Microsoft is making a point of showing that Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista will be light weight enough to run on older, slower, and less powerful machines than Vista. In other words, netbooks.

While introducing Windows 7 at the Professional Developers Conference today, Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky held up a netbook (he didnt’ say what brand it was, but Engadget guesses it was an Asus Eee PC while Laptop Magazine says it looked like a Lenovo IdeaPad S10), saying it had just 1GB of RAM and it needed just half of that memory to boot.

There’s not much more to tell at the moment. All we know is that you can run Windows 7 on a netbook. But you know what? You can also run Windows Vista on a netbook. Sometimes it even runs quite well. The point is that Windows XP, which was originally designed to run on machines with as little as 256MB of RAM and sub-1GHz processors often tends to run better.

By the time Windows 7 is released in 2009 or 2010, odds are you’ll be able to pick up a $300 or $400 netbook that’s faster than anything available today and uses less power. So I’m sure it will be more than capable of running Windows 7. But unless Microsoft can make the case that Windows 7 offers useful features that are absent from Windows XP and doesn’t slow down systems, cause hardware compatibility problems, or other headaches, a lot of consumers will still be wary of the new operating system. Of course, in another year or two it will be harder to come by a Windows XP license than it is today, so the point may be moot.

On the other hand, there are plenty of Linux distributions that run perfectly well on netbooks today…

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13 replies on “Sure Windows 7 will run on netbooks, but how well?”

  1. it actually runs well. except for WMP12, which won’t use non-MS codecs, unless you delete them manually from c:windowssystem32. Find out which ones using the ‘about’, and ‘technical info’ on the help menu of wmp12.

  2. “On the other hand, there are plenty of Linux distributions that run perfectly well on netbooks today…”
    Granted but can the user use it well? Or do they have to things like

    sudo apt-get install build-essential
    wget -c
    sudo tar zxvf rp-pppoe-3.6.tar.gz -C /opt/
    sudo chown -R root:root /opt/rp-pppoe-3.6/
    sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/RP-PPPoE.desktop
    to get their broadband going

  3. I agree that by 2009/2010 then memory prices will lower and netbooks with 1GB might be quite common. I still am lost at to why I would want Vista or Windows 7. What does Vista have that XP doesn’t? Aero and desktop search. Is that it? What will Windows 7 give me that is worth the $60-$100 that I will need to pay?


    1. Support for new software/hardware in the future that will not be built into XP. Like it or not, XP is nearing end of life. At least 7 looks like it is going in the right direction (unlike Vista).

  4. I love the coverage you provide here. Your website is one of the few sites I check on a daily basis. But the typos are really getting hard to ignore. I don’t know what CMS you use, but most browsers have spell check built in. Please use it.

    pwoerful is not a word. Youc isn’t a word either. an is a word, but when it follows Youc, I would imagine that it is supposed to be You can. And batteyr from your “Samsung NC10 reviewed: Good keyboard, amazing battery” isn’t a word either. I really don’t like be nit-picky, but it’s a lot of typos. Seriously, please just spell check before you publish.

  5. It uses 512M to boot? What the heck?? is that suppose to make us feel good? I know linux can bot in far less then that, and I presume OSX and *BSD do as well.

  6. No, according to the rumor mill I’m a part of one of the Windows 7 testers is saying it IS really light weight, they’ve gotten rid of much of the bulk of Vista. But I guess time will tell the tale.

  7. Microsoft can do it when they want to. Just look at how they were able to shoehorn XP in the the XO laptop. I have a nephew at Redmond and he says 7 will be a lot leaner than Vista. Yes, it is the same core, but the emphasis is on quicker boot times and more efficient use of memory. I am no MS lover, but if you want to go Microsoft, 7 looks like the way to go in 2010. Of course it will still be DRMed to death.

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