Microsoft extended the life of Windows XP in order to give netbook makers a low cost operating system that wasn’t too heavy on resources to run on netbooks. But the company has set some restrictions on the systems that qualify for a cheap Windows XP license, because it wants to keep selling Windows Vista licenses for more powerful machines (and eventually Windows 7 Home Premium).

In order to qualify, a netbook has to have a 10 inch or smaller screen, 1GB or less of RAM, and a 160GB or smaller hard drive. And now it looks like Microsoft may have added another restriction to the list: no dual SSD/HDD storage systems.

Right now that only affects one laptop: The MSI Wind U115, which uses a combination solid state disk and hard drive in order to help achieve battery life of 12 hours or more. But it also means that the new BenQ Joybook Lite U121 Eco announced this week won’t be able to run Windows XP. It also has an optional hybrid storage option. Of course, it also has an 11.6 inch screen, which probably means it wasn’t going to run Windows XP either… but I’m guessing this new restriction, if true could mean that neither the Wind U115 nor the Joybook Lite U121 Eco will be able to run Windows 7 Starter Edition when that operating system is available, and will instead have to use the higher priced Windows 7 Home Premium.

via Netbook Choice

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5 replies on “Rumor: No Windows XP for netbooks with hybrid storage”

  1. You shouldn’t say they won’t be allowed to run XP. The PC Vendor can ALWAYS install XP if they want. They just have to PAY FOR a full license to Vista. They don’t get off with the $15 price they pay for XP on qualifying machines. The XP Downgrade is a standard feature of Vista, so you can always get XP if you want, AND your PC vendor wants to offer you XP. Its just that it won’t save you money.

    So there will be a price bump between the XP machines at 10″ with no hybrid drives, and the 11″ or hybrid drive machines. Ditto those with Windows 7. In the latter case though, presumably those machines will actually come with Windows 7 Home Premium rather than Starter, since hey, you’ve paid for it, and you probably want the extra features (wallpaper anyone?).

    1. You are correct, howerver, these machines largely sell on price, which is what makes them netbooks instead of ultraportables of course. If you add $85 – $100 in greater costs, you have a hard time selling them. So basically it makes them unviable. So whether it’s technically allowed or not, the higher price of using XP will cause it not to be used.

  2. MS products should go back to being an after-market, add-on – –
    Ship them all with FreeDOS with zero MS/Linux “tax” –
    let the retailer/destributor/end user pick what they want.
    – – – –
    Oh, wait, written as a member of a prior generation – –
    Today’s buyers will not make a purchase if they have to wait
    for the battery to charge – let alone wait for an OS to be installed.

    1. Ha ha. That’s true for many.

      I think it’s just wrong that a company can say which computers it’s software can be run on. That’s absurd. It would be like google saying that you could only run it’s Chrome browser on computers with AMD processors. Or Apple saying you could only run their operating system on Apple computers. Oh wait. I guess they’re not the first company to choose such annoying restrictions…

      But I still think it’s wrong. Let us have your “XP home” operating system at the same price as “Vista Basic” goes for for OEMs.

  3. I don’t think I really believe in the “can’t be more than 10-inches” restriction to begin with tho. I mean at my local Wal-Mart they sell the new Acer Aspire One with a 11.6-inch screen that has XP on it – I’ve seen it myself (it does however also come in Vista home basic as well, so maybe they reached a deal? I dunno).

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