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Microsoft Not Cool With Hybrid Storage Netbooks

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 30 comments

Microsoft isn't too keen on SSDs and HDDs living under the same roof.

Some of the first mainstream computers to incorporate SSD technology were early netbooks. The durable and speedy nature of solid-state storage made them ideal for the application.

Now a couple of new models of netbooks have learned the trick of using an SSD for your startup and OS drive to take advantage of the speed and then using a traditional HDD for the less demanding storage. It’s a set up that many of us would like to have in all our computers, not just our laptops.

Unfortunately, Microsoft isn’t so taken with the idea for netbooks and is disallowing the bundling of Windows XP with ‘hybrid’ storage netbooks, according to Bit-tech. Microsoft setting hardware limitations for netbooks allowed to pack Windows XP isn’t new.

Netbooks with Windows XP can have an SSD no larger than 16 GB or an HDD up to 160 GB. Having both at the same time, however, appears to be taboo. The only netbook affected appears to be the MSI Wind U115, which is available in various combinations of 8 GB or 16 GB for the SSD, and 120 GB or 160 GB for the HDD. Bit-tech reports that MSI must remove its Windows XP-packed hybrid netbooks by the end of this month.

Last week NEC announced its own netbook packing both a 160 GB HDD and a 16 GB SSD, which appears will now not be shipping with Windows XP.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    starhoof , June 9, 2009 1:39 PM
    I think M$ should stick to the software, instead of slowing technical progression of computers by implementing limitiations...

    seriously why cant a notebook be more powerful ? because M$ said you cant hehe...
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    starhoof , June 9, 2009 1:39 PM
    I think M$ should stick to the software, instead of slowing technical progression of computers by implementing limitiations...

    seriously why cant a notebook be more powerful ? because M$ said you cant hehe...
  • 0 Hide
    matt2k , June 9, 2009 1:41 PM
    oh well. no netbook for me then
  • Display all 30 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    tenor77 , June 9, 2009 1:49 PM
    Why make computers running your OS faster? That would be crazy. I mean having Windows on a Netbook is soooooooo worthwhile anyway. Why run Linux when you can have MS dictate how you set up your computer.

    Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.......dumb
  • 3 Hide
    japnoise99 , June 9, 2009 1:50 PM
    I don't see why Microsoft cares. First of all there just losing money by selling less. Second, if someone wants to put XP on a "netbook" with hybrid setup they can just use the money saved on a Linux based setup and throw it at an OEM copy to install them self's. Why would Microsoft slow the progression of technology?
  • 4 Hide
    mindless728 , June 9, 2009 2:04 PM
    you know, this doesn't even bother me, i already have like 5 windows xp keys laying around (all legit) from being a computer science major
  • 4 Hide
    cirdecus , June 9, 2009 2:09 PM
    this is the most ridiculous thing. Microsoft should be sued. It doesn't seem right for them to use their Operating system as leverage to hinder the growth of the netbook industry.
  • -8 Hide
    scook9 , June 9, 2009 2:18 PM
    I love how no one is considering that they may being doing this to protect you. Everyone seems to forget that there are a lot of optimizations that need to be made to the OS for a SSD to be noticeably faster than a HDD. I haven't used SSD so I am speculating, but wouldn't it be possible that in order to run both devices optimally, then cannot be at the same time?

    I know ill get boo'ed for supporting MS, but this could make sense to me.
  • -7 Hide
    squatchman , June 9, 2009 2:29 PM
    The User experience is only as responsive as the slowest piece in the machine. So even if you have a really fast drive for the operating system the overall experience will be lacking when you see the computer thrashing about for minutes while it loads your application or data. "It sure dun bootd fast tho lulz!" Not to mention that people then treat the poor experience as Microsoft's fault somehow when the hardware vendor specifically built the machine with this fault.
  • 0 Hide
    trinix , June 9, 2009 2:35 PM
    This is clearly not to protect the consumer. I don't mind protecting m$ or not, but they don't do this with the best interest at all. They want netbook companies to pay more money.

    In the end, if M$ has his way, netbooks will not sell with any windows anymore thanks to M$. They keep pushing limits on it and people will just ignore them and go with linux.
  • 6 Hide
    tenor77 , June 9, 2009 2:39 PM
    Cirdecusthis is the most ridiculous thing. Microsoft should be sued. It doesn't seem right for them to use their Operating system as leverage to hinder the growth of the netbook industry.


    I seem to recall a competing company dictating what hardware you can use with their software. This is why I don't support them.

    scook9I love how no one is considering that they may being doing this to protect you. Everyone seems to forget that there are a lot of optimizations that need to be made to the OS for a SSD to be noticeably faster than a HDD. I haven't used SSD so I am speculating, but wouldn't it be possible that in order to run both devices optimally, then cannot be at the same time?I know ill get boo'ed for supporting MS, but this could make sense to me.


