Brandon LeBlanc’s of Microsoft’s analysis of how Windows fared in the NetBook market attracted a lot of criticism, not least from Canonical’s Kenyon, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and LinuxToday’s Carla Schroder.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? LeBlanc is on one side, the rest on another. You job, should you choose to accept it, is to weight up the evidence and say who is the more credible one. To make things worse, I am going to give you my take on the issue.
I believe both sides are trying to accentuate the positive and that is not surprising. All blogs, including this one, are biased. How biased? Read a few other posts from the same blog and decide. Rejoice in whichever blog post you prefer and pour scorn on the others. That is what blog post is for?
In my opinion, the question on market share of Linux versus Windows in the Netbook market in blog posting are irrelevant. It is interesting as it fills the digital grapevine with more digital bits. What will be really interesting is not what Operating System vendor A or vendor B has to say, but what other participants in the market do.
Call it FUD, call it biased opinion, call it whatever you want. They cannot change what the other participants do. With other participants, I mean those that are smart enough to relies on hard market fact to make their judgement, not people who are sway by other opinions. What do we see?
One, manufacturers are offering both Linux-based and Windows-based Netbook. Unlike other computer offering where Linux is offered as a bastard sister which are hidden from view, mainly for the corporate market, both offering are given equal prominent. Draw your own conclusion. Mine? There is market for both operating system.
Two, manufacturers are researching new Linux-based netbook offering. My take? They think Linux has the potential, if it has not proven itself to be a viable contender.
Of course, windows-based netbook has their advantages and definitely a clear market segment where Linux is just not good enough. One that I can think of is people that wants their netbook to look exactly like their Windows computer. Others? I am not interested enough to find out, but I am sure they are out there.
If we filter through the sentiment, we can learn things. Today’s lesson is from Kenyon: “What makes a real difference to return rates is not whether it’s Linux or not, but the quality of the device’s hardware and the ability to fully partake in web and media experiences”. To me it says that engineering matters.