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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows

Windows 7 Sets Direction of Low-Power CPU Market 369

Posted by kdawson
from the no-less-no-more dept.
Vigile writes "News is circulating about Microsoft setting hardware limits for the Windows 7 Starter Edition rather than sticking to a 3-application limit. With just a few simple specifications, Microsoft has set the tech world spinning — not only is Microsoft deciding that a netbook is now defined as having a 10.2-in. or smaller screen, but by setting a 15-watt limit to CPU thermal dissipation they may have inadvertently set the direction of CPU technology for years to come. If Microsoft sticks to that licensing spec, then AMD, Intel, VIA, and maybe even NVIDIA (who might be building an x86 CPU) will no doubt put a new focus on power efficiency in order to cash in on the lucrative netbook market."
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Windows 7 Sets Direction of Low-Power CPU Market

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  • by MBraynard (653724) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @07:58PM (#28070649) Journal
    It seems these rumors are pretty malleable.

    I don't see a whole lot of netbooks selling with the starter edition in the developed markets.

    • Not to mention if you RTFA(I know, but i got bored) it says on top of this BS that Win7 Start will STILL have the 3 app limit. To me that is gonna be the deal breaker. The only worry here is that they are going to offer Win7 Starter for sooo cheap that we will end up with pretty much every PC, be it Netbook or low cost desktop, that would have come with XP Home or Vista Home Basic end up with Win7 Starter.

      If that happens and they don't make it VERY clear before purchase, with a sticker on the machine or some other obvious and hard to miss label then i can see this ending up a good case for a class action lawsuit. And by what metrics do MSFT decide what constitutes a "program"? Will IE not count but FF or Opera will? What about WMP Vs Media Monkey or iTunes? Windows Firewall VS Comodo or Zonealarm? Sounds to me if like in TFA they stick with the 3 app limit they are just begging for a whole mess of lawsuits. Because unless they make everything built into Windows like IE and WMP and Windows Firewall count against the limit they are gonna get nailed in court. Real Shame, as Win7 looked like it might actually be a decent OS. Trust Ballmer and his marketing dollars to totally bone a winner with marketing BS.

      • I'm guessing anything that shows up in task-manager as an application will count as an application. Which means you could probably get around it if you were an application developer, but why?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by TSPhoenix (1367187)
          I can see this getting messy. For instance Rainlendar and Winamp both have TWO listings in Task Manager's application list, yet in my current configuration both just have an icon in the system tray, nothing on the taskbar itself. Are these going to count as one, two or zero applications each?
          • Probably two. Which could get annoying. But honestly I can't imagine any scenario where an artificial three app limit wouldn't get annoying.
      • The only worry here is that they are going to offer Win7 Starter for sooo cheap that we will end up with pretty much every PC, be it Netbook or low cost desktop, that would have come with XP Home or Vista Home Basic end up with Win7 Starter.

        On the bright side, when installing Linux on those machines we'll waste much less money on the "Microsoft tax".
        Windows users may not be getting a great deal though.

        • ..when installing Linux on those machines we'll waste much less money on the "Microsoft tax".

          A whitebox doesn't have the MS tax.

      • by Daltorak (122403) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:00PM (#28070967)

        Ed Bott did a bunch of research on what the Windows 7 three application limit really means:

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=844 [zdnet.com]

        In short, he says that:
        - Windows Explorer, Command Prompt, Task Manager, Control Panel applets, other Windows system tools don't count
        - Many applications that run as system services and present themselves through the notification area (aka system tray) don't count (anti-virus, firewall, little utilities, etc) ...
        - The version he tested doesn't exempt installers, but Microsoft said that they should be
        - Internet Explorer is NOT exempt, but there is no limit on the number of tabs you can open
        - If you don't like the three-app limit, there is a built-in way in Windows to upgrade to a higher edition that doesn't have the limitation. You don't have to reinstall Windows or lose your data or anything; it's just an online purchase and a change of product key, and the upgraded features are unlocked with a reboot

        So it's not like you're screwed if your computer came with Starter and you need more. But if you don't need more, hey, you just saved some money....

        • OEM's would be able to preinstall this limited version (thereby bringing down the price) and allowing the consumer to decide if they want/need the upgrade or not.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grcumb (781340)

        If that happens and they don't make it VERY clear before purchase, with a sticker on the machine or some other obvious and hard to miss label then i can see this ending up a good case for a class action lawsuit.

