CEA netbook panel
CEA netbook panel

I stopped by a panel discussion at the CEA Line Show today moderated by Laptop Magazine‘s Mark Spoonauer.  The panel included executives from Samsung, HP, Verizon, and Intel talking about the current state of netbooks as well as the future. Afterward, I got a chance to catch up with

Intel General Manager for nettops and netbooks Noury Al-Khaledy to ask him about a recent report that Intel hadn’t yet validated Windows 7 Home Premium for Intel Atom processors.

You can see his complete response in the video after the break. But in a nutshell, nope, the company sure hasn’t. The thinking is that the usage scenerio for netbooks is light computing, which can be done with Windows 7 Starter Edition. But Intel may decide later to give the Home Premium version some more rigorous testing. In the meantime, Microsoft has clearly tested all versions of Windows 7 on low power netbooks with Intel Atom and similar processors, and it seems to run just fine. Intel just isn’t going to make any guarantees.

In other news, Al-Khaledy doesn’t seem too worried about so-called “smartbooks” based on ARM processors. He says they won’t be able to do the things that people are used to doing with netbooks today, so while they may fill a new niche, he doesn’t expect them to eat into the x86 netbook market tooo much. What do you think? Is there room for both smartbooks and netbooks? I somehow doubt a single person will decide to pick up a cellphone, smartbook, netbook, and full sized computer. But maybe smartbooks will appeal to people who don’t see the point in netbooks, and vice versa?

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10 replies on “Intel hasn’t validated Windows 7 Home Premium for Atom… yet – Video”

  1. The type of device they need to come out with is an ergonomic one that doesn’t require horizontal scrolling when viewing webpages (main thing that will separate it from PDAs) and character input that can be done on one’s back while in bed (separate it from the netbooks/laptops). This will require either a touchscreen interface or thumb board to replace the keyboard with a thumb touch pad or joystick to replace the mouse. It should have wifi (home/public network), bluetooth (use the mobile phone as a modem, stream music, and skype privacy), and infra-red (remote for hometheater) connectivity options. I would design this to be ebook tablet type of device but would not limit it to the barebones memory like what many of the linux netbooks were like.

  2. Well, he’s a marketer, a PR-face. OF COURSE he will say he’s not worried, no matter what.

  3. “Smartbooks” refers to Snapdragon powered netbooks. There are other ARM manufacturers out there in the netbook arena (which is why I use the term “ARMbook”). As for your statement “I somehow doubt a single person will decide to pick up a cellphone, smartbook, netbook, and full sized computer”, don’t you own at least one of each already (minus the smartbook)?. I have 3 laptops and a netbook and would be happy to pick up a small ARMbook, say in the 9″ range. My netbook is a 10″ model because I wanted a keyboard I could use for extended periods. An ARMbook would be used for lighter duty so the keyboard doesn’t have to be as large. In fact, I would love to see an ARM tablet. The web tablet idea isn’t new, but with a e-paper or a pixel Qi display and an ARM processor it could finally be made light, cheap and with decent battery life.

    1. Exactly. Minus the smartbook. I think smartbooks are either going to
      overlap too much with cellphones or too much with netbooks for people
      to find them useful as a fourth computing device.

      I mean, sure, geeks like us can never have too many computers. But no
      matter how many computers you, Mikez, and I buy to keep around the
      house, the vast majority
      of personal computer sales are going to be to more casual users who
      may still not be convinced that they need a second computer, let alone
      a third or fourth.

      But I could be wrong. It’s possible that the instant-on, cellphone
      like capabilities of smartbooks or armbooks will appeal to people who
      are dissatisfied with the small keyboards and underpowered graphics on
      their cellphones, but who still want an x86-based netbook with a more
      powerful processor for heavier lifting.

      On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 6:32 AM,

      1. And let us not forget the PDA holdovers. My wife still uses a Palm PDA for her calendar (appointments, reminders, etc.) and some light game-play while waiting for mentioned appointments. She has been eyeing my Sylvania G 7″ as a replacement for her PDA. If they could give us the wireless access for internet a relatively small size (put in a purse) and good battery life (at least an all-day on and off usage between nightly charges), I’m pretty sure we would “upgrade” the PDA to an arm-based netbook.

        1. Is x86 really that big of a deal for a 7″ or 9″ web tablet? 3G, yes, but you won’t be running itunes or photoshop on it. Pandora, Skype, IM, Facebook (yuck), etc. All web apps that are platform agnostic. I can imagine using a bluetooth headset and using it as a phone (traditional or Skype). $200 is realistic. Maybe free with contract. Apple would not be amused.

  4. I’ve been “validating” W7 Ultimate on my Mini 10 for about a month now, they don’t have anything to worry about. By far the best OS I’ve used other than OS X.

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