Practical Technology

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ARMing Linux


For a brief time in 2008, the Linux desktop actually owned a segment of the desktop industry: netbooks. When netbooks first showed up, they ran Linux and nothing but Linux. Microsoft panicked when they saw this and brought XP back from the dead and offered it for next to nothing to netbook vendors and so successfully fought off the Linux challenge.

That was then. This is now. Today, Linux netbooks are still popular, but not nearly as popular as they once were. ARM-based netbooks, however, are on their way and, since these systems can’t run Windows, Linux has the potential market all to itself. The real question is, “Will PC vendors choose to offer low-cost, less than $200 netbooks?”

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