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Netbooks Take a Bite Out of Windows Profits 221

twitter writes "Analysts at Bloomberg noticed the tumble in Microsoft's traditional software sales last quarter and blamed it on netbooks: 'The devices, which usually cost less than $500, are the fastest-growing segment of the personal-computer industry — a trend that's eating into Microsoft's revenue. Windows sales fell short of forecasts last quarter and the company cut growth projections for the year, citing the lower revenue it gets from netbooks. When makers of the computers do use Windows, they typically opt for older and cheaper versions of the software. Equipping Linux on a computer costs about $5, compared with $40 to $50 for XP and about $100 for Vista, according to estimates by Jenny Lai, a Taipei-based analyst at CLSA Ltd.' This is why MS declared war on the segment last year and palm top computers in previous years. While they may have successfully tamed the Asus EEE PC, they can't hold back everyone who wants to make a buck on cheap hardware and free software. Analysts have predicted the fall of MS's business model when computers break below $250/unit retail. We are there now, and it has shown in the bottom line."
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Netbooks Take a Bite Out of Windows Profits

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  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @03:39PM (#25689079) Homepage Journal

    They never followed the standards before, why would they start now?

  • Wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @04:06PM (#25689219) Journal
    You're either trolling or you are one of those clueless people who have no idea how much lower the cost of living is in poorer countries and so keep believing your jobs are going overseas because of child labour.

    Normal labour doesn't even cost that much in China.

    Even with a brain dead CD installation method I'm sure you can install Linux on more than 10 computers in one day. Low cost labour in China doesn't cost USD50/day.

    A decent ready-made meal probably only costs USD1.

    Yes most chinese workers can't afford two SUVs/trucks, a big house with a TV in each room (and the heating/cooling bill), a big slab of meat for every meal. But perhaps with the current energy infrastructure, maybe the world can't afford it either.

    If I can get paid USD5 per PC install of Linux, bring em on, I'd easily do 100 a day, and still have lots of time to nap, post on Slashdot, play games etc.

    May not be a lot of money for you, but it's good money where I am.
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @04:10PM (#25689249) Journal

    While twitter may be a PITA,and his talking to himself with sockpuppets is just....well,it is pretty obvious the guy needs mental help, this does point out something I've been saying for a long time: MSFT is pricing their goods WAY too freaking high! $99 for XP Home? $199 for XP Pro? Is there ANYBODY else who charges THAT much for software THAT old? The MSRP retail hasn't changed since it came out in '01! And then they total crazy BS of Vista,with its,what? Six different versions? And the cheapest one is STILL $100? Totally freaking crazy.

    If MSFT doesn't want to get their asses handed to them they better learn to accept normal profit margins on their software. Not to mention giving the public what they want. I mean,have you EVER heard of any other company killing off a product that was still selling quite well after 7 years? Most companies would kill for a product like that!

    Mark my words: The netbooks and nettops are going to take up a serious chunk of the lowend. Because with even a half ass GPU added(so they can play High Def vids) they will do everything your average Joe wants to do with his machine. Last year when I walked through the college I saw full size laptops everywhere. Now I see very few full size while everyone has a netbook sitting on their lap. If MSFT doesn't learn to take a normal profit like everyone else then the custom Linux distros like the EEE Xandros(which is the most popular model at the local college) are going to seriously kick their ass. After all,they have a couple of years old desktop at home to run their Windows software on,so why should they pay so much more just for an old MSFT product?

  • Re:MSFT goes SaaS? (Score:2, Informative)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @04:13PM (#25689271)

    I don't think Microsoft will have to cut significant costs to sell Windows for $25 a copy. Especially XP, which they have pretty much already paid for. As it stands, their OS sales are essentially printing money for them. Go to the following page and find the "Client" section to see what I am talking about: []

  • Re:You should not. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @04:36PM (#25689437) Journal

    Vista is a failure

    Keep saying it enough and you might convince yourself. Meanwhile, if your metric for failure is sales, then I'd suggestion 180 million sales [] isn't a bad metric to go by.

    To be objective, Vista did break a lot of things when it RTMed, hence the bad rap it took. Nearly 2 years on now, and things are much much smoother.

    But no, you're right, Vista is a failure. Keep repeating it and it'll be true eventually I promise!

  • Ubuntu and FreeBSD work wonderfully here on my PIII 1.2GHz laptop and PII 450MHz household server (with KDE for when I'm desktopping on it). Mac OS X 10.4 works wonderfully on our 400MHz G3, 400MHz G4 and 800MHz G4.

    Really - this is all a Microsoft problem, because their software is mediocre.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08, 2008 @06:12PM (#25690021)

    That screen would be 1024x600, and the processor is only a single core with hyperthreading. I should think that your Dell laptop from two years ago has a faster processor if nothing else.

  • Re:Chill dude. (Score:5, Informative)

    by turgid ( 580780 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @06:26PM (#25690097) Journal

    I have not confused cores with threads. Cores are simply individual CPUs integrated on to a chip. AMD and intel are currently up to 4 on a chip. Sun does 8 on a chip (with 8 thread contexts per core).

    Solaris, Linux and many other unixes have been scaling (not merely being just "aware of") many more that 256 CPUs (call them cores) for well over a decade.