        It grieves me immensely to say this, but nothing Microsoft does will stop netbooks from shipping with Windows installed. No amount of self-inflicted sabotage can compensate for the irrational loss aversion [wikipedia.org] that characterises most computer users. They just don't feel they can afford to be without Wind

        • Isn't it possible to have a service interact with the desktop?

          Of course, if people do that en masse, it may lead to the breakdown of the nicely segregated user model that MS tried so hard to force lazy ISVs to actually support.

          </massive speculation>

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TeXMaster (593524)

          For those of us who remember, multi-tasking (after a fashion) was made possible on Windows 3.1 via the TSR - Terminate-and-Stay-Resident programs that left a stub, inert but still in RAM - that allowed a limited task-switching capability.

          TSR was not a way to have multi-tasking on Windows 3.1; TSR was a way to have pseudo-multi-tasking in DOS before Windows [and other multi-tasking environments such as DESQ(view)] came by. In fact, most TSR apps would NOT work in Windows.

          Of course, TSR-multitasking was not really multitasking, since the TSR was not really 'running' at the same time as whatever you were running under DOS. Multitasking was offered by Windows (which before version 3.0 did not offer 'real' multitasking either). or by other pro

        • by mrraven (129238) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @12:54AM (#28072193)

          This is proof that corporations that arise from your beloved "market" can be every bit as evil and draconian as the government.
          And don't even give me that B.S. that monopolies wouldn't arise if there was less government intervention in markets, Stadard oil arising when there was NO government intervention in markets ring a bell? In short Ayn Rand fans time to find another paradigm that maps the real world.

          A smart person questions BOTH concentrated public and private power which is why I hope OSS wins in the long run as it's inherently decentralized and avoids BOTH public and private monopolies on production that lead to debacles like this on private side and debacles like the "v-chip" on the public side.

      • I's been made very clear by Microsoft that Win7 Starter will not be sold retail. It will only be available by OEM in limited markets (e.g. where Windows gets pirated like no tomorrow, ratios well beyond the US or most of Europe).

        Heck, I'm halfway to a Linux fanboy, and even I knew that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          Uuuuhhhhh....sorry, but that was XP and Vista starter. Those folks will now be getting Win7 Basic. They have already stated that Win7 Starter WILL [pcworld.com] get sold on Netbooks in the good old US of A. And as I said, that is just to start. I can easily see a scenario where MSFT prices Win7 sooooo cheap that pretty much all the desktops and laptops that get Vista Basic or XP Home now end up with Starter. Then MSFT can "maximize their IP" by trying to push upgrades on all those poor saps that got boned.

          Remember one of

      • by Anpheus (908711)

        No! No, no, no. Please refer to this post:

        http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1243331&cid=28071669 [slashdot.org]

        Windows 7 Starter will not be available to you or I.

        http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/02/04/a-closer-look-at-the-windows-7-skus.aspx [windowsteamblog.com]

        Look! The United States based Windows Blog, with posts by Microsoft employees states:

        1. Customers wanted clarity on which version of Windows is the right version for them. So... Windows 7 will be offered primarily in 2 editions: Windows 7 Home Premiu

    • by reporter (666905) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:51PM (#28071163) Homepage
      Back in April, according to a report [theregister.co.uk] by "The Register", Marc Tremblay began work at Microsoft. Tremblay was the lead architect of several processors at Sun Microsystems.

      At Microsoft, Tremblay joined the Strategic Software/Silicon Architectures team, nicknamed "SiArch".

      Today's news that Microsoft will set a wattage limit on netbooks running the starter edition of Windows 7 clearly shows why Microsoft has an SiArch team and why Microsoft hires "processor" guys and gals. Only a team packed with "processor" experts can do the kinds of studies that are needed to determine what is a reasonable wattage to impose on netbooks.

      Why must Microsoft spend several million dollars on a SiArch team to pick a simple wattage? Microsoft is facing severe competition from Linux at the low end.

      If Microsoft picked a wattage that is too low, then the netbook manufacturers could not build such a system and would rebel -- right back into the arms of Linux. Microsoft absolutely needed to pick a realistic number.

