Netbooks Officially Dead in 2013
Added by Amanda Kondolojy on Jan 4, 2013
Netbooks came on the scene in early 2008 and were marketed as a budget-friendly way for consumers to have an Internet-focused experience. These mini-laptops were sold to consumers who didn't have strong preferences for what programs they could run or what operating system they had, and simply wanted something they could use to check their email and post to their favorite social network. Sound familiar? If you are thinking that this sounds like the pitch being currently used for tablets, then you're right. Unfortunately, this core similarity is likely to put the final nail in the coffin of this kitschy item of the early 21st century.
According to The Guardian, Asustek and Acer, the only two computer manufacturers still making netbooks, are ceasing production in 2013. During the height of the netbook craze, companies like HP, Samsung, and Dell all got in on the fad, but when public attention started turning to tablets, these companies moved on quickly. The death of the netbook has been unbelievably fast, as many market researchers thought the small, portable PCs would be the future of computing. The support for the netbook was so strong, in fact, that Microsoft released a special "starter" version of Windows 7 just for the little laptops. However, the latest iteration of Windows does not support these computers, and this choice essentially seals their obsolescence.
So why does the death of netbooks matter? It's evidence that the technology landscape is changing very quickly, and that midsize businesses need to be ready to adapt to the ever-changing communications landscape. Just five years ago, iPads were relatively new, and apps were not the big business they are today. However, today, if a company wants to get its name out there and allow customers to communicate with it in a modern and convenient way, having an app on either Apple's App Store or the Google Play Market is essential. Also, having mobile-enabled web pages designed to work not only with tablets but also with smart phones is a huge part of most midsize businesses' strategy.
Still, even as companies dump millions of dollars into developing the latest and greatest apps and ensuring web compatibility with every device possible, it is important to exercise caution. Though all the current tech forecasts say that tablets are here to stay, hedging bets when it comes to the next "big thing" and adopting a conservative budget when it comes to developing for brand-specific devices is a smart way to handle a landscape as volatile as the tech industry.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.