Microsoft renames netbooks 'low cost small notebook PCs'
Rolls off the tongue, donnit?
Just when we thought the whole "netbook" terminology mess was sorted out properly, the PC industry gives its wheel of marketing whale song another spin.
Fresh out of the Computex show in Taipei are two - count 'em, two - fresh new names for small, cheap computers.
Folks, toss out your netbooks, ultrathins, subnotebooks, mini-notebooks, ULCPCs, handhelds, and ultraportables. "Smartbooks" and "low cost small notebook PCs" are now on the scene.
That latter long-winded term was coined by none other than Microsoft. The company apparently feels compelled to further refine the "netbook" category because newer machines are doing more than just internet browsing.
Digitimes reports the new wearisome genus is being championed by Steven Guggenheimer, a man who bears the appropriately cumbersome title of Microsoft's "general manager of the Application Platform & Development Marketing Division."
It's speculated that Microsoft's real intentions are simply to separate more able-featured machines from lesser kit so it won't have to ship as many cut-rate versions of Windows Starter Edition in what it will now define as a "netbook."
Perhaps less nefarious (but no less asinine) is an effort by Freescale and Qualcomm to have their particular flavor of small cheap computers called "smartbooks."
What makes smartbooks so astute is that they will be smaller, cheaper, have longer battery life and instant-on capabilities, according to EE Times. In a former age, this would simply be chalked up as a generational upgrade, but alas, it looks like it's time to revise the netbook lexicon chart. ®
Don't Psion or Palm own the name 'netbook' I seem to recall them taking someone to court recently over use of their trademark. If this is the case, it would seem fairly sensible not to use that name.
There are no netbooks
People use them exactly the same way as laptops. There is no extra "netness" in the way netbooks are used. They have smaller screens and slower CPUs - that is what determines changes in usage, not increased usage of "the net" or decreased usage of local disk.
If it has an atom cpu its a crudbook.
The only "netbook" is a thin client.
...that we collectively rename Windows "Bloated, buggy, insecure, overpriced piece of shite". Hey - it's accurate, it's descriptive, it's unmistakable - what more could anyone want?
"My favourite term was always laptots actually "
Oh dear God, please tell me this was a typo ....
The ex Kremlinologists must surely be detecting the flying chairs in the Redmond marketing department over this one by now. To get one of these devices useful at a sensible cost it has to have a low wattage chip because battery tech isn't improving as fast as silicon tech. So there is a market for 7-10 inch screen portable computing devices which can perform useful computing functions costing no more than a couple of hundred quid. It's just that XP SP3 is patchbloating too fast and coming out of effective security support too soon to run at any useful speed on these things. It's not as if the Windows 7 doublespeak edition, son of Vista by any other name, is ever likely to run much faster than a dead dog on this class of hardware either.
Consequently a third of this market has already gone to Linux. What to do when Eastern Europe starts breaking away from Kremlin control ? Anti trust rulings and fines have made it too expensive to send in the tank divisions. Politicians can still have their arms twisted but markets are more expensive entities to control. The still loyal XP proletarians are having their patience sorely tried while using too much battery waiting for bootup. So those managed by he who throws chairs are coming up with ever more inventive marketing speak to attempt to reclassify this market, to favour devices at double the above cost with fast enough CPU speed and enough RAM and hard disk to run Son of Vista, in order to exclude all else from their new hardware category.
Windows has already lost in the embedded and Internet server spaces. Now it's losing on small cheap computers. Most of those in the world who have never yet used a computer will be able to afford to use one within the next 15 years or so, but not with a CPU hot enough or a power supply adequate to run Vista spawn. This doesn't mean there won't be the odd Cuba and North Korea in the DRM-driven markets dictated by proprietary content providers. But these are games console and set top box territories - not general purpose computing devices.