Netbooks sales driving Linux adoption

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Netbooks sales driving Linux adoption

The burgeoning netbook market is helping drive Linux adoption around the world according to a new report from analyst house Forrester.

The report, ‘Netbooks are the third PC form factor’, finds that Netbooks have driven adoption of Linux in ways that have not been achieved with either the PC or notebook market.

“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,” said Forrester analyst JP Gownder.

“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 investigating buying a netbook. They are primarily being considered for second or third computers, for use by children or to use exclusively on the go.

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

Overall laptop owners were the most interested in buying a netbook, with 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.

One of the key drivers of interest is that netbooks are seen as good for mobile data use while mobile phones are not. More than half of those questioned cited mobile phone screens that were too small as a reason for mobile data use.

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