The netbook didn’t die immediately. It survived the initial punch to the face from Apple’s iPad, which offered better battery life, a more intuitive interface, and an escape from the general mediocrity of Windows ultra-portables.
It did not, however, survive the knife in the back from Microsoft. The introduction of Windows RT called into question the viability of Windows 8 in small form factor devices, while Microsoft's foray into hardware raised doubts about the ability of manufacturing partners to compete with the much bigger brand.
Shortly before the Surface was released, Asustek and Acer abandoned the netbook, leaving it for dead.