Why NetBooks thrived

Good FT column by John Gapper

If the netbook, now defined as a mini-notebook with a screen of up to 10 inches, costing between $300 and $600, weighing two or three pounds and usually running on Intel’s Atom chip, is so appealing, why did it take so long to arrive?

One answer is that US companies made a mistake. “They thought that the performance was too low and people would not be interested,” says Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School who is in Taiwan this week to research the netbook phenomenon further…