MSI is just starting to sell the Wind U115 netbook in some parts of the world, but it looks like the company is preparing to phase this model out soon. In fact, if you want to get your hands on this netbook with excellent battery life and a combo hard drive/solid state disk storage system, you’ll probably want to snatch one up as soon as you can find one because they might be hard to come by as early as July or August.

Why would a company stop production of a brand new model so quickly? In a word: Microsoft. The software company allows netbook makers to purchase low cost licenses for Windows XP to ship with low priced, low power mini-laptops. But Microsoft recently decided that one of those restrictions would be that a netbook could have a hard drive or SSD, but not both. Right now, that restriction only affects one netbook: The MSI Wind U115.

In other words, MSI either has to pay a higher price for Windows XP licenses for this machine than for other netbooks, or the company may have reached a special agreement with Microsoft. Either way, hot on the heels of news that MSI would continue selling the Wind U115 in Germany through October comes a report that MSI could stop production by the end of July at Microsoft’s request.

My guess is that MSI had already begun producing this netbook and wants to at least recoup some of its R&D costs on the machine before phasing it out. But it would have been swell of Microsoft to mention the restriction to MSI before the company developed a mini-laptop with a hybrid storage solution.

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10 replies on “MSI Wind U115 could be phased out almost as soon as it’s introduced”

  1. Let’s give a high-five to all those greenies up in Washington state – especially those who work at Microshaft – for killing power saving technology.

  2. I’ve got a Wind U100 home, and the interesting thing about it is, I bought a brand new, never opened machine, with 2 gigs of ram. There is a map of the box that shows that the exact model was made for several European countries, and in my country, it’s the only version with 6-cell battery you can find. Not sure why it can be sold in Europe, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the U115 selling on this side of the pond.

  3. I think it would be smarter if they just went with Linux like Ubuntu to avoid the restriction and if the consumer wanted XP, then they can install it themselves and MSI will just provide the drivers.

  4. Nice to see a software company having the full power to dictate hardware specs to all these manufacturers. You figure by now there’d be some sort of move to try to remove this obvious block to innovation (hopefully not government based).

  5. If manufacturers are free of these artificial restrictions with a 7 Home license, it will be interesting to see what features and specs start showing up in new netbooks.

  6. any chance microsoft doesn’t want a system that is very easily set up to double boot with either linux or osx?

  7. Is it part of a secret MS plan to encourage the installation of
    Linux on machines which never bring them any commercial
    support contract revenue?
    Next thing you know, they will be pushing FreeBSD. 😉

  8. I understand Microsoft’s incentive to sell Win 7 to manufacturers and restrict XP home licenses. But for the life of me, I cannot understand any reasonable basis for restricting the use of an operating system based upon HD memory type and battery life. Hell, I would buy the MSI 115 with Ubuntu based upon battery life and add my own OS if Ubuntu didn’t meet my expectations.

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