The Netbook falls prey to the iPad

I’ve been seeing articles stating the iPad is crushing the Netbook in sales. That is no surprise, and it’s really not hard to see why. It obviously has nothing to do with price considering the iPad is pretty much going to be twice as expensive as any Netbook out there.

First of all, Windows 7 is limited to run on a Netbook (as was XP and the same attempt was made to Vista), it’s not optimized to run on one. Microsoft just puts  limiters into the OS, they didn’t take a step back and retool it to work in the smaller confines of processor speed and memory usage. It’s still a resource pig.

Third party software isn’t optimized to run on a Netbook either. For example, where was the Office 2007 Netbook edition? And how could vendors optimize their apps considering every Netbook is different? Nothing says fun like coding to a moving target.

Cost of the apps will kill you as well. Since no one is optimizing for the Netbook, you sure don’t get a break in price do you? A $9.99 word processing app for the iPad versus who knows how you’ll spend on one for your Netbook. The smart play would be to get OpenOffice, but I bet most users don’t even know it exists. But that only covers one app, what do you do about all the rest? I guess that means it really is only for checking the web and checking email. But you better use a lightweight client, if you can find one.

Games? Entertainment? Movies? Oh yeah, Microsoft deliberately took out the movie codecs and prevents Windows Media Player from actually playing a DVD. Brilliant!

Personally, I think Netbooks are really useful and valuable devices, but they’re fading fast. Ballmer turned a blind eye to them and gave people yet another reason to turn to the iPad. Sure, it’s to blame to eating away the Netbook sales, but Ballmer’s inability to understand and see the value in Netbooks didn’t help too much.

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