Two major chip manufacturers – Qualcomm and NVIDIA – have officially begun to support Windows 7 for when it comes to netbooks in the near future. Their goals are better graphics and continuous 3G, both of which should hopefully become standard for netbooks in the near future.
Take note: as we reported earlier, there will be no netbook-specific version of Windows 7. Netbooks will be using Windows 7 Ultimate, which is expected to be painfully expensive.
That hasn’t fazed Qualcomm though. They announced yesterday that they would be sampling chips in order to boost Windows 7 3G. NVIDIA made an announcement too, mentioning new beta drivers for netbooks that will deliver full HD video for netbooks with the new Microsoft OS.
The chip Qualcomm mentioned wasn’t Snapdragon but rather the Gobi2000 3G embedded chip, which should “let netbooks and laptops access multiple 3G networks like HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) or EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized).”
Gary Greenbaum of Microsoft spoke for Windows in reference to the Qualcomm announcement:
“We believe Gobi notebook and netbook customers will experience the long-sought desire for ubiquitous connectivity.”
NVIDIA’s new beta drivers will make the Ion platform compatiable with Windows 7. What does that mean? Full 1080p HD for netbooks, photo editing, and possibly gaming for netbooks. “We have released beta drivers for Windows 7 to our customers for them to begin design/development of Ion-based systems now,” said Ken Brown of NVIDIA.
Microsoft and NVIDIA demonstrated the Windows 7/Ion combo in a Taiwan event recently. They managed to run 1080p HD video while “simultaneously transcoding another HD video clip.”
The new boosts to netbook technology are going to close the gap between netbooks and notebooks. If consumers can get devices for as cheap as $250 or $300 that offer HD video and cheap 3G connectivity, laptops are going to look a whole lot less appealing.