May 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm
Lenovo believes that the future of netbooks will see Windows 7 becoming the dominant operating system, in-built 3G functionality becoming commonplace, lower prices and netbooks not being constrained by small systems i.e. we could see netbooks entering 12-14-inch territory.
Linux users will be disappointed to hear that Lenovo claims that consumers are confused by Linux netbooks. “There were a lot of netbooks loaded with Linux, which saves $50 or $100 or whatever it happens to be, based on Microsoft’s pricing and, again, from an industry standpoint, there were a lot of returns because people didn’t know what to do with it,” claims Lenovo’s worldwide competitive analyst, Matt Kohut, in an interview with Tech.Blorge.
“Linux, even if you’ve got a great distribution and you can argue which one is better or not, still requires a lot more hands-on than somebody who is using Windows. So, we’ve seen overwhelmingly people wanting to stay with Windows because it just makes more sense: you just take it out of the box and it’s ready to go,” says Kohut.
Kohut believes that Windows 7 will be the dominant operating system running on netbooks in the future, giving particular praise for its touchscreen functionality. “Windows 7 is going to have, not a true netbook version, but a version [Starter] intended to work especially well on netbooks,” says Kohut.
“One of the cool things that Windows 7 does is touch. So, it’s not far off to have a netbook where you have full touch integration built into it and not just drag/drop but full multitouch where you’ve got all the gestures.”
Kohut admits that Lenovo may still have to do some work on the touch interface itself. “One of our focus areas specifically is how do we overlay on top of what Windows is offering,” he says. “If you are going to bring in touch, how do we overlay common tabs so that now we can enter numbers, [and] how do we make the keypad bigger, for example?”
Kohut points out that vendors are already moving toward bigger screens, and that customers are demanding bigger panels and lower prices. “There is no reason why a netbook has to be a small system. People say, “maybe if we go 12 or 14 inches as we go to larger systems, I just need the system to do basic things, but I don’t need something that is super expensive either,” said Kohut.