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.

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7 replies on “Windows 7 and XP will both be available for netbooks (at first)”

  1. i’ll take a proper version of win7 over xp, if it can get it for a roughly comparable cost. it IS faster, especially once you switch everything back to classicish settings.

  2. Do you know what runs even better on netbooks?

    KDE 4.2 (or later).

    Way less expensive, more powerful, more secure, and faster.

    Run Kubuntu Jaunty Aplha, and compare it with Windows + anti-malware-afterthoughts (side by side on the exact same netbook hardware), and this will be readily apparent.

  3. Windows 7 Starter vs. Windows XP is an easy choice.

    Windows 7 Home Premium vs. Windows XP is also an easy choice.

    Let’s see what MS’s strategy is.

  4. Does it matter? What does Window 7 do that is all that geat?

    Security? Pfft. Moving a few buttons around? Pfft Jelly bean buttons? Pfft

    I mean come o,n the the actualfunctionlaity of Winodws, Apple OS, or any other OS has not changed much all in the last 20 years. It not like computers do anything more whiz-bang then they have ever done.

    Call me when these operation systems talk and think like an AI, heuristicly heal themselves and learn, and test my pee and schedule doctors appointments on the fly. Right now the OS is a splash screen that stands between me and internet porn…until it gets smarter/better it is just a Windows 3.1 with frills.

    That is why WIndows 7 is neat, but unnecessary. That is why I’d live with an XP machine instead of paying $100 or $150 more for stripped Windows 7 on a netbook.

  5. I do hope those that would prefer XP (and MS offering the choice is great, and funny considering Vista’s not in the equation) would give Win7 the benefit of the doubt and try it. It really does run very, very well on a netbook, and the new UI stuff (especially aero peek & the taskbar preview panels) aren’t just gimmicks – they help a lot. Not to mention, it’s beautiful compared to XP (I’ve got them side-by-side, and the age is showing on XP’s Luna)

    1. No real opinion on Windows 7, but objectively, and all other things seemingly being equal, surely it will be better to get a properly-maintained current OS rather than one that’s now on life-support if not nailed to the perch. As I said before, anyone buying XP now really is buying into a foolish dead-end, with Microsoft themselves admitting that the upgrade path to Windows 7 will be more hassle than it’s worth.

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