The best netbook OS: XP, Windows 7 or Ubuntu?

“With the arrival last month of Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition,
it’s time to revisit a familiar question: which operating system is
best for a netbook? Linux-based systems may seem well-suited to
lightweight devices (the original Asus Eee PC ran Xandros Linux),
but there are advantages to the familiar interface and applications
of Windows.

“Indeed, if you buy a netbook today it will probably come with
Windows 7 Starter, while older models are likely to be running
Windows XP. Still, it’s easy to move from either to Ubuntu Netbook
Edition, and of course it’s free. If you want to upgrade an older
netbook to Windows 7 you’ll have to shell out £65 for the
Home Premium edition, as Starter isn’t sold separately.

“Each of these four operating systems has its attractions, but
the key question is how each one performs on low-powered netbook
hardware. To find the answer, I’ve spent the past few days
installing them all – Windows XP Home, Windows 7 Starter,
Windows 7 Home Premium and Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition, with all
available updates – on an Asus Eee PC 1008HA, and timing a
series of typical netbook tasks to discover which OS makes the most
of lightweight hardware.”

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