All this talk about netbooks has me a bit perplexed. What is a netbook? From what I can tell, it’s a super slim, lightweight notebook that’s optimized for portability, price, and battery life.
But then we then go off into this whole sub-discussion about what sort of operating system a netbook should run on and what it’s primary purpose is, and this discussion makes no real sense to me. The idea that a netbook is only useful for surfing the Internet is based on the theory that because it’s super-cheap, it is incapable of doing anything else. This might be true today, but it clearly won’t be true tomorrow as hardware continues to get more powerful and less expensive – as it always has. And this makes the whole idea of an Internet-only notebook silly to me. Why not just call it a really cheap, low-end laptop?
The earliest netbooks might have had 512MB of RAM and were incapable of running Vista. But obviously, within a year or two (if it’s not already), 2GB of RAM will be as cheap or cheaper than 512MB is today (or else the marginal difference will be so small that it won’t matter). So whatever netbook you can by today for $300.00, tomorrow you will be able to buy a far more powerful notebook for the same price – if not cheaper. And it will be absolutely fully-capable of running just about anything you want it to. So why pretend that the purpose of these machines is to limit ourselves to just browsing the Internet?
So I fail to see how this is any more of a threat to Windows than the Internet already is. It may be a threat to Microsoft’s margins, but really nothing else.