No new OS for the old CPU?
As much as we’re all highly anticipating the introduction of Windows 7, the shiny new OS might not be paired with certain models of netbooks that are running the currently most popular Intel Atom chip--the N270 and N280.
One issue is price. A Windows XP license for netbooks currently costs OEMs around $25 to $30, (of which Microsoft makes a profit of $15). For Windows 7, however, Microsoft is asking $45 to $55, which will drive prices up in an already very price-sensitive segment, according to Digitimes. Vendors are supposedly in talks with Microsoft to push the price down.
With the Atom N270 and N280 being pushed to the ‘budget netbook’ segment with the upcoming release of Pine Trail-based Atom chips (which integrate graphics to increase performance), OEMs figure that Windows XP will be adequate for most netbook purposes.
It’s now expected that OEMs will be pairing Windows 7 with Atom N450-based netbooks. But whatever the case, Windows 7 will slowly replace Windows XP as the new Atom chips take over the netbook build list.