"Reasons cited by ABI include the arrival of low-end ARM-based
netbooks, as well as mobile stacks such as the Linux-based Android
that are suited for these platforms.
"ABI's prognostication adds a new twist to the debate about the
reliability of Microsoft's claim of 96 percent domination of the
netbook market. Canonical, for one, believes the claim is
exaggerated. Still, according to recent surveys from NPD and Ovum,
there has been a marked shift away from Linux to Windows XP
netbooks in recent months.
"According to ABI, Windows XP ran on 75 percent of netbooks sold
last year. Although it did not list percentages for other OSes,
considering that Apple has yet to jump into the netbook game, and
since very few devices that might be called netbooks offer Windows
Vista, it is likely that about 20 to 25 percent of netbooks were
sold with Linux.
"ABI did not mention whether Windows XP has surged in early
2009, but it sees Linux and other platforms eventually combining to
outnumber XP. With cost-cutting pressures expected to continue into
the post-recessionary phase, Linux will benefit from the entry into
the market of lower-cost netbooks that run ARM-based processors,