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Wait -- the best netbooks are still to come

Hey, Google's making an operating system. You probably heard. One problem: it's limited to piddly little netbooks, with their annoying keyboards. Help is on the way though...

Hey, Google's making an operating system. You probably heard. It's quite big news. Like someone really famous having a baby. Only it's a really underweight baby with its heart and organs being pumped artificially by a beeping machine -- no wonder the press has gone crazy for the netbook-specific OS.

But there's something I do not, and will not use: any kind of netbook, regardless of how well it'll run Google's OS. I hate their cramped little keyboards more than anything else, and their inability to excite me more than even mediocre Swedish porn just saddens the nerd in me. But I feel I may soon concede defeat, as I think the next generation of netbooks will outshine the current efforts.

Back when the first generation of netbooks came out -- dirt cheap, with a lightweight Linux OS and the cloud on top -- what could stop them from slowly eating into 10 per cent of the PC market? Nothing really, so that's what they did.

But there's a problem: it's actually Windows that runs on about 90 per cent of all netbooks, and it's been the extended life of XP that has really helped netbooks reach such a respectable market share. This, plus the confidence manufacturers garnered from the sales of the first round of netbooks, brought in the second generation: Windows-powered, slightly larger, with Atom CPUs.

Linux and its best mate the cloud are great partners: like Steve Wozniak and that chick he danced with in America. The issue was simply that people seemed to just want something familiar, and others simply wanted something that wasn't crap.

Personally, I wanted something that wasn't crap and didn't force me to type differently. These netbooks, I believe, are just around the corner. Manufacturers now have the confidence to fund the development of premium netbooks -- witness Sony caving and following up the P series with a real netbook.

Netbooks are here to stay. But the real stayers, for me at least, are the ones set to be released in the next couple of years -- just in time to run Chrome.