One in Five Notebooks Is a Netbook

Published on August 31, 2009
by John Paczkowski

toylaptop-150x150Reporting second-quarter results earlier this year, Microsoft cited “a continued shift to lower-priced netbooks” as one factor degrading its financial performance. The netbook’s ascension meant, and continues to mean, that Windows client-licensing revenue is down (to the tune of $1 billion year-over-year). So the company will surely be aghast to learn that netbook sales are surging.

In fact, sales of netbooks are growing twice as quickly as those of full-sized laptops. According to DisplaySearch, a division of the NPD Group, netbooks represented 22.2 percent of portable computers shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2009. That’s up from 5.6 percent a year ago, and 17.8 percent in the first quarter of this year (click on table below to enlarge).


Given Microsoft’s (MSFT) complaints about netbooks in the past, what will the company do now that the machines account for a fifth of the entire portable PC business? What will it do when more ARM-based netbooks, which can’t even run Windows, begin arriving at market?

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