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2009: Year Of The Linux Revolution

Dec 18, 2008, 18:33 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chris Dannen)

"The biggest catalyst for the Linux revolution will be netbooks: Gartner [IT] has predicted that about 8 million of the diminutive machines will be sold next year, with that number rising to 50 million (yes, 5-0 million) by 2012. Right now, many netbooks come pre-loaded with Windows XP, but Microsoft has set a deadline of June 2010 for XP installations. Since most of the machines in question feature low-power chips like Intel's [INTC] Atom and inexpensive parts, and sell for less than $500, Windows Vista isn't really an option; the per-machine licensing fee is too high, and the software itself is too bulky and power-hungry for low-end hardware.

"The way Windows is built is also anathema to the netbook philosophy. It's coded to index, browse and execute local files quickly and easily -- a task that is almost moot on netbooks, which are geared toward working on the Web. Windows is also geared towards handling multimedia, which netbooks don’t have the hardware for; small hard drives, no optical drives, and weak video cards mean that DVDs and music aren't really an option in the first place. All the lowly netbook really wants is something to connect it to the almighty cloud -- everything else is just dead weight."

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