Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Netbook Revolution

Wired Magazine:

You may not know it yet, but the next computer you buy is going to be a netbook. The numbers say so.

Despite their compromised feature sets and puny screens, netbooks have pulled an all-out coup d’├ętat on the portable PC market. Currently, nine out of the top 10 best-selling laptops on Amazon are netbooks. Over 2008, manufacturers shipped 10 million netbooks. And looking farther ahead, ABI Research forecasts that manufacturers will ship 200 million ultra-mobile devices, including netbooks by 2013 -- which is about the same anticipated size as the entire laptop market worldwide.

Who could have guessed that low prices and ultra portability would have struck such a chord with consumers?

"I'd like to think that [netbooks] are finding a form factor and weight that fits human beings better," Kay said, "but I'm presuming that it is because many people use only a small part of what they could do on their larger machines, and much of what they do use computers for can be done through a browser or a few simple apps."
It's great to see PC manufacturers finally designing computers smaller and more simply -- in line more with what most consumers use rather than pushing for higher power and more complex operating systems. (Which have a tendency to cancel each other out.) I think we are witnessing a tremendous shift in the computer industry that will shake-up desktops and portable systems alike. As more computing is done through web browsers, operating systems become increasingly less key to selecting a computer, making Windows and Apple's OS X easier to compete against. This competition should not only lower prices, but also lead to more reliable operating systems and computers that are easier to use. I can't wait to see what's coming next!

(HT James Kendrick)

1 comment:

thinking said...

Who would have thought...simpler and cheaper sells.

Many people, perhaps most people, just use their computer for web surfing, a little email, maybe a little word processor.