Netbooks have not yet overtaken PCs but will continue totake market share as they develop over the next couple of years but posechallenges to both vendors and resellers.
According to analysts Forrester netbook ownership in Europeis only slightly behind the USand 30% of online consumers are prepared to use the hardware as a complimentaryPC.
In terms of the threat of the next generation of productsthe clearest potential casualty is Microsoft, which has extended its XPoperating system to appeal to the netbook community.
“Microsoft won the first-generation netbook OS war after ashaky start by extending the life of Windows XP. But that is neithersustainable nor desirable for ther firm as we approach the launch of Windows 7,”stated the Forrester research.
The analyst house also warned resellers that the systems upto date had been based on X86 but in the future the technology would be moreARM CPUs and that could force dealers to widen their knowledge of that side ofthe market.
As a result the door could be opened to telcos that blur thelines between smartphones and netbooks to drive the emergence of new formfactors.
“European telcos, particularly those promoting mobilebroadband, have been giving away – or at least heavily subsidizing –netbooks forthe best part of the year,” the report stated “Netbooks could end up lookingmore like the iPhone than like a traditional laptop”