Linux to outnumber Windows on netbooks by 2012

April 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Tipping scalesWhilst Windows may currently dominate market share in the netbook segment, it wasn’t always that way. In the second half of 2007, Windows had a market share of around 10 percent growing significantly in 2008 to 75 percent. However, according to ABI Research, the pendulum will swing back the other way by 2012, with Linux netbooks expected to outnumber those running Windows.

ABI Research principal analyst Philip Solis says, “ABI Research believes that 2012 will see the tipping-point at which netbooks running Linux-based and mobile operating systems outnumber those running Windows XP. Device vendors, chip-makers and mobile operators can take some comfort from the fact that this trend should help expand the market even in a down economy.

The catalyst for the change in trend is said to be the introduction of ARM processors in netbooks. As we know, ARM processors are not x86 based and therefore will not run Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. However, this they are able to run Linux, Windows CE and Windows Mobile.

Google’s Android is set to lead the Linux charge on netbooks although there are also a number of other Linux variants which could also be successful including JoliCloud, gOS and Maemo. The research corroborates a recent report from The Information Network that claims ARM processors will dominate 55 percent netbook market share by 2012.

Via Digitimes.


9 Responses to “Linux to outnumber Windows on netbooks by 2012”

  1. foo said:
    April 16th, 2009 4:47 PM

    “The Information Network that claims ARM processors will dominate 55 percent netbook market share by 2012. ”

    Even if ARM processors reach only 1/4 of the netbook market, we must remember that Linux also runs on Intel — and some vendors claim that it represents roughly 1/3 of their sales.

    Thus, we can expect the following scenario in 2012:

    55% Linux / ARM
    15% Linux / Intel (supposing Linux keeps 1/3 of the Intel market share)
    30% Windows / Intel (2/3 of the Intel market share)

    What if Apple releases a Mac netbook?

  2. asdf said:
    April 18th, 2009 7:44 PM


    If Linux/ARM reach only 1/4 of the netbook market and Linux keeps 1/3 of the Intel market, the scenario will be like this:

    25% Linux / ARM
    25% Linux / Intel
    50% Windows / Intel

    Being side by side with Microsoft will be an impressive feat nonetheless.

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