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Too early to declare victory in the netbook war

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Ubuntu

It really doesn’t matter much whether the world’s netbook owners prefer Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux so why was Microsoft’s Windows communication manager Brandon LeBlanc so excited about his rather dubious sales statistics?

In May LeBlanc reckoned Microsoft had 96 per cent of the netbook market. “If that’s true,” wrote one commentator (at Linux Devices) then “it would represent a phenomenal turnaround for Windows.”

That’s the real story, of course; not that Microsoft has finally woken up and started using its undoubted marketing power to attack the netbook market, but that it really didn’t think the market mattered until Ubuntu started carving out a substantial sales patch.

Even more worrying for Microsoft: can it match Linux on netbooks that don’t use Intel x86 chips? In the ultraportable and netbook market, performance is not the main issue, battery power is. These devices are, essentially, mobile phones with full keyboards and displays.

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