Netbook manufacturers have gotten wind of Microsoft’s plan to cripple Windows 7 for netbooks and it looks like they aren’t too pleased.
Both Acer and Intel have signaled their doubts at the success Windows 7 will see if it limits users to running a mere 3 applications simultaneously. In an interview with Sumit Agnihotry of Acer, the Wall Street Journal got his opinion on the matter:
[Agnihotry] wouldn’t say whether Acer plans to use the Windows 7 Starter version. But he said that being able to run just three applications — and the requirement that customers pay extra for a higher-end version — could be a tough sell, since Windows XP has no such limits.
Acer expects to sell models at different price increments, Mr. Agnihotry said, noting that customers are willing to pay more for features beyond what XP offers. Acer is “very sensitive about adding new cost” since netbooks’ greatest attraction is their low price, he said.
On a budget product like netbooks, nobody’s going to want to pay extra for the real version of the OS. Microsoft seems to be relying on consumers’ comfort with Windows and Apple’s unwillingness to join the maket to keep people on Windows 7.
Intel suggested similar doubts:
Intel Corp., a longtime Microsoft ally whose Atom microprocessor powers most netbooks, has also voiced some skepticism about Microsoft’s Windows 7 plans. Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini said at an investor conference in February that Microsoft’s plan to convince consumers to upgrade from the Starter version “is going to be tough for a bunch of reasons.”
Without Acer or Intel convinced of the intelligence of this new plan, Microsoft might take this opportunity to rethink what it really wants to do. If Windows 7 has any chance with netbooks it’s doubtful that this pathway will be what makes it succeed.