Netbook version of Windows 7 will be "much cheaper"
By Barry Collins
Posted on 5 Feb 2009 at 08:01Microsoft is set to tighten the screw on Linux in the netbook market by making the new Starter edition of Windows 7 much cheaper than Home Premium.
The company announced there will be six versions of Windows 7 earlier this week, although only five of those will be available in the UK.
Starter edition is the company's attempt to address the netbook market, which has so far largely ignored Windows Vista and opted for the less demanding and cheaper Windows XP, or pre-installed with Linux.
When asked in an exclusive interview with PC Pro whether the pricing for Starter edition will be "much keener" than for Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft's Windows product manager Laurence Painell said: "I would suggest that's a safe assumption."
The company is yet to announce specific pricing for the various flavours of Windows 7.
Painell said he expects the vast majority of netbooks to ship with Starter edition, but that manufacturers will have the option to install Home Premium on those devices.
"If you're buying a netbook it will be down to the OEM to decide whether they install Starter edition, in order to keep the goods down to the lowest price they can, or they can offer the best possible experience on netbooks, which is obviously Home Premium," he said.
One reason why manufacturers may decide to snub Starter edition is that it limits users to opening a maximum of three applications simultaneously. Starter also fails to offer multitouch support, making it inappropriate for tablet devices. Asus has already announced a Tablet Eee PC and others are expected to follow with low-cost touch devices.
Microsoft denies it's artificially crippling the feature set of Starter edition to allow it to charge extra for Home Premium.
"What we've tried to do is create a SKU line-up which satisfies consumers and partners," Painell said. "They [netbooks] are very much designed as a companion device. So for instance, it's not the best experience to use Media Center on a netbook because you don't have the correct screen size. Moving to a larger form-factor laptop or desktop PC means you get the best possible experience for Media Center."
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office