Windows 7 to push up netbook prices
Especially if you want Atom 2.0
Anyone putting off purchasing a netbook until the next-generation Atom processor, the N450, arrives in October, should expect to pay a premium thanks to the extra cost of Windows 7.
Netbook makers are currently lobbying Microsoft to reduce the price of its upcoming operating system revision, which, DigiTimes reports , is currently priced at $45-55 a pop, depending on the vendor's negotiating skills and the size of its order.
By contrast, Windows XP costs $25-30, so insiders are planning to stick with Windows XP unless Redmond relents and reduces Windows 7's pricing - which, we suspect, wouldn't bode well for anyone hoping the entry level 7 won't be feature-limited after all.
But here's the thing: DigiTimes mentions that vendors are nonetheless looking at tying their upcoming N450-based offerings to Windows 7 - they'll just use XP for current N270- and N280-based machines.
So buyers will be paying a premium for the new CPU and chipset, which will surely be priced above the current products, and the extra $20 or so (plus mark-up) for Windows 7. That probably means a price of at least £400 over here.
Of course, competition may force them to swallow the cost and price Windows 7-equipped N450 machines at current netbook prices, which are high enough, or just put them out with XP.
We'd suggest the even cheaper option: Ubuntu. ®