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Microsoft Wants to Advise You on Netbook Buying

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Microsoft's Windows Team blogs... a netbook buyer's guide?

Microsoft knows that netbooks are a huge growing market, not only for notebook makers but also for operating system software. In the span of a year, Windows went from being installed in only a small fraction of netbooks to now be shipping with 98 percent of new netbooks sold today.

The Redmond company sees that netbooks are now accounting for 10 percent of PC sales worldwide, with some regions hitting 20 percent, and would like to help you add to that number by giving you some buying tips on what to look for in buying one in a new blog post.

Naturally, one of the prime deciding factors is if the netbook is compatible with your currently existing software and hardware – and if there is something Windows is good at, it’s being compatible with the largest array of software and hardware on the market.

“Windows supports nearly 3,000 printers, over 700 digital cameras, 240 webcams, and 180 digital video cameras, as well as hundreds of more specialized devices.  It also runs more than 10,000 applications, and it's the only OS that runs Microsoft Office, iTunes and Quicken. This means that whatever it is you use, chances are it works with Windows.”

Interestingly, Microsoft makes a version of Office for Mac, iTunes started on a Mac, and Quick is available for Mac with a 2009 version coming later this year. We contacted the blog's author for clarification but no response was given at the time of publishing.

Microsoft also acknowledged the market’s growing preference for netbooks with 10-inch screens. “Machines this size offer a better balance between lightweight portability, having a screen big enough to be productive with more than one window at once, and a keyboard that's comfortable enough for most people's hands.”

The author of the blog also advises to consider a netbook’s hardware capabilities, such as the ability to upgrade to 2 GB RAM and a 32 GB SSD. Interestingly enough, both of those features are beyond Microsoft’s upper limits for netbook hardware sold with Windows XP.

We’ve contacted Microsoft for further comment on netbook hardware restrictions with Windows, so stay tuned.

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  • 6 Hide
    xpont8 , June 18, 2009 12:11 AM
    With small notebook PCs (sometimes called netbook PCs)..

    haha! still insisting to call it a "small notebook, eh?
  • 8 Hide
    mavroxur , June 18, 2009 12:16 AM
    ArticleThe author of the blog also advises to consider a netbook’s hardware capabilities, such as the ability to upgrade to 2 GB RAM and a 32 GB SSD. Interestingly enough, both of those features are beyond Microsoft’s upper limits for netbook hardware sold with Windows XP.

    Hello Mr. Left Hand, meet Mr. Right Hand.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , June 18, 2009 12:21 AM
    What is quicken? I remember finding it on my HD,and immediately trashed the program, because it seems like another useless program (just like itunes and kazaa) that find their way straight in the recycle bin (or not even)).

    I thought itunes actually started out on a mac?
  • 3 Hide
    xpont8 , June 18, 2009 12:23 AM
    just read it. obviously, it's a blog-advertisement.
  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , June 18, 2009 2:02 AM

    Quicken is or at least was one of the most essential finance tools spanning a hugely wide spectrum of solutions over a few nifty packs of software it was for as far as i know the defacto finance software back in the day and strangely any one i know doing their finance during the years before DSL used a mac and there have always been versions for apple computers (for as far as i can find intuit will not change this).

    Actually as you might have noticed microsoft picked a few software packs to boast how compatible they are that all run on mac's.
    Also these pack's could easily be replaced by any other software that would be at least 99.8% compatible thus making linux or mac os a viable competitor.

    Obviously there are only few software titles that would really require you to run windows because there is no alternative most of the time this argument is only valid if the software is custom build and aging.
    Also from what i hear there is no real alternative to AutoCAD but who would be sick enough to use that as an argument to buy a windows netbook over a linux loaded netbook?

    The last non compatible software would be games and clearly they have a point there.
    Although a netbook wont run crisis it might get away running games from several years back depending on the instructions used.
    Because of this netbooks wont be a good platform for gaming and its likely that the games running on windows on the netbooks will run just as well using wine or emulation on linux or any other *nix.

    Long story short Quicken is a financial software product and the blog post that guides you actually tries to indoctrinate you.
  • 4 Hide
    B-Unit , June 18, 2009 2:54 AM
    Find me a netbook that runs OSX...
  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 18, 2009 4:45 AM
    B-UnitFind me a netbook that runs OSX...

