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Linux netbook share to fall to 10% in 2009

Down from 70 per cent last year

Reducing security risks from open source software

After yesterday's claim that Linux is losing out to Windows XP as the netbook operating system of choice, here come some numbers - from a separate source - that show the shift more clearly.

According to an unnamed Taiwanese market watcher cited by Chinese-language newspaper the Economic Daily News - all by way of local newssite DigiTimes - only ten per cent of netbooks sold worldwide this year will come with Linux pre-installed.

That's down from a commanding 70 per cent share in 2008, the researcher is reported to have said.

Last year, some 11.21m netbooks shipped around the globe, which means Linux was pre-loaded on 7.84m of them.

If the researcher's forecast is correct, the open source OS will come on 2.32m netbooks out of the 23.2m that will ship worldwide this year, according to said researcher.

Still rather a lot of netbooks, we'd say, but still less than a third of the number of Linux SCCs sold in 2008.

Yesterday, UK market watcher Ovum said that Linux's role in the netbook arena will be ultimately limited to cheaper devices that are more appliance than personal computer. Which is, of course, what netbooks were originally about. Instead, they've been purchased as small laptops, to be used alongside or instead of a main PC, and that, Ovum suggested, is favouring Windows.

That trend can be clearly seen in the increasing appearance of netbooks with Windows but no Linux option - or at least in models that aren't readily available. ®

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