#25 Top Trend of 2009: Netbooks

With desktop shipments dwindling and notebook shipments on the rise, it was only a matter of time until netbooks, also known as ultra-portables, also gained popularity amongst PC users.

A few years ago, Asus was one of the first vendors to introduce a netbook, with the launch of its Eee PC Linux-based product. Shortly after, other vendors such as Acer, HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Lenovo, also followed suit.

While netbooks are still mostly popular amongst consumers, enterprises are starting to take notice, now that more powerful processors are being built.

Tim Brunt, senior analyst for personal computing and technology at IDC Canada, says year to date in 2009, mini PCs represent 11.04 per cent of the entire Canadian PC market. To break it down by quarter, in Q1 ’09, as a percentage of total portables, minis represented 11.7 per cent, while in Q3, they now represent 21.9 per cent of the total portables shipped.

Earlier this year, Intel and Dell sought out a trademark cancellation over the term “netbook,” held by Psion Teklogix.

Psion registered the “netbook” trademark in the U.S. when it released its ultra-portable computer, of the same name, in 1999. Several months later, an Intel spokesperson told tech Web site Register Hardware that the two companies had worked out their differences. Psion later said in a statement it “will voluntarily withdraw all of its trademark registrations for ‘Netbook,’” and would “waive all its rights against third-parties in respect of past, current or future use of the ‘Netbook’ term.”

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