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back to article Windows 7 to push up netbook prices

Anyone putting off purchasing a netbook until the next-generation Atom processor, the N450, arrives in October, should expect to pay a premium thanks to the extra cost of Windows 7. Netbook makers are currently lobbying Microsoft to reduce the price of its upcoming operating system revision, which, DigiTimes reports, is …

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Linux

Linux

Ubuntu. Free is cheaper.

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Gates Horns

RIP SCC Notebooks.

Killed off by corporate greed.

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Serves them right.

It serves the idiots right for pushing Windows so hard. I bet they thought if they played along with MS they would get Win7 cheaper too.

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Flame

Defeating the point...

All this will just defeat the point of a netbook...

For £400 you can buy a lowend regular laptop from several vendors, or a higher end one that's a couple of years old and will still be more powerful than a netbook...

Netbooks took off because they were small and cheap, so making them more expensive will just start the cycle over again when the cheap arm-based linux ones come out...

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Emo

Sell the OS separately

easy.

Let the consumer decide.

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Why?

Why do people want a dull desktop OS on a netbook? What is the point?

The screen is too small and all the CPU processing just sucks down the battery life.

ARM chip, SDD drive and the Linux netbook remix of your choice. Job done.

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@Joe Montana

Surely the updated netbooks with dual-core processors and upgraded chipsets plus the new version of Windows will be as powerful as those laptops that you speak of? So really, a powerful netbook shouldn't be called a netbook at all.

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Linux

I anticipate

the forthcoming ARM-based machines with relish - what *are* MS going to do then? Ha Ha Ha

I'm pleased the Reg seems to be taking a more rational approach to GNU/Linux than hitherto. Does anyone (apart from the MS astroturfers) believe any of the FUD about command lines(as if nearly every MS sysadmin howto doesn't advise the use of the command line) & all the rest of the bilge?

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Good luck with that.

By then everybody in the world who wants a 'netbook' will have one. Good luck selling ANY at that price.

This is a HUGE oppertunity for ARM/GNU Linux. Lets hope they get it right this time.

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Linux

So so true...

"Linux, il y a moins bien mais c'est plus chèr"

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Stop

Here's an idea

Last year, I ordered a machine for myself and I specifically asked that the machine should be without any OS since I'm going to install Fedora on it.

Apparently, someone didn't listen to my request and I got the machine with Vista Ultimate trial for 30 days. I removed it and installed Fedora.

And thats my idea: vendors could install Windows 7 trial on the machine without adding the OS cost to the machine. If the user wants to use Windows 7, then he'll go to a specific web site, pay the price the vendor set, and he/she will get an activation number which upon activation, the OS will be unlimited, depends on which version he bought (Home, Premium, Ultimate, whatever).

That way, if I want to install my Fedora, or my friend wants to install Ubuntu or anything else, the user won't pay MS "TAX".

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Netbooks

Wasn't the idea of netbooks that they really needed little or no boot time, had no moving parts and were "light" from the technology point of view. Designed to allow access to the internet and have basic functionality but not be a business work horse?

Why the hell would I want to spend £400 on a netbook when the Centrino 2 dual core, widescreen laptop with 3GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive and HDMI video and optical audio output was hardly any more than that?

It looks like the manufacturers, taken in by Microsoft's tactics, have now basically been bent over the table and shafted.

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Linux

ahem

Pass the poisson sil vous plait.

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Linux

ARM and Linux will make Vista 7 a non-starter

When the next generation of netbooks is unveiled ... with ARM processors, nine hours of battery life, and hardware that costs £150 or less ... Microsoft will have a hard time convincing the industry that it's a good idea to pay £400 for a netbook just so it can run Vista 7.

That's not a netbook, it's a small laptop. And perhaps that category will continue to exist, because there will be a few people desperately clinging to 20th century technology ... but for people who are buying netbooks to actually use them as netbooks were intended, Microsoft is out of the game. Vista 7 is a non-starter.

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opportunity lost

The opportunity for Linux is so big, you could drive a truck through it. As someone who suffered with Xandros for 3 months on my EEE before going back to XP, I now know that Linux will never sieze that opportunity.

What I don't get, though, is why these netbook manufacturers can't get it together and offer a stripped-down version of XP, with reasonable boot time, and optimized for better battery life.

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And how much for one with no OS?

Or with Debian/Ubuntu pre-installed?

i don't even care if all the drivers work, I can fix those myself. A hardware only option on these would be wonderful.

Of course MS would decry that as encouraging piracy.

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Alert

More money for a new version?

I'm sorry a new version of anything cost more its the way it works. I'm surprised its as little as $20.

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Linux

Re: Defeating the point...

