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The Sound of Empire Falling

Nov 21, 2008, 22:03 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Raymond)

"Microsoft Missing Netbook Growth as Linux Wins Sales. The boring biz-journalism headline is guarding some startling facts.

""Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) — Small laptops are becoming a big problem for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows business. [...] Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc., which together account for 90 percent of the netbook market, are using the rival Linux software on about 30 percent of their low-cost notebooks.""

"30% is significant share, well above the single-digit range that desktop Linux has been stuck in for the last decade and larger than ISVs can afford to ignore. And it's hitting Microsoft's bottom line:

""The devices, which usually cost less than $500, are the fastest-growing segment of the personal-computer industry --a trend that's eating into Microsoft's revenue. Windows sales fell short of forecasts last quarter and the company cut growth projections for the year, citing the lower revenue it gets from netbooks.""

The phrase "sales fell short of forecasts" is deadlier than it sounds."

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