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We can count on one tightly clenched fist the number of consumer netbook announcements so far in 2013. It's zero, zip, zilch, nada, and whatever other word or phrase you want to use to represent a quantity less than one. Netbooks, while once hugely popular, are largely dead in the U.S., so why is Intel holding onto its Cedar Trail M platform? One reason is because Classmate PCs are selling in developing markets.
The Classmate PC is somewhat similar to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, though it's a for-profit business. Classmate PCs represent a new(er) kind of low cost netbook and are available in clamshell, tablet, and convertible form factors. The latest models run Windows 8.
Traditional netbooks running Intel's Atom N2600 processor still sell in some markets too, particularly in Southeast Asia and Europe, Digitimes reports. But there's another reason why Intel and Microsoft are interested in keeping the Wintel netbook platform afloat. Citing un-named sources in Taiwan's notebook supply chain, Digitimes says both companies are trying to fend off Google's Chromebook platform. Even though some Chromebooks feature Intel hardware inside, there are also models running on ARM.