July 14th, 2009

The continuing saga for netbooks.

So DisplaySearch has a new forecast report out about mini-notes and notebook computers.

http://www.internetnews.com/hardware/article.php/3829641/Netbooks+Selling+Even+Better+Then+Projected.htm

The take away. Netbooks are popular. Great news for linux right?  Not necessarily....

http://www.internetnews.com/hardware/article.php/3829641/Netbooks+Selling+Even+Better+Then+Projected.htm

The author of the report seems to be telling Internet News that its the standardization on XP that has unlocked that growth potential. He has some very specific things to say about Google's Android being able to compete in the netbook space as well:

"The question that I always come down to is, if you put Android on this box, how does it sync and talk to your other systems?" he said. "It's one thing to have a smart phone with Android that basically is a device in and of itself. But if you're using this as a backup device and it doesn't see your files like everyone else, that becomes a challenge."

 

"What does it take to create an international brand? Lots and lots of advertising dollars," said Jacobs. "Who is going to spend the money to make Android a worldwide brand, Google or the hardware vendors?

I guess we'll know in a year if Google can address both those points with its ChromeOS.  The assertion that it takes lots of advertising dollars to build a successful brand that can compete with Windows is interesting. If anyone's got the cash to do that sort of advertising its Google.  Though I do find the thought ironic. Google, whose (non-IPO cashpile) revenue is advertising dollars..spending lots and lots of dollars on advertising. Spend money to make money I guess.

I also find this Q1 report interesting:
http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/090511_Mini_Note_Penetration_Nears_20_in_Q1_09_Dominated_by_Acer.asp

Don't fret about Quarter to Quarter drop across the board for most vendors. That's most assuredly a typical sales cycle differential associated with the start of a new year.  The really interesting thing are the OEM by OEM numbers. Acer is crushing the other vendors in both quarters.  In fact if you add up all the listed vendors shipping an OEM variant of Ubuntu..their total sales don't match Acer's sells. Is Acer on the list of ChromeOS partners? Yes...yes they are. 

How much of ChromeOs's potential success as an alternative operating system to Windows 7 will be dependant on having the support of the "right" OEM partners versus having the superior technology or being able to spend gobs and gobs of money on advertising?

-jef