While netbook popularity among consumers remains questionable, small businesses are eating them up, according to market research firm Techaisle. Firms with fewer than 10 employees have been among the biggest buyers, with companies of between 20 and 99 employees (so-called large small businesses, the jumbo shrimp of the business world) expected to account for more of the future netbook spending at a time when PC buying becomes the most important small-business expense activity, Techaisle says. But, don't fall too deeply in love with your little netbook--tablet PCs, smartbooks and ultralow voltage PCs will challenge the netbook as the de rigueur power tool in 2010.
$2 Billion - Amount spent on netbooks by small and medium-sized businesses worldwide in 2009
5.2 Million - Number of netbooks bought by small businesses in 2009
19 Percent - Percentage of total netbooks shipped in 2009 that went into emerging markets, such as China
$1.9 Billion - Amount spent by netbook buyers in emerging markets
Dan O'Shea is a Chicago-based writer who has been covering telecom, mobile and other high-tech topics for nearly 20 years.