    Do some googling. Solaris especially and linux scale almost linearly to thousands of CPUs per system today. To say that Windows' performance is embarrassing in this respect would be an understatement.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @07:43PM (#25690591) Journal

    It's not true by any measure.

    Guess again. MSFT shares have been declining since Ballmer got the job.


  • Re:You should not. (Score:4, Informative)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @07:55PM (#25690683) Journal

    Uh,you DO know that MSFT counts a downgrade as Vista,right? Or that places like Tigerdirect are bragging on new machines "With XP Pro Downgrade Preinstalled!"? As a guy running a little PC shop in AR,and who has worked in repair shops off and on since the days of Win3.11 I can tell you I have NEVER in all my years seen so many folks coming in just to say "Please get this damned thing off my PC and put on XP!". And I mean never.

    Even with the suck of WinME we didn't have to deal with as many folks wanting to downgrade to an older MSFT OS as I have had to with Vista. I even know a guy who chunked his laptop out his 3rd story window into the dumpster below and bought a Mac that afternoon because Vista had pissed him off one too many times. And I have gotten to the point that I tell folks $250 when they ask me to switch their sub-$600 laptop from Vista to XP just because I'm sick and tired of trying to find drivers for those damned cheap crappy Vista laptops. And thanks to MSFT keeping the price high on retail copies I really wouldn't be surprised if most of those laptops I refuse to touch probably end up with hot XP put on them by someone else.

    Personally I don't care what they do with them because I'm staying busy with all the new PCs folks want built so they can have a new XP machine. You know it is bad when folks go out of their way to have someone like me build them a PC for higher cost than they would pay Dell simply because they don't want the latest from MSFT. So whether the perception from the public is based on hearsay or not,I can tell you that I couldn't give away a copy of Vista if I tried. Folks just don't want it around here. And it never fails that when folks come into the shop complaining about how much they hate their new Dell,Compaq,HP,etc and need it fixed I say "You got Vista'd,didn't you!" and they say "Yeah,I got Vista'd real hard and I HATE IT! Please make this damn thing go away!". So at least from my perspective MSFT's stupidity is my gain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08, 2008 @08:48PM (#25691011)

    Hyperthreaded =/= Dual core. You have a single core 1.6Ghz Atom CPU that can be recognized as a dual core CPU. That's hyperthreading in action right there. Just wait until you run an old application that absolutely cannot be multithreaded. At most, it'll peg the CPU at about 53%. Even if you wanted it to, it will not go higher. No one single application will peg the CPU at 100%. I find Hyperthreading in this aspect to be a serious drawback because it limits the raw power you can get out of the CPU itself.

    The screen is 1024x600. Not 1024x400. Roughly 16:9.34 aspect ratio.

    For real use performance, I find the Aspire One to be roughly equivalent of a 600Mhz Pentium. It's not blazing fast. At best, on low settings, I get about 20fps on some games. Regularly between 7-15 fps. And this was on a DX7 era game that is entirely CPU bound.

    GPU based games don't run too much better, really. (No, I didn't buy the netbook for gaming, though it's nice to be able to sit back and frag a few AIs during a long train ride.)

    The Aspire One with 512MB of ram is dog slow. I upgraded mine and added 1GB to it. It became much more usable, but Firefox still takes nearly a minute to finish loading. Disabling virtual memory/swap finally took that bit of I/O lag out of the equation and I find it less tedious to use.

    Now, if you were coming from a P2/300 Mhz Dell laptop, I could understand your enthusiasm, but I hardly doubt that you are able to compare it to a Dell laptop from 2 years ago. My current laptop is about 2 1/2 years old and it kicks the crap out of the Aspire One. (True Dual Core, 2Ghz Intel C2D, 2GB Ram, dedicated video Geforce 7700 Mobile with 512MB of video ram)

    I built a file server/network box. 512MB of ram, P2/500Mhz CPU. The Aspire One runs about the same.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @11:23PM (#25691837) Journal

    Yeah,nice idea,but MSFT purposely boned the netbooks so as not to take business from their Vista Business offering. XP Home lacks AD login,most of the Group Policy settings,etc. See this link [] for a list of differences. Pretty worthless in a business setting. On the other hand the Xandros EEE is just Xandros with a different shell. Now I don't know if they based it on Xandros Home or Business,but I can tell you from experience that Xandros Business plays REAL nice with Windows server based networks. I've never had any trouble logging onto an AD domain with Xandros Business,in fact it would log in faster than my XP partition would.

    So if all you are wanting to do with the laptop is work on the road you'll be fine. But if you are going to be logging into the AD Domain at work you'll have to install XP Pro on it or one of the Linux distros like Xandros Business that plays nice with Windows Domains.

  • by Whiteox ( 919863 ) on Sunday November 09, 2008 @02:58AM (#25692835) Journal

    Not a single game since Crysis came out comes close to taxing the system

    Ever try FlightSim 10?
    The guys who run it, also run a pile of addons like real world weather, ATC, virtual 3d cockpits and the rest.
    Even FS9 on directx 9 sucks on a 3.2P4 with 2gb ram with the best 3D card - maybe 20fps.
    FS10 or FSX as it is known, can barely do 10fps.

    3D card/systems comparisons generally avoid the FS game as it is very demanding on all systems.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission