Software // Information Management
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10/27/2009
03:37 PM
Michael Healey
Michael Healey
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I've Got A Netbook And It's Not A Toy

I just put the wraps on an InformationWeek Analytics Informed CIO report on the rise of netbooks in the enterprise. These babies continue to make their way into the office, despite the somewhat weak claims from Intel and Microsoft that they're not appropriate for business use. Says who? Not folks in IT. In our recent InformationWeek Analytics Windows 7 survey of 1,414 business technology professionals, 36% of respondents said they already have some level of netbook use in their organizations

I just put the wraps on an InformationWeek Analytics Informed CIO report on the rise of netbooks in the enterprise. These babies continue to make their way into the office, despite the somewhat weak claims from Intel and Microsoft that they're not appropriate for business use.

Says who? Not folks in IT. In our recent InformationWeek Analytics Windows 7 survey of 1,414 business technology professionals, 36% of respondents said they already have some level of netbook use in their organizations today. This is expected to grow to 72% of companies over the next 24 months.

Why? Simple: Netbooks fill a major computing gap between the smartphone and laptop and do it at a terrific price.Intel's beef? It's not only the low cost of the CPU, it's also the threat of smartphone CPU maker ARM "moving up" into the netbook space and potentially becoming a real competitor. ARM already owns 90% of the phone CPU market. Can you say battle royale?

Microsoft is in the same boat. Even before Windows 7, netbooks provided a real option to Windows in the form of Ubuntu Remix. XP was a great fit, but it's now on its official march into the sunset. Redmond is going to feel the pressure to keep pricing competitive. Naturally, Intel decided to stoke the OS fires by releasing its own netbook OS, Moblin (Mobile Linux)

One of my favorite benefits of the netbook is that it's fairly easy to load any of these operating systems. My netbook is like a mini electronic version of Sybil: First it's XP, then it's Ubuntu Remix, now it's Windows 7. Tomorrow it's going to be Moblin. I don't store anything locally, so it's a snap. But I repeat, it's not a toy. This is science.

If you're serious about netbooks, take a look at the report. We outline 10 questions everyone should review prior to going gangbusters with them. You can get a free copy for a limited time at http://netbooks.informationweek.com (registration is required).

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