In the current economic climate, it’s hard to make any sane predictions one way or the other. While we receive continuous reports that netbooks are the saving grace of the PC market, the light at the end of the tunnel, the beacon of hope, the Fiona Apple among the rest of the mediocre musician crowd, the, err, (okay I’m out of metaphors), we are now getting a report which states that during the first quarter of 2009, netbooks have not met their sales estimates.
The report comes courtesy of DigiTimes, which usually comes with inside information about manufacturers in the far east (well, far east from my perspective, anyway). For instance, Acer had expected to ship 2 million Aspire One netbooks during Q1 of 2009, but sources claim sales in the channels were lower. The same sources also claim that Asus only sold 900000 Eee PCs during that same quarter, short of the 1 million projected. MSI reportedly sold 200000 Wind series netbooks. The story claims that market saturation might account for the lower-than-projected sales.
The figures are vague, and there’s little to back them up at this point. Still, Intel did reveal they saw a slowdown in the number of Atom chips sold during the first quarter, which may corroborate this DigiTimes story. Still, not beating expectations is not that big of a deal, considering the insane growth the netbook market has seen so far – even during Q1 of 2009.
Another interesting story on DigiTimes has to do with Intel’s new and upcoming Intel GN40 chipset for netbooks, accompanied by the Atom N280 processors. This chipset comes with increased 3D capabilities and hardware video decoding, but Windows XP will not be able to take advantage of this because the chipset relies on DirectX 10 and DirectX Video Acceleration 2.0, which are Vista-specific technologies. Windows XP does not make use of these new capabilities – you’re going to need Windows Vista for that. Netbook makers confirmed the issue.
It seems as if Windows XP is finally starting to show its age. I won’t make myself popular here, but I’m happy for it. XP’s time has come and gone, and it’s time the world moved on to more secure operating systems like Windows Vista and Linux.