Rumor: Netbook makers may be reluctant to switch to Windows 7

Final pricing for Windows 7 hadn’t been announced yet, and what’s even less clear is how much Microsoft will charge PC makers who want to pre-load various versions of Windows 7 on netbooks. But DigiTimes is reporting that right now Microsoft wants to charge netbook makers around $45 to $55 for a copy of Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is almost twice as much as the company currently charges for Windows XP licenses.

It sounds like that pricing hasn’t been set in stone yet, but it could be enough to keep some netbook makers from upgrading until they have to. DigiTimes suggests that some companies are considering opting out of the “Upgrade to Windows 7″ program that typically offers computer shoppers a free or cheap upgrade to a next-gen operating system when they purchase a new computer shortly before a new version of Windows is released.

The article suggests that some PC makers may just decide to hold off on offering Windows 7 at all until their next generation computers based on the upcoming Intel Atom N450 processor is available this fall. But the article is kind of all over the place, and I’m guessing the information is gathered from a number of industry sources who aren’t all saying the same thing. In other words, we’re kind of in the same place today as we were yesterday: All we know is that it’s going to be up to each netbook maker to decide how and when to offer Windows 7, and it’s not at all clear what strategy each company is going to take yet.

  • BoloMKXXVIII

    What is the advantage to manufacturers to move to 7? It will cost more, it will increase the number of returns for 3 reasons, it is unfamiliar, there are still programs that don't run on Vista/7, and there are features disabled in the starter edition. If I was a manufacturer making the decision about which version of to install it would be XP for as long as I could get away with it.

  • MonkeyKing1969

    MS would be smart to sell Win 7 Starter to OEMs at $30. That at least splits the difference and puts Win 7 in people faces, machines, and minds. (That was the problem with Vista nobody bought it. Then people wondered why they didn’t buy it. Then people started to remembers someone at some point said something bad about it. Then apathy became truculence.)

    Just put it in people's machines cheap, and tighten the belt at MS this year.

  • wayne

    Can someone please explain what user benefits there are to using Win 7?

    What can't-do-without features are there? I've heard a lot of people who have used it and like it (well, more than Vista) but no one has said “this is so cool you have to get it”.

    No killer feature, more cost, more to re-learn. Hmmmm, why would we change from XP?

    Sorry Microsoft, just because “it's new” won't work these days. The wow never started with Vista, not sure what lame marketing ploy message you are going to try this time around. Oh and all those silly versions, again. Did you learn nothing from last time?

    All you'll hear is more people moving to the Apple platform once Snow Leaopard hits at US$29 upgrade… and only one version for everyone. Most people don't care what OS they use. They cae even less about upgrading a working OK machine.

    So long as their computer lets them do what they want which increasingly is get online and email/social network that's all they care about.

  • Ninjustin

    I was using windows 7 and yeah it works alright on my eee 1000h just not lightning fast like XP. After reinstalling XP I'm staying here why install something slower.

  • DougC3

    I may just step off the Windows treadmill for a while and have a nice relaxed time with Linux :)

  • wayne

    i thought i'd try that when i first purchased an EEEPC 701 with pre installed Linux.

    It was so frustrating trying to get fonts working so I could format nicer looking documents that I gave up after a week of asking questions and trying to hunt down answers.

    Linux on these machines would be fine for most people or if you never wanted to install another bit of software. Use it as it arrives and you'd be happy. Moving out of that category and into the “tinker group” and there's a huge relearning curve…

    That's when I put XP onto it and was happy again.

  • DougC3

    I'm just setting out up that learning curve, but enjoying it in spite of the frustrations so far. I spent most of today studying the Xandros file system, locating a driver for a wifi all-in-one printer, and trying to install it, only to learn that I'd have to make more room on the 900A's 4GB SSD. It's sort of like the DOS days, but much more involved and complicated. I'm keeping a few Windows systems around for now but am definitely going to use Linux for some things and see how far it goes.

  • http://patriotsquill.com/ Serolf Divad

    Fonts were my biggest problem with the Ubuntu install on my Dell Mini 9. The font that Firefox uses to display web pages makes it so you can't fit the New York Times in a 1024 pixel wide screen. You still have to scroll. And while it's a nice looking Serif font, it's also too hard to read on a 9″ screen.

  • http://patriotsquill.com/ Serolf Divad

    Fonts were my biggest problem with the Ubuntu install on my Dell Mini 9. The font that Firefox uses to display web pages makes it so you can't fit the New York Times in a 1024 pixel wide screen. You still have to scroll. And while it's a nice looking Serif font, it's also too hard to read on a 9″ screen.