It’s not even that the UltraBooks have moved into the market, no, it was partly notebooks, partly tablets and – most shockingly – the licensing that had to be paid to Microsoft for Windows XP or 7. These additional £30 – £70 meant that the netbook margin almost disappeared.
What a shame, as I really enjoyed having an inexpensive, small, durable, USB and SD card slot wielding, low energy consuming netbook when on the go. Thank god I still have one!
What I found most disappointing about the whole story was that this, kinda, seals the fate of the One Laptop Per Child campaign from a few years back. The Raspberry PI won’t be the same, as you still need big screens, keyboards and mice on each desk. I also don’t think that a tablet, least of all the iPad, would be a good addition to the classroom. It’s too simple, it’s not good for typing for a long time and it’s bound to be more restrictive than a computer in so many ways. You can’t teach children IT and programming on a tablet (yet).
The netbook would have the solution and meant that you could have run a complete system – like I already am – with IDEs, services (such as MySQL, Tomcat, Apache…) and that would have really made a difference in the classroom.
It’s a shame that this was possibly never recognised. Maybe a large scale production of netbooks for schools would have been an excellent solution and netbooks would have become even more affordable. After all, they are able to build tablets for under £100…
The amount that could have been saved on books and materials over the years would be massive.
I wonder if anyone ever looked into this.