Linux is an excellent operating system, but on netbooks it's gone from hero to zero in an incredibly short space of time. We can blame Microsoft for some of that - the hasty resurrection of XP along with attractive licensing deals has certainly persuaded manufacturers to offer XP and Windows 7 is specifically targeting the netbook niche - but there's more to it.
Linux was able to carve itself a niche because of a very temporary state of affairs. A year ago, netbooks couldn't run Windows. Now, they can and, despite the price difference (otherwise identical netbooks are more expensive if you plump for XP over Linux), Windows is what customers want.
It's all rather ironic.