In addition to upping the number of individuals who enjoy computing on the go netbooks have done one thing that notebooks have largely failed to do; bring attention to what operating system you are using. While the majority of netbook owners still want that familiar Windows experience, netbooks have shown many individuals alternative operating systems based on some flavor of Linux.
While these open source alternatives had geeky edges on Windows XP, which most netbooks shipped with last year, the switch to Windows 7 Starter (which limits what users can do with Windows 7) makes installing an alternative OS more attractive for even the non-geeks interested in netbooks. Couple this with the fact that these OS’s are easier to use and install programs than in years past and users have more reason than ever to try a new operating system.
If you have been wanting to do more than Windows 7 Starter allows, or maybe you are sick of Windows XP on your netbook, you may find one of these operating systems more to your liking. All but OSX and Windows 7 allow you try before you buy thanks to the ability to run a Live-CD version, or in this case a Live USB version, so you can test drive your favorite applications and uses before you make it your daily driver.
LifeHacker rounded up what their users consider the Top 5 Netbook Operating Systems. These operating systems allow to do cool things such as running the Apple OSX, getting a leaner faster OS like Linux Mint or picking a small screen in mind Cloud OS like Jolicloud.
Top 5 Netbook Operating Systems:
- Jolicloud - Free – Linux
- Windows 7 – $165 Home Premium – Windows
- Ubuntu – Free – Linux
- OSX - $24 – Mac
- Linux Mint – Free – Linux
I’ve used all of these but Linux Mint and feel that this is a good showing of netbook operating systems; but I would add the Moblin netbook OS as another popular Linux distro that has received a warm welcome among users and is compatible with the Intel AppUp app store.
My personal favorites are Windows 7 Home Premium and Jolicloud, thanks to the ease use. My HP Mini is currently running Windows 7 Home Premium and runs Jolicloud off of a thumbdrive when I want a different experience. I am also testing out a Sony Vaio W which comes standard with Windows 7 Starter and despite the limitations of Starter I am getting by alright so far; though I couldn’t use it every day thanks to the lack of multi-monitor support.
What’s your favorite Netbook operating system?