Linux netbook buyers are cheap and plentiful

Linux netbook buyers are cheap and plentiful

Summary: Linux is taking advantage of the netbook trend and disillusion with Windows Vista approaching Bush-like proportions.

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Amazon.com logoLast week I learned that Linux laptops are selling briskly at Amazon.

I contacted the company, which put me in touch with Chris Rupp, their director of merchandising for computers and office supplies.

He confirmed that netbooks are hot. A netbook is distinguished from a laptop by its size (smaller), its price (also smaller), and what it can do (it's designed for Internet access).

"Three of the top five selling laptops at Amazon are Netbooks," he said. This year's models sport 9-inch screens, up from 7-inches last year.

What about Linux?

"In the month of August, 12 of the best selling netbooks were based on the Linux operating system, six  supported Windows XP and two supported Microsoft Vista." (Note this is two months after the XP era supposedly ended.)

This does not necessarily mean that Linux is outselling Windows, only that a lot of different Linux set-ups are selling, he added.

And what about those Linux buyers?

"In general buyers of Linux based netbooks are looking for a lower price point - netbooks loaded with Windows XP cost a little more."

So, online at least, Linux is taking advantage of the netbook trend and disillusion with Windows Vista approaching Bush-like proportions. (Maybe Jerry can get Sarah Palin in to do a Vista ad.)

After my session with Rupp I redoubled my efforts at finding a Linux laptop, now having some sense of what I was looking for and who I was likely to get one from.

My patience was rewarded. An Asus representative contacted me (they now pronounce it A Seuss instead of Ace-us) and said one would be arriving shortly.

I think I hear the mailman now.

Topics: Mobility, Laptops, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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11 comments
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  • You do relize your ....

    ... title states that it is the buyers that are cheap and plentiful, don't you? I don't know that I would classify them as such!
    ShadeTree
    • At least . . .

      He didn't say anything about being cheap and easy!! ;)
      JLHenry
    • I see possibilities.

      I think it's the "plentiful" part that charged your second sentence with repressed anxiety. Worry not dear ShadeMan. I see a boutique future for Microsoft. Sort of like Apple but not as good.
      kozmcrae
    • Is a pun

      Note that the Amazon guy said that Linux netbook
      buyers were more cost-conscious. They are cheap as in
      skinflints. Like me.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Notebook vs Laptop

    >> A netbook is distinguished from a laptop by its size (smaller), its price (also smaller), and what it can do (it???s designed for Internet access).

    I went to amazon.com and did a search for notebook. I did not find any distinction like the author mentioned.
    mKind
    • Re: Notebook vs Laptop

      Oops, I did not read it correctly .. Its netbook ! yes, searching for netbook brings up the available netbooks on amazon.
      mKind
    • I think it's more of a new distinction

      being made by those trying to sell them. It really comes down to that fact that these are relatively low powered (in all senses of the phrase) systems that should not be expected to run the same software we would run on a more powerful laptop. Asus does call one of the models "surf" if that's any indication. I am hesitant to call it a dumb terminal for the web, but it's definitely not going to replace a good desktop or laptop.
      happyharry_z
  • Don't forget these. :-)

    http://techvideoblog.com/ifa/98-linux-laptop-the-hivision-mininote/
    Arm A. Geddon
  • RE: Linux netbook buyers are cheap and plentiful

    Dana Blankenhorn:

    I can't believe you wrote that badly worded headline!

    By the phrasing it is the many buyers who are cheap.

    Geez, where did the ZDNET editors go to school, Georgia?

    Doesn't anyone know how to diagram a sentence these days? Or is that old school? :-)

    Your old buddy.

    Terry Thomas...
    the photographer
    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    www.TerryThomasPhotos.com
    AtlantaTerry
    • where did the ZDNET editors go to school?

      Hey, hey, hey!
      Stop dissin' on Georgia. Oh, wait! They prolly went to school in Clayton County.

      I think you read it right. Linux purchasers (apparently, at least those returning them) are initially attracted by the costs, not the technical merits of the operating system. I would categorize that as "cheap" as in date.
      Olderdan
  • Ace us?? Never heard of em.

    Must have heard "Ace-us" from a geek squad "expert".
    falnar69