Yep exactly. When I was in the market for a new notebook I was mulling over getting a netbook. I searched around had a look at various models of notebook and netbook and came to the conclusion that netbooks were starting to get seriously overpriced (some of them were nearly £400!). In the end I got a nice little Acer Aspire 2920 with a 12" screen, 2GB Ram, 2GHz CPU and 250GB hard disk for about £370.

If Microsoft do raise the price then maybe it might make people think. If they're going to spend £350 on a netbook they could pay the extra and get a much higher spec laptop for about another £50.

I also wonder how long it'll take Microsoft to cut the prices when the manufacturers start releasing Arm based netbooks running Android, Ubuntu etc.

Rob

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It's this the EU need to get onto...

...not bashing MS after they actually go someway to meeting a request!

I quite fancied an NC10 but I didn't want to pay the windows tax (on principle and on money).

Unfortunately I need to stick with x86 chips as I'm do quite a bit of low level tuning of code I need the SSE instruction set, otherwise I might go running to a next-gen ARM netbook.

And @jim45, I'm assuming you're meaning putting xandros on the eee was an opportunity wasted rather than assuming all linux distros are as bad as xandros??

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ARM, and who will make them?

While I would like to think that ARM+Linux will take off, I can't see it myself -- who is going to make and sell these machines? Microsoft won't allow anyone who sells Windows machines to ship them or will just cludge a VM together to allow windows CE on ARM or some other crap "solution" and force that onto the market.

@jim 45:

There's the small issue of Microsoft not allowing it. That's the beauty of Microsoft Software.

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Linux

@jim 45

Xandros is particularly horrible. Easy Peasy left me with a very usable Asus EEE machine, for minimal hassle.

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netbook os.

Jim 45

There isn't a missed opportunity with linux.

xandros/linpus etc. give you the tools to do what you want with a netbook as said.

I suspect that a lot of people want a netbook to do more and the current versions of netbook linux distros do all of that.

Jaunty netbook remix is optimised for the hardware, has a fast boot time and do much more than the supplied linuxes do..

As for XP. I'm dual booting with full XP pro and it runs fine on the aspire one with 1gb ram and 120 gig hard disk. I use it as a replacement for my 4 year old desktop.

Office 2007 runs fine as does Colin mcrae rally 2, star wars rogue squadron, Fifa 2001, Superbike 2001.

Older games admittedly but great to play.

My desktop wouldn't run the latest games so I haven't lost out by geting rid of it.

It's interesting that I can use ubuntu intrepid or xp pro to do everything I normally do on my 6 month old vista laptop. Which runs like a dog BTW.

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Linux

Definitely Linux

I much prefer to use Linux - Fedora 11, but Ubuntu will do. If netbook manufacturers insist on Windows, then I'll just wait for the Smartbooks with a dual core Snapdragon ARM CPU. Manufacturers have lost sight of the reason netbooks came into existence. Price, price, price. If Microsoft wants to add $50, they can keep it. It's the least functional, least attractive, least usable OS option anyway.

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Flame

Cry more

People will be paying a premium for a new CPU...

AND A NEW FRIGGIN OS!!!

Windows 7 is a thousand times better than windows XP, and you're paying a little bit more for it? Well did you want a modern computer or not?

The fact linux isn't a choice is a testament to how much fail it is... it's never gonna be a mainstream operating system, it's just for hobbyists and the immediate family they have succeeded in convincing to use it.

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Anonymous Coward

ARM/Gnu End of the Wintels?

I remember Ballmer saying:

Win7 will not be ported to ARM

repeat:

I remember Ballmer saying:

Win7 will not be ported to ARM

-- Heheh, don't they know nothing? --

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Anonymous Coward

That's why Microsoft tried

desperately to make sure Linux does not get on display in any major retailer store nor directly from OEMs. It is not about the superiority of Windows on netbooks, it is not about people being familiar with Windows and so on. It is about the money Microsoft prepares to get/extract from Windows7 users. Oh, in case you haven't noticed they are busily enlarging their coffers to make room to stash your hard earned cash. Sorry for you Windows fans, you've just helped Microsoft with this!

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wub
Alert

Do Value-Added Support

Once the Linux-based netbooks began to be truly popular, the netbook makers ran screaming back to Windows, because too many purchasers couldn't make the transition to a new desktop, let alone a new OS, even Ubuntu. The support costs ultimately made their decision for them.

Here's a radical thought: do the Canonical/Red Hat/...and the list goes on... thing, and install the free OS/free software, then charge for support.

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@ jim 45 opportunity lost

For it to be an opportunity you would have actually to be able to buy netbooks without paying the window tax.

MS will stop that happening one way or another. Mainly by making the netbook dealers install windows on everything as part of their license agreements.

When ARM machines become available then the dealers will be forced to re-think - until then MS calls the tune.

The customer is always right - but not as right as a 'mutually beneficial license agreement'.

