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5 Netbooks M$ has Killed.

twitter (104583) writes | about 5 years ago

Portables 3

twitter writes "PC World has a list of Netbooks that M$ has killed because they might hurt Windows 7 sales. The list includes some nice hardware and options that include gnu/linux.

Think most netbooks have single-core processors, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive because their manufacturers like conformity? Right. The reality — never officially acknowledged — is that Microsoft doesn't cheaply license its operating systems to netbooks with specs that are too good (see the limitations at TechARP)

Actually, the details have leaked in the past and manufacturers have complained in public. It's time for the anti-trust cops to do their job."
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Defining the line between netbook and notebook (1)

jwilcox154 (469038) | about 5 years ago | (#29244253)

I do somewhat agree with the definition of Small Notebook(aka netbook) and a fullfleged laptop(aka notebook) since a netbook is supposed to use less power and take up less space than a notebook.
Let's take a look at the specs.

Screen Size Today (Windows XP / Windows Vista)
Not to exceed 12.1"

Screen Size with Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic for Small Notebook PCs
Not to exceed 10.2"

That spec change is understandable as a netbook is supposed to be small. Not to mention a smaller screen size allows for less power to be used.

Memory Today (Windows XP / Windows Vista)

1 GB RAM

Memory with Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic for Small Notebook PCs

1 GB RAM

No change here

Storage Today (Windows XP / Windows Vista)

160 GB HDD or 32 GB SSD

Storage with Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic for Small Notebook PCs
250 GB HDD or 64 GB SSD

This is where Microsoft is shortsighted. It should not have to do with the capacity of the HDD/SDD but rather the physical size of the HDD/SSD. A netbook, IMO, should stick to using a SSD rather than a HDD since a netbook is supposed to be more portable than a notebook and a SSD uses less energy than a HDD.

Two limitations that had no business even existing were removed.

Graphics Today (Windows XP / Windows Vista)

Less than or equal to DX9

Graphics with Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic for Small Notebook PCs

No limitation

Touch Today (Windows XP / Windows Vista)

Resistive touch only

Touch with Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic for Small Notebook PCs
No limitation

Neither of these specs have anything to do with defining the line between notebooks and netbooks.

CPU Today (Windows XP / Windows Vista)

Single core processors that :
1. do not exceed 1 GHz frequency, or
2. Intel Atom (N270, N280, 230, Z500, Z510, Z515, Z520, Z530, Z540, Z550), or
3. Intel Celeron 220, or
4. AMD (MV-40, 1050P, TF-20, Geode LX, Athlon 2650e, Sempron 210U), or
5. VIA (C7-M ULV, Nano U1700, U2250, U2300, U2400 or U2500)

CPU with Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic for Small Notebook PCs
Single core processors that :
1. do not exceed 2 GHz frequency, and
2. have a CPU thermal design power that is less than or equal to 15 W, not including the graphics and chipset.

Right here Microsoft is removing specific processors and going with any processor that meets three criteria.

Microsoft is simply defining the line between netbook and notebook. The reason I do agree with most of the spec changes is a netbook is, IMHO, a replacement of a PDA and the days of the PDA is greatly numbered. A netbook just requires the OS while a PDA requires special software on the computer and cables just to sync. It would be much simpler to "sync" a netbook than it would a PDA. A notebook OTOH is supposed to be used as a substitute for a full fledged PC.

Microsoft needs to be cautious as the netbook manufacturers and customers do have the choice to reject Microsoft and embrace any Linux or BSD distribution. For example Canonical could use these specs and go a bit further with them with the next version of Ubuntu. This would come back to haunt Microsoft in the future as one is no longer tied to using Microsoft's OS for a PDA and syncing it to a home computer. In other words, Microsoft does not have the control it once did.

-John Wilcox
http://www.johnbwilcox.net/ [johnbwilcox.net]

Defining Anti-Trust. (1)

twitter (104583) | about 5 years ago | (#29248403)

There's nothing reasonable at all in M$'s tying their pricing to OEM hardware restrictions, and it's against the law. If Dell, for example, makes a netbook they think people want, M$ will punish them by charging them more for all versions of Windows. The rules are designed specifically to eliminate hardware gnu/linux has an advantage on. This is commonly known as "predatory pricing." The details of the rules are less important than the big picture. M$ is trying to thwart the market for a competitor. These restrictions are artificial and that kind of interference in markets always cost everyone. The result can be seen at computer stores around the world. Stores that once could not keep enough $300 and cheaper Netbooks with gnu/linux in stock are now customer free dead zones filled with $400 and pricier laptops. It's a good thing Bust Buy is moving into electric motorbikes, Netbooks and Windows 7 will sink them otherwise. All of the Windows retail partners who survived the Vista Failure are in for a beating even worse than the one that flooded the market with bulky $500 laptops. OEMs that don't bail out will take it too. Anti-trust regulators should swing into action quickly. After Windows 7 fails, M$ won't be able to pay their fines.

Re:Defining Anti-Trust. (1)

jwilcox154 (469038) | about 5 years ago | (#29253679)

There's nothing reasonable at all in M$'s tying their pricing to OEM hardware restrictions, and it's against the law.

Actually it is not against the law for any business to choose what prices they want on their products. A business still needs to be careful as to charging too much.

If Dell, for example, makes a netbook they think people want, M$ will punish them by charging them more for all versions of Windows. The rules are designed specifically to eliminate hardware gnu/linux has an advantage on. This is commonly known as "predatory pricing."

A netbook or a notebook? Either way if Microsoft punishes them by charging more for all versions of Windows it won't be Dell that would lose, it would be Microsoft. In all actuality, Microsoft would be cutting their nose off in spite of their face. Today Microsoft has real competition and they are being forced to change their business plan in favor of the customer. This leads me to my next point.

Anti-trust regulators should swing into action quickly. After Windows 7 fails, M$ won't be able to pay their fines.

If Microsoft does not heed their customers' voices their customers will switch to the competition. In other words, we won't need an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft to kill them, they will kill themselves by shooting themselves.

As for Vista being a failure, it actually is not a failure. I have used Vista with SP2 recently and it is much more stable than the real failure, Windows ME. Even though it isn't a failure they need to keep their prices down if they want to retain customers. After all, they have real competition in the form of Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Mac OS, and many other Posix(BSD, Linux) based distributions.

P.S. If you would have read my entire post I was agreeing the the specs. A true netbook will not need as much processing power as a notebook/laptop as it is a replacement for personal data assistants. PDAs are, IMHO, almost obsolete. That is another customer choice that Microsoft needs to look at.

-John Wilcox
http://www.johnbwilcox.net/ [johnbwilcox.net]

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