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Linux boosted by netbook demand

In most places
Wed Jan 07 2009, 10:45

THE GROWING MARKET for netbooks is helping drive Linux adoption around the world according to a new report from star-gazers at Forrester.

The report, Netbooks are the third PC form factor, reckons Netbooks have driven adoption of Linux all over the place, except - naturally - in the USA.

"While Linux-based netbooks haven't gained much consumer acceptance in the US, their success varies greatly by geographical market - in developing countries, Linux-based Eee PCs have fared better," Forrester analyst JP Gownde wrote.

"Even if a majority of netbooks run Windows, the minority that runs Linux are the most successful non-Windows, non-Macintosh consumer PCs in the industry in terms of penetration."

Demand for netbooks is strong he said, with over a third of US households mulling buying one. There, the devices are primarily being considered for second or third computers, for use by children or to use exclusively on the go.

The good news for manufacturers is that it seems that the new segment will not encroach on the laptop market, with less than a quarter of USAsians questioned saying they would consider getting a netbook as a replacement for a laptop.

In fact, laptop owners are the most interested in buying a netbook, with desktop PC owners second and non-PC owners third. Of the 15 per cent of non-PC owners questioned, barely a third were interested in a netbook, suggesting there remains a hard core of consumers who don't want a PC at any price.

Netbooks are seen as better for mobile data use than mobile phones. More than half of those questioned said mobile phone screens are too small in comparison. µ


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