Microsoft Watch / NPD

While industry watchers are busy trying to figure out whether netbook makers are going to install Windows 7 Starter Edition, Windows 7 Home Premium or something else on the netbooks of tomorrow, one thing is clear. Windows XP is the most popular choice today.

Sure, Asus, Dell, Acer, HP, and other companies are offering Linux versions of their netbooks at lower prices. But the majority of netbooks sold are running Windows XP, an operating system that was supposed to have been retired by now.

Microsoft Watch has published some figures obtained by NPD showing the market share of different versions of Windows. A year ago, you pretty much couldn’t buy a laptop with Windows XP on it. In December, 13.7% of all laptops sold, and 11.2% of all computers were running Windows XP.

That’s because most netbooks aren’t powerful enough to run Windows Vista. So Microsoft let netbook makers to preload Windows XP even though the company no longer allows Windows XP to be sold directly to retail customers, and computer makers can no longer purchase new licenses to install the operating system on most modern desktop and laptop computers with dual core processors, huge hard drives, or large amounts of RAM.

By this time next year, I suspect Windows XP sales will drop back down to zero again, since Windows 7 runs beautifully on most Intel Atom-powered netbooks (and even some netbooks with older or slower processors).

via WinBeta

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5 replies on “Netbook growth leads to surge in Windows XP sales”

  1. While Linux is ready for desktops, notebooks, and netbooks, the tech supports are not.

  2. it might explain why netbooks are doing so well.

    if i want a new laptop the only os choice i get is vista. i can pay a premium for and get a ‘downgrade’ to winxp. most of our business customers are doing this. however for a small cheap system the only cheap way to avoid vista is a netbook.

    jumping to win7 is not an option as the software that didn’t run on vista still doesn’t run on win7. lots of accounting/utility programs that have been written over the past 20 years and the customers aren’t going to pay for them to be upgraded to win7 compatibility. newer software is compatible but some of the old stuff is irreplaceable. companies that are long gone or have no interest in a tiny customer base.

    not so sure that the winxp sales will drop to zero. lots of business are in the same situation with code that won’t run on vista/win7. lots of large businesses with 1000s of desktops that aren’t going to jump to it because microsoft says that they must. not in this financial climate.

    my last 2 netbooks came with winxp. i only need the winxp for nokia firmware updates and itunes to update my ipod. (the ipod is better updated on winxp than my mac as i can do more with a winxp format ipod). i also installed various linux distros to both. my next one is the olpc. has anybody got win7 tunning on that?

    it’s getting to the point that i’m thinking of getting rid of windows on my netbook altogether and getting a macbook for home and running winxp on that in vmware or something similar. it’d be portable enough so i can bring it with me if i need winxp on the move but other than that linux from here on out on the road. here in ireland its quite difficult to get a linux netbook as they have disappered from shop shelves and suppliers report that they are impossible to get.

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