The LinuxTech.net blog points out that GNU-Linux notebooks are currently selling quite well on Amazon's list in Germany. The blog includes screenshots showing the Linux Asus and Aspire notebooks in positions 2 and 4, respectively on that list. It's worth noting that these machines are not netbooks, but full notebooks, albeit on the moderate to low side regarding price and performance. Please click on the Read More link below for the rest of the story.
That LinuxTech.net blog was dated 23 July 2009, and the Asus machine is still holding second place more than one day later, while the Acer machine slipped to fifth position, despite the volatile nature of Amazon bestseller lists. While these two data points are just snapshots in time, they are consistent with other data showing that Microsoft itself attributes some of its recent weak earnings to surging sales low-end notebooks, as well as data showing that the Linux-powered and Unix-powered computers topped Amazon's sales charts in all categories for 2007.
If there is to ever be a 'year of desktop Linux', it won't happen all at once, but will creep up in ways similar to what we are seeing now. Linux will gain ground in markets which are peripheral to market leader Microsoft's key territory, which is North America. Germany is an example of a peripheral market, because it is not an English-language dominant market.
Sales of GNU-Linux machines will also increase in distribution chains where Microsoft has less influence, such as Amazon, which holds no inventory, and thus is not really susceptible to the pressure that Microsoft puts on other distributors. Normally, Microsoft, through its distributors, requires brick-and-mortar stores to accept deliver of a certain amount of Microsoft Windows computers if the store wants to get that all-important per-unit discount on individual machines. Since Amazon holds no inventory, but merely relays orders to fulfillment centers which do the actual delivery, Amazon doesn't really care about pressure from Microsoft's supply chain. As a result, Amazon is what Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen calls a "disruptive channel", because it allows new innovations to get a start, un-pressured by the market leader.