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Acer: Vista Home Basic is a lemon

Disguised price rise for PC builders

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Microsoft is effectively smuggling through a price hike for Windows Vista - by making the entry-level version so poor that no-one will want to use it. So says Jim Wong, senior veep at Acer, the world's number four PC maker, who told UK hack Jon Honeyball: "The new [Vista] experience you hear of, if you get Basic, you won't feel it at all. There's no [Aero] graphics, no Media Center, no remote control."

Wong notes that the Premium Version of Vista is 10 per cent more expensive than XP Home. This will increase PC build costs by 1-2 per cent, which the PC makers will have to soak up, he says.

But Acer has high hopes for the PC market next year, and Vista will play its part in fuelling sales, chairman JT Wang told reporters attending the company's 30th birthday this week.

His optimism is shared by other PC builders, which are racing to buy components for Vista-capable PCs. This has created a supply shortage in the last couple of weeks for CPUs, DRAM, chipsets and lithium batteries, according to EMSNow. JT Wang is doing his bit to help out: he has been spotted at American vendors drumming up supplies for Acer, the electronics trade magazine reports. ®

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