Ars' Kurt Mackey interviewed Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky about Windows 7 on netbooks and uncovered quite a bit of interesting chatter. I especially enjoyed this discussion of netbook resolution:
This is more general, and I can guess, but given the small screens, are you doing anything special for the user interface on those?
That's, it turns out to me, the main characteristic of netbooks are not screen inches, but screen pixels. Big difference. And, um, boy, you know, the HP one ships at 1280x768 which is perfectly good. The MSI, Lenovo, a few others are all shipping with the 10.3" panels that are 1024x600...
...such odd resolutions.
Well, they're just 16x9 versions of 600x800 and that's a glass thing, it's cheaper to cut the glass in those dimensions. You know, 600 is very tight and I suspect that in the very near term, those are going to get a higher DPI. They'll stay at 10.3, and in fact many of the higher end machines... it's the most expensive part, so the only way to keep the whole thing cheap is to put that screen in. So screens are the most expensive and consume the most power. But if you look at something like the Fujitsu p1610, p1620 series, those are netbook sized, but they have 1280x1024 10" screens, which is also a 4x3 aspect ratio, and that used to be my primary machine, and those are just 1GHz Celerons with 1GB RAM as well.
Ars@PDC: Steven Sinofsky on Windows 7 and netbooks [ArsTechnica.com]