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Microsoft sets limits on low-cost Windows PCs

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon May 12, 2008

MS limits low-cost Win PCs

Artificial limitations are being imposed on some forthcoming low-cost Windows PCs, according to documents Microsoft has sent to PC builders. Although the company plans to offer a sharp discount to ultra-low cost PC (ULPC) builders on the price of Windows XP Home, in order to foster the adoption of Windows over Linux on devices like the Eee PC, vendors are being asked to limit screen size to 10.2 inches, and hard drives to 80GB. Furthermore, no qualifying ULPCs with XP will be allowed to have a touchscreen, more than 1GB of RAM, or anything better than a single-core processor running at 1GHz, except for certain chips like Intel's Atom N270.

The reason for the restrictions is said to be Windows Vista, as Microsoft does not want ULPCs reducing demand for more conventional computers equipped with its newest OS. "It allows PC makers to offer a low-cost alternative, and it prevents eroding of pricing and margins in the mainstream OS market," comments analyst Roger Kay of EndPoint Technologies Associates.

Microsoft's new marketing scheme is launching in June, with prices based on the relative wealth of a computer's market. For systems sold in First World countries, XP Home will cost $32; in poor countries such as China and India, by contrast, the OS will cost only $26. The deeper discount comes into play with the additional Market Development Agreement, which can drop the price another $10.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. lockhartt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000

    +2

    Starting to smell like...

    ...monopolistic behavior to me.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +2

    limiting windows

    more than it already is???

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    DVD

    Is DVD playback also prohibited? All i want is a low cost portable with dvd playback. The touchscreen ban is a bit strange, i wonder MS is planning to bring a small tablet on the market.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    monopolistic?

    All they're trying to do is keep people from selling the cheaper Windows for ULPC on machines that would be considered not ULPC.

    But being Mac users, we're never restricted by arbitrary limits, right?

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    re: monopolistic

    The mac is closed, and windows is open for all compatible hardware. yes or no? What is up with the touchscreen limitation, why can't this be a feature for the ULPC?

  1. njfuzzy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    0

    Electronista vs. MacNN

    This was cross-posted on the front page of MacNN, parent site of Electronista. However, it simply isn't Mac-related news. Please stop this. Why have multiple sites if everything is cross-posted?

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005

    0

    testudo almost got it...

    "All they are trying to do is keep people from...."

    Another MS motto.

    Doofuses.

  1. rytc

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2001

    +2

    26

    26 dollars for an ancient OS seems like a pretty nice profit margin for MS

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    F*** MICROSOFT!

    They just create limits to ensure early death... PERFECT I SAY!! :)

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