Slate's Farhad Manjoo has issued an admiring indictment of Apple in connection with the death of the netbook industry. It's a compelling case:
If you study the PC industry over the past five years, you find only one company that had the means, motive, and opportunity. Apple killed the netbook, more or less single-handedly, and we should all be grateful for it.
Netbooks were terrible machines, a technological blight that threatened to become the future of computing. They had awful, nearly unusable keyboards, very slow processors, and they ran versions of Windows or Linux that were a trudge to use on tiny screens. Yet despite their awfulness, they were embraced by the world's largest tech firms-Intel, Microsoft, HP, Dell, and Lenovo were all gaga for them.
Apple alone stood against the tide of netbooks.
Add in the fact that low margins meant netbook manufacturers couldn't make any money off the machines, Manjoo argues, and you've got the perfect lose-lose proposition.
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