Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

The Decline in Netbooks Put a Big Dent in the Windows Business

While it is no secret that the netbook phenomenon has passed, Microsoft made it clear on Thursday just how big the impact of that is on its business.

As part of its earnings report, the company noted a 6 percent year-over-year revenue drop in the unit that includes Windows. There were several factors responsible for that, including the impact of a hard drive shortage brought on by flooding in Thailand. But the drop in Netbooks was a major factor, as well.

Consider these two stats:

A year ago, netbooks represented about 8 percent of the PC market, according to Microsoft. Now they account for just 2 percent of the business.

The consumer PC business was down 6 percent last quarter. However, excluding netbooks, the business actually grew 2 percent.

For those looking to see the impact of the iPad on Microsoft’s business, I’d point to those statistics. While they are clearly two totally separate products, they have filled a similar niche: A good second device for those who already have a PC and want an easy way to surf the Web and consume some content, on the couch or on the go.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik