Thursday, 4 June 2009

Why Windows 7's netbook success isn't a slam-dunk

Microsoft officials are trumpeting this week, via a new posting on the Windows Blog, that PC World, the largest electronics retailer in the UK, is removing Linux netbooks from all their stores and “going all-Windows.” Microsoft’s public line is consumers have spoken and they “want Windows because it’s the only OS that gives people the choice, compatibility, familiarity and simplicity they need.”

The post doesn’t mention that Microsoft offers PC makers XP at a cut-rate price (estimated to be about $15 per copy for netbooks, compared to an estimated $35-plus per-copy for XP on laptops/desktops. It fails to acknowledge how few netbooks are running Vista — because Vista’s hefty system requirements made that proposition impossible. The post doesn’t mention the growing number of Microsoft OEM partners who are working on Android/Linux netbooks. (The latest to join that pack: Acer, which is promising an Android-based netbook for Q3 2009.) And it fails to note that Microsoft still has not publicly announced how and if it plans to get Windows 7 on ARM-based netbooks.

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