Windows 7 multiple-version train wreck begins with netbooks

In a taste of things to come–and perhaps a clue why its working so hard on that custom Linux UI–HP will release three editions of its netbooks to match the Windows 7 licensing maze that Microsoft announced last week. From Wired:

Leave it to Microsoft to make netbooks complicated.

It appears likely the tech giant will offer three different versions of Windows 7 for netbooks. HP officials told Computer World about its plans to offer three different configurations of Windows 7 for netbooks, which suggests Microsoft will roll out this structure for other companies’ netbooks as well.

Though MS claimed that only two of the six/seven editions announced would be of interest to consumers, the low price of netbooks makes it impossible for manufacturers to resist offering one with the crippled Windows 7 “Starter” edition, which allows only three programs to be run at once. But if you’re going to do that, why not also make a special Pro edition netbook, too?

HP to offer three versions of Windows 7 for netbooks

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11 Responses to Windows 7 multiple-version train wreck begins with netbooks

  1. Synchronyme says:

    It’s so cool to see Microsoft dig there own graveyard: they seem incapable of selling something GOOD for the consumers!

    I mean: Apple release pretty stuff, Linux distros are free and simple (Ubuntu rulez), but Microsoft is like a blind giant thinking “ok, consummers buy less and less Windows, let’s remove some features from the next version!”.

  2. Bloodboiler says:

    Show of hands, who did not see this coming?

    Every single blogger has fluffed Microsoft for moths because Windows 7 has a stupid dock just like OS X.

  3. Rob Beschizza says:

    It is not like the dock. It is better than the dock.

  4. styrofoam says:

    I’m not vehemently anti-Microsoft, but holy hell.

    This kind of market segregation is ridiculous.
    Strip the ‘features’ for media stuff out of the OS and make it an add on software package or something. Even narrowing it down to “super dumb basic for $50″, “home” and “professional” is probably acceptable.

    Apple gets out of this bind because they control the hardware market, thus they control the baseline for what a machine’s processing power is. They don’t have to worry about a lower end, other than just saying “not supported on these machines.”

    And apple doesn’t (yet) have to deal with the professional market to the degree that Microsoft does. WIth great Volume comes great pricing (and featureset requirement) difficulties.

  5. jr416 says:

    I wonder if the three program limit includes viruses and spyware? If so most windows users won’t be able to run any programs after the first day.

  6. Bloodboiler says:

    Show of hands, who did not see this coming?

    Every single blogger has fluffed Microsoft for moths because Windows 7 has a stupid dock just like OS X.

  7. Discovery says:

    Vista also has a 3-program limited Starter version available in emerging markets. A friend of mine bought a laptop with it when she got hers stolen in Buenos Aires. She was so angry with it that she returned it and bought a MacBook.

    Of course, this being Argentina, the computer store’s suggestion was to put a pirated version of Vista on there and even offered to do it…

  8. M says:

    I’m just a consumer, not a geek, but it looked to me like Microsoft was on a pretty good path with 7. Perhaps they took a final look, realized they hadn’t met their normal standard for stupid mistakes, and threw this one out at the last minute, just to make up?

  9. J France says:

    The day I tired to install a post-script printer on XP Home was the day I realised Microsoft is evil, stupid and should be sunk. For their multi-versioned OSes alone. Forget any other misgivings I may have about their software business.

    It’s almost a shame that Win 7 looks / feels / functions in a semi decent way, as I’m kinda rooting for a redemption that MS just doesn’t seem capable of.

  10. stumo says:

    Three programs? That’s a spoof right? They couldn’t be that stupid?!

  11. Agies says:

    It’s my understanding that the lowest featured versions of Windows 7 will be largely reserved for developing nations and extremely low-end hardware.

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