"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
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