What OS would you put on a NetBook?
We recently bought a NetBook that will be used by our admissions officer working in China. We bought an HP Mini, with a USB optical drive and sleeve for under $500. This little 10” laptop has an adequate keyboard, 80 Gig drive, all your ports, WiFi of course and camera. Basically a great little travel computer that you could put your Microsoft apps on. But when you consider what you want this computer to do for you, why would you use a Microsoft OS? We booted it up with Ubuntu with no problems – that is the luxury of these Intel based devices.
Here’s the issue, we are primarily an Apple University and we give our undergraduate students Macbooks. There are budget concerns so we want to reduce the cost per laptop for the 2010 purchase. The NetBook sets a new benchmark for features and cost. We are very hopeful that Apple will come out with a super MacTouch type device, but it will have to compete with the value that the NetBook brings. We have already weaned ourselves off of Microsoft so we would probably spec out a NetBook with the latest greatest version of Linux which gives us most all of the key Apple type applications. So I think the stage is set to see what Apple will create. We will pay a little more for a comparable MacTouch, but not that much more. Obviously Apple could come out with another major technology breakthrough that might cause us not even to consider a comparison to a NetBook. But all this said – the real issue is that Microsoft is not in the equation and for all practical purposes why would you run a Microsoft OS on a NetBook in this age of Cloud computing?