    How different is this than putting your system files on a 7200 RPM drive and storing excess files on an older drive? Sure the hardware is different but the concept is the same.
  • 6 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , June 9, 2009 2:58 PM
    I guess I am missing the point in all of this. What is Microsoft attempting to accomplish with this? What is their main complaint on what hardware a PC is using? This setup is exactly what I will be using on a upcoming new PC build. On that note...I don't give a flying monkey nut about what bill gates wants and will always follow the pirates code. I am just a little confused on where Microsoft is coming from with this protest.
  • 8 Hide
    freeman25002003 , June 9, 2009 3:09 PM
    Perfect example of monopoly is harmful to technological advance and public interest
  • 1 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , June 9, 2009 3:13 PM
    scook9I love how no one is considering that they may being doing this to protect you. Everyone seems to forget that there are a lot of optimizations that need to be made to the OS for a SSD to be noticeably faster than a HDD. I haven't used SSD so I am speculating, but wouldn't it be possible that in order to run both devices optimally, then cannot be at the same time?I know ill get boo'ed for supporting MS, but this could make sense to me.


    Then M$ should tell consumers the reason why they discourage such design, rather than putting pressure on hardware manufacturers to cave into their demand. We already have one Apple Inc. We don't need another software company dictating what hardware we should buy.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 9, 2009 3:19 PM
    Do not forget that putting WinXP on any SSD requires alignment of the operation system / partition on the SSD.

    "Regular" customers do not know that, and if they reinstall the system, they will lose all the advantages of speed from the SSD.

    I guess that this is in some-what a microsoft problem, which they do wish to hide from customers by not allowing it to be pre-installed on sold systems with hybrid drives.
    And if a customer installs his own WinXP and has problems, microsoft can say "your problem, we said no".
  • 4 Hide
    cadder , June 9, 2009 3:21 PM
    MS is trying to control their profits. They license XP at a discount to netbook manufacturers. They are trying to sell discounted XP on netbooks while not taking away too many sales from more powerful computers that come with Vista. If they sold Vista and XP at the same price then they wouldn't care, but that would make netbooks more expensive and not as many people could afford them. So ultimately what Microsoft is doing is making netbooks more affordable at the low end.
  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , June 9, 2009 3:24 PM
    eyal_ma knew what I meant I think. Like I said, I haven't used an SSD - I'm to happy with my cheaper 7200 rpm disk.

    What I was referring to is that the OS interacts with the SSD different (after optimizations) than it would with a regular HDD. If that clears it up for you tenor77
  • 2 Hide
    trinix , June 9, 2009 3:37 PM
    You are turning it around scook9. Yes this will protect people from not benefiting fully if they decide to reinstall XP, but they aren't doing it for us.

    They are doing it, because they don't want the netbooks that are "too powerful" to be equipped with cheap xp licenses. They want to charge more when the netbook doesn't fall under the netbook specifics they have detailed (160 or 16).

    They can do it, it's legal. No problem there. But it's not nice and it will push players to linux, to get the freedom to build their own system. M$ just wants them to buy the new windows7 home premium or a vista license for those systems.
  • 0 Hide
    war2k9 , June 9, 2009 4:12 PM
    Microsoft wants to be like apple but not making a single pc. Limit on hardware that is what apple does best.
  • -1 Hide
    jerreece , June 9, 2009 5:39 PM
    For Heaven's sake, Microsoft, get over yourself!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    mdillenbeck , June 9, 2009 6:42 PM
    scook9I love how no one is considering that they may being doing this to protect you. Everyone seems to forget that there are a lot of optimizations that need to be made to the OS for a SSD to be noticeably faster than a HDD. I haven't used SSD so I am speculating, but wouldn't it be possible that in order to run both devices optimally, then cannot be at the same time?I know ill get boo'ed for supporting MS, but this could make sense to me.


    Go back to the front page, go down 8 articles, and click on the "China Requiring Filters on PCs" - there is another great case of someone trying to "protect the consumers from themselves". Do you agree with this?

    ----------------------------------

    Apple is a proprietary system where they dictate the standards, but Microsoft is making a product for an open system. In this open system market, all manufacturers have always released minimum requirements - but I have never seen one list maximum requirements. (However, I do remember the good old days where Asteroids would go by in a blink if you ran it on too fast of a machine - so PCs had 'Turbo' buttons for a while to switch between slow and fast mode...)

    I'm not a linux fan-boy, but I think this is a good reason to switch. It has a few weaknesses - like you inability to play netflix natively (althought a roku box can...), and some DRM controlled media doesn't play right - but netbooks don't come with an optical drive. Why ANY manufacturer would like to limit themselves to paying for Microsoft products rather than develop some youtube videos on "how to use open source software and get the same results as Microsoft products" and going open sources is beyond me. Educate the consumers past their bias against open source software and improve your bottom line by making ultra-low cost systems.
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