Windows 7 is designed to run well on netbooks. While most netbook makers will likely offer computers running Windows 7 Starter Edition or Home Premium, Windows 7 Ultimate Beta runs great on a netbook with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel screen.
But you know what else runs well on laptops with those specs? Windows XP. Around 90% of netbooks sold today are running Windows XP. And it remains to be seen how consumers will react to Windows 7 netbooks — especially if they come with higher price tags than current models.
ZDNet reports that Microsoft VP Neil Holloway says the company will offer both operating systems… for a while at least. If consumers decide that they prefer machines running Windows XP, it’s possible that the 8 year old operating system could get another stay of execution. Because if there’s one thing Microsoft doesn’t want to see happen, it’s for Linux or other operating systems to eat into the company’s netbook market share. Mini-laptops may have low profit margins, but they’re the only portion of the computer industry that’s actually seeing growth right now.