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Hmm...

...given the MS and Intell bully-boy tactics ("Sell only our stuff or we will hike our prices to the sky"), will these ARM netbooks ever see the light of day?

MS managed to get Dell to hide/knobble their Ubuntu offering. I expect more of the same.

Which is a shame. MS and Intel stifling innovation and ruining consumer choice. Again.

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Black Helicopters

Nothing new to say, but posting anyway.

I'm in complete agreement with those who thought that the concept of the netbook was extremely low frills, super fast booting, long battery life, internet accessible computing device. People have just started to gobble these devices up and now own 1) desktop 2) laptop 3) netbook. No wonder the vendors love to sell these things...they make more and more money.

Based on my experiences with Windows 7 RC1 on my desktop...I can honestly say that I would be willing to spend an extra $20 to have this versus Windows XP on just about anything that I bought. Except for a netbook of course, where having a full blown computer OS kinda defeats the purpose.

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The manufacturers are in on it too

Remember that they make better money from the more expensive machines they sell, so I find it hard to believe that they don't have the same goal as MS in pushing the price up so they get a bigger profit per machine, or people just go "Fsck it" and spend the extra 200 on getting a proper laptop with a proper processor and proper screen and proper outputs.

The difference is MS is already the big bad wolf stealing money due to their superior market position, so the manufacturers out there can point fingers and get away with it. I find it humourous that people are whinging about MS's role in inflating prices when it is the manufacturers who are building bigger and bigger machines costing more and more, whereas the fscking MS tax remains a constant rather than a variable markup addition to the price.

That's capitalism that is...

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Kudos to Microsoft...

... for successfully killing an innovative development in the market that threatened their bottom line. Again. Though they looked slightly pudgy on this one. I would very much like ARM netbooks with well-integrated, tightly written software stacks doing the main things that people want to do to dominate the market like some sort of modern Amstrad PCW, but I'm just no longer idealistic enough to believe it could actually happen.

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netbooks

Er.... there is still a point for netbooks if they are as expensive as normal laptops. The size.

As a mobile PC technician I appreciate having a Windows laptop with a keyboad weighing 1kg. And a 6 hour battery life. I really wanted one 5 years ago to slip in my toolbag but they didnt exist!

Yes, netbooks are popular because of the price, but considering that underpowered UMPCs were like £1000++ a couple of years ago it's not surprising that netbooks only recently become popular.

Once the prices of netbook vs notebook level out, it will be more of a choice based on peoples needs, not just their budgets. I think many people will go for a normal size laptop, but not everyone. Let people weigh up the pros and cons and decide if they want a small laptop or not.

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$100 machine

Ballmer wants a $100 computer but he's not prepared to drop the price of installing Windows on it. Why should hardware manufacturers slim their already razor thin margins? Seems Linux is the way forward for cheap machines.

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Linux

not sure ....

The point of these devices (let's call them netbooks) is to play movie, play music, chat (voice, video, text) and manly use web browser (in online or offline mode), that all stored on so nicely in the system that user cannot screw it.

so far I have not seen (except few online demos) any OS which does this. Yes I can load Linux, but that's full OS. What I want is simple interface with 5 big buttons. So simple that even my mom can use (sorry mom). I have not seen any linux distro like this yet.

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@ Simon 12

Dude, if you're going to to troll, you have to do better than that.

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I suggest Ubuntu as well.

"Of course, competition may force them to swallow the cost and price Windows 7-equipped N450 machines at current netbook price"

No forcing at all, just (as the end of the article suggests) sell them with Ubuntu. Don't know if it's literally free as LoudScotsBloke says, I assume Dell etc. put in a few bucks since Canonical handles the tech support for them.

Agree with Joe Montana -- if vendors let Microsoft screw these up, they (or other vendors..) will just build Arm netbooks, and Microsoft has no chance there.

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Linux not for everyone

If you are a geek or a friend of a geek Linux will be mighty fine. For everyone else I am afraid its windows or if you are rich OSX

DO you Linux nuts spend all you time waiting for windows to be mentioned so you can come back with your nonsense, get a life (you may have to shower first)

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Unhappy

not quite

mrmond: "xandros/linpus etc. give you the tools to do what you want with a netbook"

But I wanted to do exotic things like - download and install new apps, upgrade to Firefox 3, maybe put an icon on my desktop.

I was led into a forest of unsupported, incompatible distributions, libraries, drivers, toolikits, applications, obscure configuration files. Not going back anytime soon.

XP lets me do the usual things - minus the 3 days of fiddling and begging for help on forums - but boots really slow off the flash drive, and hammers it constantly.

