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Microsoft Puts Limits on Windows 7 Netbook Specs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 69 comments

According to several reports, Microsoft plans to limit which netbooks can run Windows 7 and which can’t with a list of maximum hardware specs for little machines running the OS.

Microsoft has set limitations for netbooks to ensure Windows 7 netbooks will stay as cheap, low end laptops. Unfortunately, the specs laid out on TechARP don’t exactly leave room for netbook technology to progress.

With netbooks becoming increasingly popular with students and casual computer users choosing netbooks over actual notebooks and expecting them to fill the shoes of a regular notebook, there had been hope we’d see the little notebooks grow a little with Windows 7. That’s looking less likely with these limits:

*Screens cannot exceed 10.2 inches
*Maximum 1 GB of RAM
*Maximum 250 GB HDD or 64 SSD
*CPU must not exceed 2 GHz, and have a CPU thermal design power that is less than or equal to 15 W, not including the graphics and chipset.

So how 'bout it, would you shell out the extra cash for an ultraportable notebook? Before we knew anything of the Windows 7 specs limits we were already feeling confined by the ones for XP. Now we're even more tempted to buy the more expensive option. Then again, that's exactly what Microsoft wants with this, so go figure.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2009 1:46 PM
    Ubuntu, anyone?
  • 18 Hide
    doomtomb , May 26, 2009 1:51 PM
    That's absolutely retarded. They are so full of their own ad campaign they are making it a reality at the expense of their consumers. What if the user wants the powerful netbook? (bit of an oxymoron there)
  • 12 Hide
    jabliese , May 26, 2009 2:08 PM
    And MS shoots itself in the foot yet again.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2009 1:46 PM
    Ubuntu, anyone?
  • 18 Hide
    doomtomb , May 26, 2009 1:51 PM
    That's absolutely retarded. They are so full of their own ad campaign they are making it a reality at the expense of their consumers. What if the user wants the powerful netbook? (bit of an oxymoron there)
  • 8 Hide
    velocityg4 , May 26, 2009 1:51 PM
    That must be the maximum specs for Windows 7 Starter Edition.

    As I could not see Windows 7 Ultimate checking the specs then the manufacturers website and saying sorry the manufacturer calls this a Netbook but it is too powerful Windows 7 is now being disabled.
  • 10 Hide
    timaahhh , May 26, 2009 1:57 PM
    I don't care for netbooks as they are now. I like the price point and the size, but at Best buy they netbooks seem to bog down in youtube. I know that bestbuy puts a bunch of bloatware, especially on the display models, but that was just sad.

    If a netbook was just a bit more powerful I would be happy to get it, even if it was in the 300+ range. I have a desktop for gaming and stuff like that, but laptops need to be quick for me to be useful. I can't wait for em to r load java and flash and quick time. Just cause I'm not gaming don't mean they don't have to run multi-media stuff quickly.

    I wondering are these max specs for Windows 7 starter?
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2009 1:58 PM
    This is like saying that condom manufacturers will be limiting the size of penises that use their condoms can fit so they can ensure the cost of goods sold stays low.
  • -8 Hide
    razzb3d , May 26, 2009 2:01 PM
    retarded indeed. they are kind of shooting themselves in the foot with this...

    i personally would stay away from that version of windows an run a windows XP or something on my 2Gb of ram netbook.

    Again, at the risk of tom's hardware moderator erasing my post, Microsoft can go **** themselves.
  • 4 Hide
    B-Unit , May 26, 2009 2:02 PM
    Im confused why M$ cares about maximum specs. They dont sell hardware, they get the same cash if its a 1.6Ghz Atom or 3.0Ghz Core2.
  • 4 Hide
    maaksel , May 26, 2009 2:02 PM
    Then you buy the ultimate/home premium type edition... this will be for the starter/entry level of Windows 7.... designed for starter/entry level computers. Although it sucks, it makes sense.

    I don't really care either way, i have an Microsoft MVP in the family, so a I get anything Microsoft makes for free =P

    doomtombThat's absolutely retarded. They are so full of their own ad campaign they are making it a reality at the expense of their consumers. What if the user wants the powerful netbook? (bit of an oxymoron there)

  • 10 Hide
    japnoise99 , May 26, 2009 2:08 PM
    God forbid technology advances...
  • 12 Hide
    jabliese , May 26, 2009 2:08 PM
    And MS shoots itself in the foot yet again.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2009 2:14 PM
    I bet this is the limitation on the OEM version of netbook windows 7 only. It is absolute rediculous for other version to have the same limitation.
    That being said, if you're willing to pay for the os, you should still be able to use it on whatever hardware hardware.
  • -3 Hide
    ricardok , May 26, 2009 2:18 PM
    Why buy a netbook? So you can type your book while you are traveling?
    To use the internet but NOT youtube? (maybe ion can fix this?)

    Damn, hell no.. I won't go down from 13" displays. 13 is already too small. My notebook is a DV5 (15,4"), Turion X2, Radeon 3200.. Just cuz netbooks are lighter than notebooks that doesn't mean we should accept worst specs than what we are used to.

    I love a bit of gaming and I can run TF2/HL2/Burnout Paradise and other games on my notebook. God forbid I miss that action.. :p 

    I do see that older ppl that are not used to computers using it because it's portable (way more than a notebook), have a long lasting battery (but at the expense of the specs), and can be used anywhere as long as you are using 3G networks or on a WiFi zone.

    Personally? I really don't have good arguments if I have to explain to someone why buy a netbook.
  • 7 Hide
    mindless728 , May 26, 2009 2:20 PM
    they should just sell the netbooks without an OS, that way people get to choose what they want and it would be cheaper (though, not if they want windows)
  • 2 Hide
    mtyermom , May 26, 2009 2:23 PM
    No sir, I don't like it. Particularly with the maximum allowed RAM. RAM is one of the most commonly upgraded parts/specs on mobile computers. I understand why MS is doing this, but IMO they are being a bit heavy handed with it. They are scared of selling too many Starter Editions for beefed up 'netbooks' in an area they want to sell Premium editions for 'ultraportable notebooks'. It's just corporate greed, which should not come as a shock to anyone here.
  • 7 Hide
    extremepenguin , May 26, 2009 2:26 PM
    Well if that forces a netbook with those specs to be say $300 I am all for it. Netbooks are creeping into the $500 range and that is just wrong. There are some cases where for an extra $25 you can grab an actual laptop. I am thinking this is an attempt to draw a clear line between Netbooks and Laptops, and as time goes on Microsoft can easily creep the specs up.
  • 0 Hide
    ceteras , May 26, 2009 2:31 PM
    jablieseAnd MS shoots itself in the foot yet again.


    I guess it doesn't hurts them that bad, they can afford it.
    I wonder how many netbook models are beyond those specs anyway... and how many will be, by the time win7 is released

    It would have been nice if the author of this article would have mentioned the win7 versions these limits apply to...
  • 1 Hide
    Luscious , May 26, 2009 2:38 PM
    Those kinds of limitations will only force people away and developers aside. M$ charges an arm and a leg as it is for their OS, now they want to tell me what I can use it on? Next years Medfield platform promises high-end performance in the netbook space, yet I'm limited to only 1GB ram and 250GB hard disk? No way! Last years 2133 from HP already broke those barriers.
  • -1 Hide
    cruiseoveride , May 26, 2009 2:51 PM
    Don't worry. I'm sure the person at Microsoft responsible for this is going to hell.
  • 7 Hide
    resonance451 , May 26, 2009 2:53 PM
    The limitations are silly. I'm going linux OS for my netbook when I buy one. Fuck artificial limitations.
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