As small, lo-fi “netbook” computers — cheap, smallish laptops used mostly for Web browsing — make up more of the PC industry, one theory is that cheap or free Linux-based operating systems will eat away at Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows cash cow. Not yet.
Why not? Because so far, unless you’re a nerd, Linux-based netbooks seem to still be more trouble than they’re worth for most mainstream people.
One bit of non-scientific, supporting evidence: While most of Amazon’s (AMZN) best-selling laptops are netbooks, the top 7 ship with Windows XP. Only at number 8 do (cheaper!) Linux computers come into the picture.
Plenty of other problems for Microsoft here: For instance, Microsoft is presumably getting less money for Windows XP Home than it’d get selling high-end licenses for Vista Ultimate. But that’s another story.
Meanwhile, are we missing something here? Is there an awesome Linux UI that we’re not aware of? Expect Apple (AAPL) to enter this market in a greater way than the iPhone/iPod touch next year?
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