      Until April of 2008, Linux owned the majority of the netbook market [itwire.com]. Then, Microsoft submitted its Windows XP to that market and quickly seized 90% of it. Microsoft wants to keep that market share. So, if Microsoft wants to impose hardware restrictions on netbooks, Microsoft will ensure that those hardware restrictions are reasonable.

  • not only is Microsoft deciding that a netbook is now defined as having a 10.2-in. or smaller screen

    Does it also mean that a low-cost subnotebook that runs Windows 7 Starter Edition is not allowed to have a VGA output? My cousin has an Acer Aspire one with an 8.9" built-in screen, but I have a 32" Vizio monitor.

    • by Mal-2 (675116)

      I'm one of those who absolutely needs the VGA out on my Aspire One. I didn't think I needed it when I bought it, but I'm using it much more like a full-size notebook than I expected. It drove my (sadly broken) 20" 1600x1200 monitor without a hiccup, as well as the 23" widescreen (2048x1152) I replaced it with. It will do this in addition to running the built-in screen, which can be useful despite the vastly different pixel density. With a screen this large though, it's really not necessary. I will generally

    • I personally would be very surprised if they banned external monitor ports on netbooks (most current netbooks have them afaict) but ultimately we will only have rumours until the release actually happens (and even then certain details will likely be a secret between MS and thier OEMS)

    • I find it more likely that Starter edition just won't be on OEM devices with larger screens.
  • Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by richdun (672214) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @07:59PM (#28070661)
    ... OEMs will not offer Windows 7 options. If netbooks are mostly for email, web, etc., who needs a particular OS? All seem to do those basics well enough (often with the same software ported around to fill the market).
    • by Jurily (900488)

      If netbooks are mostly for email, web, etc., who needs a particular OS?

      Not to mention the hardware constraints work against bloat, and nullify most of the sticking points that kept a lot of us on XP/Vista, like 3D games.

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:19PM (#28070765) Homepage Journal

      If netbooks are mostly for email, web, etc., who needs a particular OS?

      You may need a particular operating system if "mostly" does not equal "entirely", or if the tasks that you intend to run on a low-cost subnotebook are highly "etc." You may need a particular operating system if your "web" site uses a particular plug-in that has no complete Free implementation, such as Silverlight or Flash.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        Flash has been on Linux for ages now. In most distros its just an apt-get away from being installed. Silverlight has Moonlight which is sorta comparable, but in all my browsing I really haven't come to an occasion that Silverlight was ever necessary.
        • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:35PM (#28070857) Homepage Journal

          Flash has been on Linux for ages now.

          On ARM, or only on x86?

          Silverlight has Moonlight which is sorta comparable

          Moonlight supports Silverlight 1, which by now is only good for showing "Please upgrade to Silverlight 2" messages, just as the Flash Player 7 on Wii Internet Channel is only good for showing "Please upgrade to Flash Player 9" messages. And a lot of sites use Silverlight with non-free video formats whose freely available decoders aren't ported to ARM even if they are ported to Linux.

          • I had no idea they intended to port Vista 7 to ARM.
          • Hey, at least Linux has an ARM version at all.

            I'm sure if it catches enough steam Flash will come to it. Heck, Adobe finally began porting Flash to 64-bit Linux, so they're paying attention.

            Who the heck needs Silverlight anyway? On a Netbook?
            • by tepples (727027)

              Who the heck needs Silverlight anyway? On a Netbook?

              For a web site that's available in Silverlight but either unwieldy or flat-out unavailable in HTML.

    • If windows 7 is the only windows option for netbooks, and they don't want an os that inexplicably has a higher rate of returns on netbooks [slashdot.org], they'll offer windows 7.
    • Mostly doesn't mean only. I use mine for email, web, etc. I also use it for AutoCad, MS Office, Power Point, and MS Project, and most important Starcraft and Diablo 2. Where did the idea come from that netbooks are only for Web and email anyway? (OK besides the name "netbook"). They are small but fully functional laptops with CPU about as good as top of the line was a few years ago.
  • bar set pretty high (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Locutus (9039) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:02PM (#28070677)

    I don't quite get the big deal here since they are just setting the bar as high as needed to make sure Windows kinda runs on the hardware. Microsoft must be the one to set the bar because if it was anyone else, that bar would probably be too low to have any fun or use running Windows.