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to @Simon 12

come on, I'm 97% windows user, but what you said is just wrong

I was in Edward Tufte's Class (yes I am that lucky) and he came with very good point that back in the old days nobody cared about OS, everybody cared about the few apps they used. I really hope we will get back in the near future and computers will not be about NTFS vs FAT32 vs AERO ... you won't care about your hard drive, you won't care about anything related to OS.

Linux has a chance to step up in Netbook space or better say in cheap-internet-devices space because it's very modular and can be easily customized

I really wish there would be super easy few buttons only linux distro (even easier than Easy Pleasy). That would be device for my parents... actually for me as well when I am outside of work.

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Is Windows 7 better than XP? Yes... so that's why it costs more

Windows 7 is far superior to XP and Linux (as a consumer OS). You get what you pay for. End of.

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Linux

Command Line in windows

It exists

To admin my windows box it is required

But in Unix and Linux the command line is much more useful than Windows. Windows is pathetic in that respect, as in many others

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Linux and netbooks

@Simon 12...

Never a mainstream o/s? That'll be why it powers most of the world's servers then, eh?

The whole netbook thing has lost its way. Too expensive and too big with bloated operating systems...XP and Vista (wtf?). My Dell Mini9 is the ideal netbook. Small, cheap and robust running reliable and lean Ubuntu. £200 is the right price. £250 is getting close to proper laptops and £300 is just plain ridiculous. Adding Window 7 and its price premium is just stupid....it will kill off netbooks.

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Anonymous Coward

ARM

Who has ARM netbooks available/planned? Any ideas on when, if not already out?

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Anonymous Coward

OS less systems

I am fed up of paying MS tax for an OS I am not going to use.

I am not going to use a preinstalled Linux distro either thank you very much, it is not hard to get a distro of choice onto a machine. This is the main grumble, this is why MS is hated, because we get forced to pay for some piece of useless bunkum.

I am sure MS got done for this, and they had to give refunds in some states.

OS installation should be done by the user as it was in the old days, if you cannot install an OS you cannot use a computer that seems fair.

People can buy the OS at the POS and decide what they want, the manufacturer just has to test the device on a few OSs they don't have to preinstall.

The preinstall is the number one reason for the MS monopoly, let the people decide what they want, and charge the numpties more if the retailer has to install for them, then everyone is happy, sure MS will lose a bit of market share, but probably not much and it will stop the tiresome flames because they stem from the MS tax.

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Command Line in windows

"But in Unix and Linux the command line is much more useful than Windows. Windows is pathetic in that respect, as in many others"

Did you hear about PowerShell?

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Happy

"won't someone PLEASE think of the children"

OLPC vs netbook .

Am thinking there might be another angle to this agenda. If kids start out with , say, windows7 early in life, they'll stick with it ..same with xp,same maybe with any of the linux distros....(there are differences...)

Part of the impetus of netbooks was the idea that kids could integrate computing into their educational life.My guess is this has stalled at the university entry level, and wont be dropping below that any time soon.

M$ are really doing education a disservice by maintaining a high entry cost , just to preserve their bottom line.

Anyone disagrees with me? here's a challenge... given a choice between no computer and the cheapest available, what exactly is the cheapest portable computer available on the market at the moment...bear in mind it may be abused highly from day one.

No replies? ....then can we have the term "script kiddies" purged permanantly from the net?

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Gates Horns

Congrats...

You did it, wintards -- yeah, you who kept saying "but we want to run Photoshop/CAD/[insert ludicrous thing] on our tiny NETbooks". You got it. I hope you're rich.

Anyway, a lecture, a classical performance by Microsoft on the only thing they are universally acknowledged to being good at: use dirty, borderline legal (or are they plain illegal?) practices to get a market they don't have, give away their stuff (XP) for nearly free, eliminate any possibility of competition, dominate that market, and then increase prices at will and force people to use (or at least pay for) what MS wants, screw what the people might actually want -- it's plain obvious to anyone that they will kill XP soon. It is of no importance that Windows 7 is "better", if someone does not want it for whatever reasons. As I've said months ago, the manufacturers are not exactly saddened by these turns of events, I suspect.

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Linux

I sympathise with Jim45

I tried Xandros a couple of years ago.

I try to forget it but sometimes the memory makes me get a nervous twitch.

Now on Ubuntu, a far , far better thing I have on today.

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@Simon 12 and others

"But it's a newer version...!" they scream... so DOUBLE THE PRICE!?!?

I bet you guy's local car dealerships love you:

"Hi, I brought your Ungombuta Yazz car three years ago and quite liked it, I want to buy a new one"

"Oh, hello Simon. Yes a mere £12,000 to you!"

"But it only cost six thousand last time"

"Ah, it's a new model Simon, look it's got a new spoiler..>"

"Excellent! ooo, shiny... I'll just get my first-born!"

Some people just can't be hit by the capitalism stick enough....

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