For anyone that thinks netbooks will equate to low performance forever, this is a timely reminder. Within two years, an average netbook will be as powerful as the current MacBook – and remember, too, that the trend in operating systems is towards giving better performance via products like Snow Leopard, Win7, and Ubuntu 9.04.
I can understand why manufacturers might be reluctant – this is a complex business decision from Microsoft, and they're not going to give 7 away at the kind of low-cost netbook makers need. But that could be a major opportunity for the likes of Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Moblin, both of which are beyond the "promising" stage and into the "really cool" stage. But it also opens up an opportunity for Apple – not to license OS X, of course, but to do something interesting in the ultraportable space.