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Windows 7 To Jack Up Netbook Prices?

Apparently, Microsoft is considering charging netbook makers way more for Windows 7 than it charges now for XP, which could eat into netbook manufacturers' profit margins. After all, as the linked article notes, low price is a major benefit of buying a netbook, so OEMs can't just tack an extra $50 onto the price of something that only costs maybe $300 to begin with.

Well, they could, but then they'd have to work hard to differentiate between the netbook and the low-end standard laptop -- something Microsoft surely knows, as the company seems to have little love for netbooks and lots of love for higher-end laptops that offer bigger profit margins on Windows. Microsoft might want to watch out here, though. It's not just old foe Linux (or expensive foe Apple) that's competing for netbook operating-system market share. Intel and Google are also jumping into the mix, and while they obviously don't have the gravitas of Windows behind them, they usually don't do things halfway.

Not only is Windows 7 not a sure-thing seller on netbooks, we're willing to say that Windows itself won't be, either, if Microsoft makes the OS too expensive for OEMs and messes with the basic pricing structure of netbooks. Netbooks are like laptops, but they're not laptops -- they're a different category of device, and Windows doesn't necessarily conquer every new device that comes out. Need an example of that? Think Windows Mobile.

Have you considered selling netbooks to your customers or using them in your business? We love this topic at lpender@rcpmag.com.  

Posted by Lee Pender on June 17, 2009 at 11:55 AM


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