96% Of Netbooks Run Windows XP--Surprised?

These days, specifications on netbooks are almost predictable. Without looking, we'd say there's an 85% chance that any given netbook you look at has a 1.6GHz Atom processor, a 160GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and no optical drive. Oh, and Windows XP -- it probably has Windows XP. In fact, the vast majority of netbooks today have Microsoft's not-exactly-newest OS, with a recent report asserting that around 96% of all miniature laptops have WinXP installed.

It's a funny bit, too, as we recall the day when Microsoft wasn't exactly elated about having to continue supporting Windows XP in order to get an OS it made onto this "fad." It's no shock that Vista is simply too demanding to be used on the average netbook, and given just how releuctant the world at large is to adopting Linux (not to mention the fact that Apple's OS X isn't available for netbook use), we can't say we're shocked at the figure. Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc stated the following: "It's hard to believe it's been a year since we first started to see netbook PCs running Windows come to market. The growth of Windows on netbook PCs over the last year has been phenomenal. Not only are people overwhelmingly buying Windows, but those that try Linux are often returning it."

We can't argue with that last part -- we've seen the statistics, and an overwhelming amount of people who buy Linux-equipped netbooks do in fact return them. Something to do with that "buyer's remorse" syndrome, we hear. We're also told that some versions of Windows 7 will be tailored to operate nicely on low-power, small notebooks, with LeBlanc noting that "l
forward, we can confidently say that no matter how ookingnetbook PC hardware evolves, we're gearing up to ensure that Windows 7 will run great on them."

We fully understand a company's desire to turn any little factoid into positive PR, but we have to chuckle at Microsoft's gloating here. Sure, 96% of the netbook market is pretty staggering, but do OEMs really have a choice? OS X is a no-go, people at large don't even understand what Linux is and Windows Vista won't even run (well, anyway) on netbooks. At any rate, we guess we can't fault 'em for taking what's in front of them, but do yourself a favor and really think about the scenario before bestowing a round of applause.