RUMOURS THAT CLAIM the Linux netbook is dead or dying are totally bogus, according to beancounters at ABI.
Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI, said that more than 11 million Linux netbooks will ship this year, which will be nearly a third of the 35 million netbooks sold.
The split is expected to be 32 per cent Linux versus 68 per cent Windows. Microsoft has been telling the world plus dog that Linux has been only shipping in four per cent of US netbooks.
What will be critical for Linux is the rise of netbooks that run on ARM processors. As the sales of these increase, Orr predicts Linux will overtake Windows on netbooks by 2013.
This will be because consumers in less-developed countries will buy Linux netbooks as their primary PCs, rather than North American consumers buying netbooks as second or third machines.
Microsoft is aware of the problem and managed to attack Linux's initial lead in netbooks by slashing the price of Windows XP. Orr thinks that the Vole can now offer Windows Embedded CE or Windows Mobile, both of which already run on ARM, at a discount to netbook manufacturers. µ