    15 watts for the CPU is huge compared to what some of the ARM chips are doing while also doing HD video.

    If anything, these specs for Windows netbooks is just another way to segment the winbook market to make sure a much higher price can be obtained for notebooks. After all, Microsoft can not have the netbook market grow up and start eating into its profits and people getting the idea that the OS is way too much of the cost of the device.

    So, it's really all about marketing and little else. yawn.

    LoB

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      IBM tried something like this back in the day. They decided to write a new operating system to limit PC's to the 286 chip. IBM made multiple mistakes in developing OS/2, but this attempt to keep PC's from eating into their mini-computer market is what led them to make most of them.
    • by SoTerrified (660807) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:12PM (#28070731)

      I don't quite get the big deal here

      Because MS will set the specs. Since some customers will only buy Windows, all the hardware manufacturers will build within those specs. And those specs will be with us for the duration of Windows 7.

      Why is it a big deal?

      When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site so they must be US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) or 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches.

      Why was that gauge used?

      Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

      I see, but why did the English build them like that?

      Because the first railway lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

      Well, why did they use that gauge in England?

      Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

      Okay! Why did their wagons use that odd wheel spacing?

      Because, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads. Because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

      So who built these old rutted roads?

      The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The Roman roads have been used ever since.

      And the ruts?

      The original ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by the wheels of Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

      Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot.

      So even though we could've designed a better Space Shuttle, because of the limitation of Roman war chariots, the boosters are not optimal. Win 7 vs. netbooks might not be so extreme, but it's still a force that's going to insure the hardware isn't designed the best it could be... It'll be designed towards the Win 7 specs. (With thanks to http://www.astrodigital.org/space/stshorse.html [astrodigital.org])

      • by scheme (19778) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:44PM (#28070903)

        When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site so they must be US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) or 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches.

        That's utter bs. If you bother to check wikipedia [wikipedia.org], you'll find out that diameter of the boosters are 12.17 ft. That's not us standard gauge by any means. Plus, if you think about it, NASA doesn't have any issues shipping the main fuel tank assembly to florida.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          "Plus, if you think about it, NASA doesn't have any issues shipping the main fuel tank assembly to florida."

          If I remember correctly, the external tanks go to KSC by barge from the coast of Louisiana. Not so easy to sail a barge from Utah...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pimpimpim (811140)
          Hmm, did you ever see an actual train? It generally is not as wide as the train tracks it rides on. Not many people would fit in otherwise. For example, trains carry standard size shipping containers, which are 8 feet wide [wikipedia.org]. Exterior width of a typical boxcar is 10 feet 8 inches [csx.com]. Since there has to be some space at both sides, 12 feet is not an unreasonable width [meramechighlands.com] for a single-lane train tunnel.
      • so they must be US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) or 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
        Track gauge (spacing between the rails) != loading gauge (maximum dimensions of a car on the railway). While there is some relation between track gauge and loading gauge (you can't make the loading gauge too big or the train will be unstable and you can't really make it narrower than the track gauge) loading gauge can vary without track gauge changing. IIRC american and continental european loading gauges are qui

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)

          The other, rather important, point you're missing is that the loading gauge is how wide/tall the tunnels are. If your load is too wide, it'll get thrashed as soon as the train hits the first tunnel or underpass.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I knew the US space program ripped off Nazi Germany, but the Roman Empire too? Wow!
      • by ignavus (213578) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @06:45AM (#28073473)

        So even though we could've designed a better Space Shuttle, because of the limitation of Roman war chariots, the boosters are not optimal.

        Damn those Romans and their lack of foresight!

    • That's actually the upper bar. Microsoft offers a stripped down version of Windows for a lower price, but in order to keep OEMs from using it on all their computers (and getting a lower price), they set specifications for the most powerful computer it can be used on. If you have a more powerful computer, you have to buy the full version.

      What the submitter is suggesting is that these specifications define the category for Netbook.
  • by xs650 (741277) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:28PM (#28070807)
    It would be a better world if the CPU manufacturers required Microsoft to meet certain standards.
  • windows 7? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eugene (6671) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:35PM (#28070859) Homepage

    most of the netbook still have options that use some flavor of linux as OS, so who cares if it runs Windows 7 or not? Personally I don't want my netbook running Windows 7 or even XP because it's not designed for it (consuming too much resource).