    Yeah, I think that's what's meant when talking about operating systems in terms of netbook recommendations. Still, it's an easy mistake to make.
    The hardware specs are more interesting, seeing as how some of those definitely cross out of bounds for OEMs' installing XP on it. It's also twice the speculated RAM limit, and who knows about the number of cores the CPU is allowed to have?
  • 2 Hide
    geekstrada , June 18, 2009 4:45 AM
    The MSI Wind u-100 runs OSX, and even better than it runs XP. I had a geekbench score of just under 1000 on the one I used to have.
  • 5 Hide
    aspireonelover , June 18, 2009 5:32 AM
    nah, remember what apple said "Netbooks' are crap!" and was said that netbooks don't deserve the apple brand.

    Really Microsoft, when you're limiting us on netbooks, it's just like saying, "Oh, your gaming desktop machine is way too powerful, you can't install Windows." You have to buy a weaker one in order to run windows. Just my thought :p 
  • 3 Hide
    puddleglum , June 18, 2009 12:20 PM
    Just tell Microsoft where to stick it!
  • 1 Hide
    norbs , June 18, 2009 5:10 PM
    It's funny watching Microsoft try to sway consumers to buy a netbook that will run windows 7 smoothly. It's very transparent that they are just simply trying to increase windows 7 sales. This is the kinda of shit that annoys me with MS, they just seem very pushy and persistent to the point of being very annoying.

    They could try making a nice scalable product that just works well... but naw it's easier to try to change the trend instead.
  • 1 Hide
    michaelahess , June 18, 2009 6:58 PM
    My Dell Mini 9 is running OSX.....
  • 1 Hide
    norbs , June 18, 2009 8:36 PM
    here is another great example of MS pushy marketing. Hmm so lets see what is easier, make a great web browser OOOOOOR offer a chance to win $10,000 to use their browser!! YEA!!

    So lame...
  • 0 Hide
    annymmo , June 19, 2009 2:40 PM
    The author of the blog also advises to consider a netbook’s hardware capabilities, such as the ability to upgrade to 2 GB RAM and a 32 GB SSD. Interestingly enough, both of those features are beyond Microsoft’s upper limits for netbook hardware sold with Windows XP.

    All these stupid hardware limitations.
    Linux is much better, no restrictions at all.
    You can run the Desktop version on a decent, recent netbook without problem's.
    And if you need to use apps that only work on windows, install wine!
    It can already handle MS Office, photoshop and a lot of other software for free (hollywood saw it was cheaper to make the wine libraries than paying for windows licences)!
    And if you're lucky, your Linux hardware drivers are optimized enough to have better performance for the same program on Linux + Wine than on Windows native!

    Windows has more than 10000apps?
    So what, Every Linux distribution has a software manager that also has thousands of apps, more than 10000 I guess.
    And all software that is written in standard C++ or has compilers for that language in Linux can be compiled to work in Linux!
    All the source code on the internet is thus available for Linux!
    This is much broader than the software for windows.
    (There are also Linux specific apps, you won't find many of them!
    And probably never encounter them as a programmer either.)

    And there is an error in your article, Quicktime also runs on Mac!
    (The binary Mac version that is.)
  • -1 Hide
    geekstrada , June 19, 2009 4:34 PM
    annymmoLinux is much better, no restrictions at all.

    Now I know you are talking about the hardware side of things so I have to bring up a point. I am on my second netbook, an Asus 1000he. There is one thing that Win XP wins at hands down on netbooks... power management. I get 8 hrs with wifi on with XP and only 6 hrs with Ubuntu 9.04 (full version or netbook remix). Actually every distro I put on it got crappy battery life in comparison to XP: Fedora 10, Crunchbang(#!), Cruncheee, Sidux, Mint 6, PCLinuxOS, & OpenSUSE. I have also run into problems with connecting efficiently to wifi in all said versions distros, but XP works every time. That said, I am no Windows fanboy. I actually prefer to use Ubuntu for pretty much everything: home, work, laptop. But there is something to be said for good power management and wifi connectability on a netbook. As a matter of fact they are THE two most important considerations in a netbook. So, I must admit I do keep an XP partition on my netbook... but only use it when I will be away from a power outlet for more than 5 or 6 hrs.