The reason that most PCs in China are shipped with no pre-installed OS is that computer stores, many of which are small businesses rather than big-box stores, install pirated copies of Windows on them. Linux has nothing to do with it. I don't think anyone in China uses Linux except for some techies.
I recall a Microsoft exec saying that they make more money in Vietnam than they do in China.
If I were to hazard a guess as to why no OSes installed in such a large protportion of PC sales, I'd suggest a combination of bootleg copy of Windows the owner has access to, and perhaps use of Linux. But honestly, the bootleg copy of Windows seems the obvious reason.
I agree with the article that most likely, in the future, laptop/notebook form factors will gain over the desktop. Desktops are more interesting if you want flexibility in peripherals, though, and the lowest price for the most performance, so they are probably more appealing to first-time buyers. Eventually, people aren't so concerned about what they might want in the future, as they gain experience in having this PC.
Me, I still prefer desktops for their flexibility. But that argument will probably become less and less valid as desktops lose market share and the market for adapter cards loses steam. Just a guess.
Desktops cost less. Remember that the incomes in rural areas make a PC purchase a major item.
No OS is simple. China is a one copy country and people are not buying software. I am surprised they are not all using a Linux variant at this point.
It would be useful to understand the motivations behind the numbers. Why so many desktops, and so many with no pre-installed OS, and why such small notebook screens? Is it just cost, or are there other factors?
I am surprised by the spread in the percentages of pre-installed OS PCs shipped vs no installed OSes. I wonder what is driving that factor? I do think that China is poised to take off in the personnel PC markets space as evidenced by the spread in personal vs corporate PC purchase numbers. I would expect that as the infrastructure expands and the costs continue to be driven down by the sheer volumes that more personal purchases will start to drive the market. Are there other factors involved that I am not aware of??
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.