  • I'm a bit puzzled by the notion that this might mean CPU developers would put a new focus on power efficiency. The focus from CPU manufacturers in the netbook space already is on power efficiency. That is the whole point of Intel'a Atom processor line, for example.
    • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @02:25AM (#28072549)

      MS don't care about solving the world's energy crisis. They're simply doing a deal with Intel to keep the status quo.

      Via's Nano is a potential competitor for the Atom platform in netbooks. However its TDP clocks in at 17 watts at 1.6GHz, and 25 watts for the 1.8GHz version. So for Via to compete with Intel in this market, they have to under-clock their CPUs, which naturally sacrifices performance - making Atom competitive in benchmarks.

      The other limitation in Intel's favour is the single-core requirement, which cements the N270/N280 as the dominant CPU. x86 vendors such as nVidia & AMD won't bother with this market segment when they have multi-core designs on the table. Hence Intel doesn't cannibalize sales of Nehalem CPUs.

      The Wintel cartel is alive and well. Let's hope low-cost Linux netbooks with multiple core ARM and MIPS chips will erode their market at this price range; forcing MS and Intel to compete on a level playing field.

  • Oh no ... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Skapare (16644) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:44PM (#28070901) Homepage

    That means my new 2.2 GHz netbook with 128 GB SSD and 10.25 inch screen that dissipates 16 watts is going to run that Linux stuff.

  • by petrus4 (213815) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:08PM (#28070995) Homepage Journal

    Linux runs on just about anything, these days, and if it doesn't, NetBSD does.

    Get an ipod that can run IPodLinux [ipodlinux.org], plug in one of these [thinkgeek.com], and a pair of these [i-glassesstore.com], and you'll be ready to dodge bullets. ;-)

    With the above, they can sell as many of their crippled, gimped notebooks as they want; you can use that stuff and the hacked ipod to create your own system. If you don't mind the weight, there's still this [lifehacker.com] old trick, too.

    Microsoft can do whatever they want. All we need to do is route around them.

    Stop being afraid of them; they have no power. We can do whatever we like, and there is nothing they can do about it...for the simple reason that there are so many more of us. Microsoft are only one company.

  • MS realizes that to continue to succeed it will have to charge a different OEM price for "netbooks" and "laptops" otherwise they will be eaten alive based on price.

    Because of this, a standard must be set, otherwise you will have a hardware manufacturer attempting to pay the "netbook" price for windows in order to undercut everyone else even though the computer has a 2ghz dual core, etc.
  • From what admittedly little I've read, so-called netbooks have razor-thin profit margins and the only reason they're selling is because the full-size laptop market is getting closer to being saturated. For people who want an underpowered, smallish laptop for web browsing and email, what's wrong with a 12" PowerBook G4 from eBay? Full-size keyboard, 1024x768 screen, 1 to 1.5 GHz. $250-$300.
    • by Shados (741919)

      10 inch is already pushing it on netbooks to make them useful for what they're supposed to be, IMO. 12 is just too big.

    • A new netbook will come with 1-2 years warranty and your 2nd hand powerbook is unlikely to come with a new battery.

  • Competition.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpekkioMofW (711835) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:28PM (#28071073) Homepage
    As per TFA, this is nothing new - they had specs for XP and Vista, too. It would be nice to see some genuine competition for MS in this emerging market - i.e. Apple.
  • by dangitman (862676) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:07PM (#28071217)

    ... a new focus on power efficiency in order to cash in on the lucrative netbook market.

    I don't think that word means what the writer thinks it means. In what way is the netbook a "lucrative market"? The profit margins must be almost non-existent. It's a race to the bottom, and I think many companies will regret chasing this market.

    • by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:57PM (#28071501)

      Well, it's software. Even if you get $0,01 per copy you're still better off than if you wouldn't be in this market at all. Remember, an additional copy still comes to no additional cost.
      Perhaps though it is lucrative as in "lose this market to Linux and it will be the beginning of the end". So even paying OEM's to install Windows could be profitable because such move secures desktop OS monopoly further.

