When Netbooks were first introduced, Linux provided a simple solution to keep the price down on the pint sized laptops. As Netbooks gained popularity, Microsoft took notice and began offering Windows XP for as little as $15 per machine. Rumors began to surface that people who bought Linux Netbooks were sending them back since they thought they were receiving Windows boxes. These rumor later proved false and may of just been a marketing ploy.

But now as Netbooks continue to gain favor with consumers, Microsoft appears to have a stripped down version of Windows 7 that could replace all of the Linux offerings. According to one article it states the following information:

The introduction of the netbook has heralded an era of cheap, portable and convenient computing, but what does the future hold for the netbook? TECH.BLORGE spoke to Lenovo’s Worldwide Competitive Analyst, Matt Kohut, about his vision of the future of netbooks, which involves Windows 7, bigger screens, built-in 3G, touch integration, and lower prices.

Linux fans will no doubt be disappointed that Kohut predicts that Windows 7 will be the dominant operating system on netbooks in the future. According to Kohut, the reason for this is that Windows 7 offers a better, familiar solution, with the benefits of touch.

Interesting analysis. Just when it appeared that Linux may have found a niche market, it appears that Microsoft may stomp it out. But what will consumers buy. Linux or Windows?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.