Here’s a link to the article. I have a netbook with Window’s XP, but I’m not beholden to XP. I can’t install anything like Office on my netbook because it’s too much of a resource hog and required installation from a DVD drive. However the basic version of MS Office that comes with the laptop is fine for the things I do on it.
What I do need with respect to my netbook is the ability to get on the Internet and to view whatever parts of the Internet I desire. On my iPhone my current limitation is Flash — but that more of a problem with Adobe than anyone else. My feeling is as long as the browser works well, I’m golden since I will most likely used web-based software because a netbook doesn’t have much on board storage.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that netbooks will be treated as the lowest-end computer. I did witness over the holidays, many financially pinched people considering a netbook as their first PC purchase or as a replacement for an ancient computer that was too old to allow access to the Internet. When I think about this user, I really don’t know what’s best. They may be used to “ancient versions” of software or they may be computer illiterate. This tends to make me think, the simpler the better. But when I consider which is easier to use, my PC or my iPhone, I would have to say they are about the same since the iPhone mimics a PC experience. In other words, to successfully use most mobile devices beyond basic dialing phone numbers, there is an expectation of computer literacy. Thinking in this vein, does the OS matter? No, just as long as there’s a big clear “Internet” button, links to do basic things like calendars and view images, and the presentation is professional. This is most important because I think past attempts at Internet appliances failed because the interface design “looked down” on potential customers (the young, the elderly, and the computer illiterate). It has to look like a real PC and it has to function like a real PC.
For the more savvy user, I think speed is the key. If Android turns out to be the speedier OS that allows similar functionality and software selection to PC and smartphones, then I think Android will be a winner. I hope, though, that Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels and are, instead, working dilligently on a Windows-lite for netbooks. It’ll be a tough fight once the cell phone makers enter the fray. However, this competition will be good for everyone because it will force innovation. I’m looking forward to it.