      • by dangitman (862676)
        How is a netbook software? They have screens and keyboards that seem pretty "hard" to me.
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:08PM (#28071229)
    Microsoft has always endeavored to lower the bar of innovation. Why should Windows 7 be any different? It is expensive to innovate. It is less expensive to use a monopoly to stifle innovation

    .
    If Microsoft is successful (through marketing "incentives") in strong-arming hardware OEMs to lower the hardware capabilities of future netbooks, that is nothing less than an enormous win for Microsoft.

    I am nothing but amazed that the hardware OEMs do nothing but roll over and say to Microsoft, "please, Sir, may I have another."

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:45PM (#28071421) Homepage Journal
      Exactly. MS can dictate the hardware product line : Do as we say or you will not get a MS sticker. You will be in the bargain bin with the junk from Taiwan, Korea (South owned, made in the north ;) ) and a brand from China looking to emerge.
      Or you can help MS trash Linux with low hardware numbers and get a sticker. Another plus is real shelf space too.
      MS can fool most people with its OS, its just for netbooks, dont expect so much. Most will just be happy for the low price.
      The real win for MS is Linux is crippled too. Every OS likes more RAM, a faster cpu and a plug in power setting.
      The low end was breaking out, Linux was winning.
      After this, its just a toy market, with MS on top.
      MS cannot make a good OS, so they kill the hardware base for the rest. The MS can say its the hardware, all OS are lame on it :)
      • by Shados (741919)

        All they're doing is saying "The cheap version of Windows 7 goes with computers that are small and have low power consumption. Beyond that you have to use the same version of windows as any other computer, that is, if you're gonna use Windows at all"

        How is that different exactly from all the products that are, let say, licensed per socket (which even some well respected open source companies use).

        If the machine is larger and use more power, then the price of -windows- (and nothing else) goes up. So on bigge

  • Microsoft Must Die (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WidgetGuy (1233314) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:06PM (#28071571)
    Microsoft must die. It's that simple.

    And cloud computing could make that happen because it should make the client OS irrelevant. We don't have to do anything "to" Microsoft. Just build world-class productivity apps that use open standards and run in the cloud. This forces Microsoft to compete on a more level playing field as it can no longer leverage its OS hegemony because Firefox on Linux works exactly like Firefox on Windows XP/Vista/7.

    Google Docs is one potential Microsoft killer. Unfortunately, Google Docs is _still_ in beta (after how many years? -- if we count Writely, and I think we should) and you'd better believe it's "beta" because its still feature poor (which is more an "alpha" characteristic) and buggy (I just lost a document I was working on last night). OK, Windows users will be used to that behvior, but that's not the point. Google, perhaps the most of all the major cloud computing vendors (e.g., Amazon, Yahoo!), has the best chance to finally put Microsoft in its place by making the OS irrelevant.

    And, that's how you kill Microsoft.

    So, what's the problem, Google? Why aren't you throwing everything you have at making Google Docs a world-class, cloud-based productivity application suite? Or, at least, making it a priority project (which, at present, it obviously is not)? As it currently stands, the Google Docs mini-suite is a good start, but its apps are not yet good enough to get hardcore users of Microsoft productivity apps to switch. Until that happens, Microsoft is going to continue to attempt to control the "cloud threat" using its Windows OS. When netbooks can access powerful applications in the non-Microsoft cloud, it won't matter (for a large portion of the netbook owners/buyers) what OS is running on their cloud client. And, that is Microsoft's worst nightmare.

    In closing, I would be remiss to not point out that the cloud already is helping make Microsoft's OS-enforced "app limit" irrelevant. Firefox only counts as one OS application. But, Google Docs is actually three applications (writer, spreadsheet, presentation tool). So the "three app" limit is relatively easy to get around when you're working in the cloud.

    When cloud-based apps get good enough and the other cost-reducing advantages (especially to business owners) of cloud computing are considered, there will be no rational reason why Microsoft doesn't become "just another cloud computing vendor."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arminw (717974)

      ...And cloud computing could make that happen because it should make the client OS irrelevant....

      This might be true for those who have a VERY fast Internet connection. If everybody's Internet connection were as fast as the average hard disk access and at least as reliable, universal network computing, as you describe it will still not kill Microsoft. Even if I had such a connection, I would not trust some outside company to house all my data, ready to give it at the drop of a hat to every Tom Dick and Harry

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