Ubuntu Linux, netbooks, and the Next Big Thing

Mark Shuttleworth describes Ubuntu Remix edition for netbooks.

I think this could become a huge development, because Ubuntu is the current king of Linux distributions, and the netbook (or subnotebook, or laptot, or Mobile Internet Device, or whatever they call the dang things), might very well become the Next Big Thing. It’s an inversion of previous computer trends; most people just use a computer for Internet, e-mail, and word processing, so instead of shelling out $1500 for a powerful laptop, why not get a $400-$600 laptop designed to do those three things?

Now this development could become the Next Big Thing because Microsoft, so far, seems utterly unable to get a solid grip on this new netbook space. All they’ve done so far is delay the end of support for Windows XP Home, because Vista is way too fat and cumbersome to run on a scaled-down computer. And XP Home is nearly seven years old, and it’s beginning to show its age. If Microsoft is too slow, it will find itself knocked out of this market, the way Apple and iTunes have kept Microsoft’s Zune from really taking off.

I wonder if Microsoft Windows has become the George W. Bush of personal computing; it’s still here, it’s still in charge, but everyone is much more interested in what comes next.

-JM

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