay extra to use more than three applications at the same time.

Yes, of course, the path of least resistance typically has trappings. But that doesn't matter, as long as it seems easier up front.

aysiu
May 10th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I don't believe a Linpus saying Linux will be 50% on netbooks next year any more than I believe Microsoft saying 96% of netbooks are Windows this year because people actually think Windows is better.

ugm6hr
May 10th, 2009, 05:02 PM
I wonder whether a large chunk of Netbook "sales" will be as part of a mobile broadband deal, just as mobile phone sales in the UK grew as a result of "free" phone deals on monthly contracts.

Unfortunately, all the existing deals I have seen in the UK include Windows, since 3G support in Ubuntu is not publicly acknowledged.

monsterstack
May 11th, 2009, 01:52 AM
Saw this article (http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2009/05/09/lenovo-on-the-future-of-the-netbook/) pop up on Slashdot.


[b]Some guy from Lenovo:
You know, there were a lot of netbooks loaded with Linux, which saves $50 or $100 or whatever it happens to be, based on Microsoft’s pricing and, again, from an industry standpoint, there were a lot of returns because people didn’t know what to do with it.

Linux, even if you’ve got a great distribution and you can argue which one is better or not, still requires a lot more hands-on than somebody who is using Windows.

That isn't very inspiring.

K.Mandla
May 11th, 2009, 02:45 AM
I can't get interested in netbooks. I practically turn down another old computer every week, so paying money for one is counterintuitive for me. And I do all the same things with a leftover laptop as I would with a netbook, so I see no improvement.

But enjoy it, if you've got one.

meeples
May 11th, 2009, 01:20 PM
ohh i just got the thread title thing.. oh im slow xD

yea anyway i love my netbook, but omg that acer modified Linpus Linux Lite is badddd news. arr there are so many dependcie problems i could hardly install anything from repo's and for some reason it gives you the option to change the desktop enviroment and me being the n00b i am tried to convert from XFCE to gnome. and after it deleting xfce did not install gnome. and i had to borrow a cd drive from my friend so i could use the recovery dvd. it had to go. UNR is gazillion times better than that. i dont think these companies should really put these crappy distros ont he netbooks, it really does just drive people away.

meeples
May 11th, 2009, 01:27 PM
oh i forgot to mention haha

it is actually impossible to put any sort of password on to the thing so anybody could access it, just to change the background on it i had to do some serious googling and the update manager just doesnt work like at all.


oh i hate that distro xD