Caitlyn Martin argued that Linux netbooks have a bright future in a recent article entitled Linux To Regain 50% Netbook Market Share. It was noted that netbooks powered by ARM processors are a good fit with linux and that these devices have advantages over larger, more powerful machines.
Those who assure us that Linux has no future on netbooks and that Windows 7 will dominate… assume that Intel processors will continue to dominate the netbook market. The problem with making that assumption is that there are real advantages to ARM processors, specifically very low power consumption, which allows for much longer battery life than similar Intel Atom or Via C7-M processors.
I found some of the most interesting material was in her reply to comments, e.g.
That “so small” number Linux users is, at current estimates, somewhere around 6-8% of the desktops/nettops/notebooks/netbooks so that makes roughly 60-80 million worldwide. 25% of netbooks sold last year had Linux, so that was over 2 million right there. That doesn’t count 2007 or 2009 sales. Linux, according to HP, Acer, Asus, and Dell does NOT have a higher return rate than Windows so most users must not have the unspecified “hassles” you mention but don’t explain.
As for the future of linux on netbooks, we shall see. I have very much enjoyed the performance and functionality of linux (Ubuntu Jaunty) on my notebook and look forwards to more choices in the future.