Best Netbook OS: Windows 7?

Dave Courbanou

February 18, 2010

2 Min Read
Best Netbook OS: Windows 7?

In your opinion, what’s the best netbook operating system you’ve used? Be honest. Tell us. Over at, they  already asked the same question. So far, the leading answer is… (drum roll, please…): Windows 7. The other results may surprise you… says 36% of respondents prefer Windows 7 more than any other netbook operating system. Ubuntu follows with 27% of the vote, and then a near-tie with Mac OS X and Jolicloud, at 12%, but OS X squeaking out almost 60 more votes. At the bottom was Linux Mint with 8% of the vote. These operating systems reported were actually the “top five” mentioned overall for netbook use. There was, however, a measly 5% of voters who didn’t pick any of the 5 previously mentioned.

But that got me thinking. Why is Windows 7 the best netbook OS — at least — according to I would’ve put money on the fact that Mac OS X or Ubuntu would’ve won on, especially on a site that’s dedicated itself to a fair amount of hacking.

My vote would’ve been for OS X hands down. Why? Because it’s lightweight relative to all the other cousins. Even on an 8GB drive, OS X didn’t require much finessing to be installed or shoe-horned into a small drive. If you have a bigger drive — no problem. OS X does a great job with power management and it comes out of sleep faster than any other OS I know. And it’s FAST.

I would’ve pegged Ubuntu next, since Ubuntu Netbook Remix — and other variants — are easy and streamlined with a emphasis on being lightweight on lower-end hardware while simultaneously being fully featured right after installation.

Windows 7 would’ve made 3rd place for me, only since the guide I’ve seen for getting Windows 7 on a 8GB drive is actually more complex than what was required to install Mac OS X. There’s a fair amount of stripping needed to be done before the install even happens and then it requires a complete compression of the drive post-installation to leave you with 2GB of free space. Yuk.

But small drives aside, the poll showed Windows 7 at the top.

Is it a conspiracy? Comments on the Lifehacker article were mixed but interesting. One reader asked if Lifehacker was deliberately starting a “flame war” while another claimed that Linux was the winner since all the Linux distributions were based on Debian. Another reader said OS X ran terrible on netbooks, something many could refute easily. A witty commentator claimed if you took the same survey over at Gizmodo, OS X would’ve won.

We’d like to ask you, dear reader, as a VAR, MSP, Channel Partner or a business person, if you use a netbook, what are you running and why? Is Windows 7 really the best?

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