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Windows 7 to herald the $200 netbook?

March 31, 2009 at 12:18 pm


Windows 7Microsoft is predicting that its entry-level Windows 7 operating system, the Starter Edition, will pave the way for netbooks with a price point of $200 (£140) by Christmas. Microsoft sees the price point low enough that it will all but replace current entry-level Linux-based netbooks, which it says see a “disproportionate amount of returns.” Despite this, Microsoft will still be marketing Home Premium as the default Windows 7 OS for netbooks.

Mark Croft, the Director of OEM Worldwide Marketing said: “We have a couple of the OEMs continuing down a path to be very aggressive on price. It puts the pressure on everyone. We’re anticipating opening price points to reach about $200 at least in the US market this holiday season, and another $50 maybe for Nvidia Ion machines.

Microsoft has yet to finalise the netbook specification. “There isn’t a standard, uniform view of the world. Each OEM has nuances on this depending on what they think their brand value is, each one has a slightly different take on what they’re trying to do in terms of market share or margin,” said Croft.

Some of them are trying to make $10 on this device or $20, and some are just trying to sell a unit and break even. Some of the OEMs absolutely have an opening price point but they really have the objective of persuading the customer that if they pay a little bit more, they get significant extra functionality, whether it’s in the hardware specification or the software and experience. No two are the same.”

Windows 7 Starter Edition will come with a number of restrictions though, the most controversial being that only three programs can be run at one time. However, if MS manages to release this at a competitive price point, maybe it will hope that the consumer will be able to weigh this negative against the cheaper netbook cost. This may deal a big blow to some of the upcoming Linux projects that are tailoring their OSes to netbooks.

Via TechRadar.

Comments

2 Responses to “Windows 7 to herald the $200 netbook?”

  1. carlleigh said:
    March 31st, 2009 3:08 PM

    I think anybody from Microsoft saying that there is a high return for Linux netbooks should of course provide sources for his information. Otherwise he’s just going to look like a PAID and not to bright Microsoft stooge.

    I’ll be glad when Microsoft comes out with a Netbook with full Microsoft Office for $200. Because then I’ll be able to stop pointing out that a Microsoft basic OS comes with almost nothing and a basic Linux computer comes with hundreds of thousands of dollars of applications. I pity the fool that thinks that basic Windows 7 is a great deal at even $300.

  2. foo said:
    March 31st, 2009 3:43 PM

    > “Each OEM has nuances on this depending on what
    > they think their brand value is (…)” said Croft.
    >
    > “Some of them are trying to make $10 on this device
    > or $20, and some are just trying to sell a unit and
    > break even.”

    Now you can see why the regular Windows price is *way* too much for netbooks.

    How can you expect a manufacturer struggling to make $10 on a device to pay $50 to Microsoft?

    > Windows 7 Starter Edition will come with a number
    > of restrictions though, the most controversial being
    > that only three programs can be run at one time.

    Perhaps Microsoft should *pay* manufacturers to bundle this piece of crippleware into otherwise perfect computers.

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