Cheap Netbooks on the Rise: Microsoft, Intel Worried?

April 5, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Cheap Netbooks, extra light and thin as a paperback, represent the next revolution in the computer industry analysts say and top dogs Microsoft and Intel are none too happy about it, as smaller cell phone chip makers like Qualcomm, Freescale and British usurper, ARM Holdings cut into their market share. Many of the new Netbooks can’t run Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system, so are either using Windows XP, which cost less or are abandoning Windows’ operating systems altogether, and using Linux or Google’s Android.

The current Netbooks on the store shelves use Intel’s low-cost, laptop chip called Atom, and are powered by Windows XP operating system, but Microsoft is already losing money on Netbooks, because it receives considerably less revenue for XP than it does for Vista. And even that is about to change, as the newer Netbooks will use less powerful cellphone chips from companies like, Qualcomm and are using Linux, an open-source operating system, completely cutting Microsoft out of the equation.

Microsoft just posted its first sales decline for the PC version of Windows and blamed Netbooks for the historical drop in revenue. Intel as well, is about to face stiff competition for its Atom chip, from cheaper, cellphone chip makers. The innovative San Diego Company, Qualcomm recently launched a new, much cheaper chip for cellphones and Netbooks called, snapdragon and is selling it to major companies like Acer and Samsung.

The Netbook is not designed to fulfill all of the functions of a normal desktop PC or full powered laptop. It can’t handle video games or memory and hard drive hungry photo editing software, for example. What the new Netbooks will offer, are extra light and portable devices on the go, which can easily handle email, web surfing and social media applications like Facebook.

Some of the new Netbooks will have tiny 10-inch screens, touch screens, slide-out keyboards and run all day on a single charge, and they are priced as low as $50 with the purchase of an Internet service plan. Others will retail for around $99. Industry analysts also predict American wireless companies may follow the Japanese model and offer free Netbooks with a paid Internet data plan.

A revolution in the PC industry is underway with Netbooks and computer giants like Microsoft and Intel had better keep up or they will be left behind.



4 Responses to “Cheap Netbooks on the Rise: Microsoft, Intel Worried?”

  1. empire state buddy on April 5th, 2009 12:35 pm

    this author makes a lot of assumptions… and it all just sounds like wishful thinking. netbooks may be a growing sector, but they’re still a niche market. i sincerely doubt that microsoft is very concerned about this. (insert eye roll)

  2. Jill on April 5th, 2009 1:55 pm

    My netbook (like millions) runs Windows XP.

    Why would Microsoft WORRY about selling more and more copies of Windows?


  3. RK on April 5th, 2009 7:09 pm

    Wow, that’s fantastic! People on the go can get cheap pocket computers for the price of an internet connection – great! I’m a Japan researcher, so I can’t wait to start my research in Japan and get one of these things. In Tokyo, you take the train every where, so you want to minimize the weight you have to carry – these things make perfect sense. I’m sure in the future they will be merged with cell phones – like the failed pda’s, but better.

  4. David Legg on April 6th, 2009 4:39 am

    The reason that ARM netbooks cannot run Vista is not because of system resources or anything like that. It is simply that Windows only on Intel(-compatible) processors, which ARM is not. So, to say that XP is an alternative is incorrect, becuase XP won’t run on ARM either.

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