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Mar 06, 2009, 16:32 (0 Talkback[s])

"The market for netbooks - small, low-powered and low-cost notebook PCs - has mushroomed in the past 24 months. Ever since Taiwan's Asustek introduced the Linux-based Eee PC in October 2007, all the big PC makers, from Hewlett-Packard to Acer, have introduced their own low-cost laptops. The machines typically cost less than R5 000.

"The new market segment, which is more than doubling every year according to some estimates, has given Windows rival Linux its first significant market share outside the server computers that power companies' back-office systems. According to research from Gartner, about 15% of netbooks sold run Linux, against less than 1% for other PCs.

"The rise of netbooks has given Microsoft a headache. It has been forced to continue selling Windows XP, now eight years old, because the resource-intensive Windows Vista won't run well on the low-powered devices."

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