Now we know why Windows XP owns a reported 97% of the netbook market. Microsoft was virtually giving it away for $15 a unit and now it’s answer will be is a limited version of Windows 7 known as Starter. The story broke last night in the Wall Street Journal and the general consensus is that it will open the door for Linux and two handset OSes eying the netbook market.
Starter apparently will only run three applications simultaneously which on the surface seems like an anti-consumer measure by Microsoft to preserve sales of full Windows 7. But we’ll have to wait and see when Starter and Windows 7 which is getting good reviews comes out this Fall.
As for other OSes, bring them on and may the best OS win….and have to keep winning. The PC and by extension netbooks have not seen competition since the DOS days and even them it was weak and short-lived. I truly hope netbooks with Symbian, Android and Linux come out in droves although I would never count out Microsoft.
The WSJ story drove some subsequent coverage overnight:
ZDNet – the history of Windows dominance with adeclaration we are entering the “post-Windows era.”
Computerworld – the door just opened wider for Android and ARM-based netbooks.
AP – unrelated to the WSJ but an interesting (and favorable) take on how Microsoft analyzed millions of peices of data to decide what to put into Windows 7.