August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am
Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has confirmed that Windows 7 Starter Edition will be limited to “super-small screen” and “certain processor” devices in an aim to try and boost revenues. Windows 7 SE is the cheapest version of windows and is predominantly expected to be found on netbooks. It will be sold to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) only.
“Our license tells you what a netbook is. Our license says it’s got to have a super-small screen, which means it probably has a super-small keyboard, and it has to have a certain processor and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” said Ballmer at a Microsoft-hosted analyst conference.
Ballmer was quite honest in why Microsoft is looking to place these strict netbook limitations. “We want people to be able to get the advantages of lightweight performance and be able to spend more money with us, with Intel, with HP, with Dell and with many, many others,” he said.
“With today’s netbooks, we sell you XP at a price. When we launch Windows 7, an OEM can put XP on the machine at one price, Windows 7 Starter Edition at a higher price, Windows 7 Home Edition at a higher price, and Windows 7 Professional at a higher price.”
It shows that Microsoft is trying to make amends from selling Windows XP so cheaply to OEMs and find ways to up-sell Windows 7. “[Windows revenues are] down primarily because we did a program this year to cut prices in emerging markets with a theory that the lower price would lead to higher attach and higher total revenue,” Ballmer said.
“The theory was wrong. It’s not that it was untested, but it turns out the theory was wrong, and you will see us address the theory in the Windows 7 time frame. We’re going to readjust those prices north, so to say, and I think with our Windows 7 SKU line-up, we also have a great chance to do some up-sell … to Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home….”
However, OEMs are likely to resist the increase in prices from Windows 7 and may just fall back on Windows XP instead. After all, XP is still expected to be sold for at least 12 months after the launch of Windows 7 i.e. October 2010.