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Older Atom Netbooks Might Not Have Windows 7

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Uncle Meat
    A Windows XP license for netbooks currently costs OEMs around $25 to $30, (of which Microsoft makes a profit of $15).

    And the other $10-$15 goes to who, exactly? There's no cost involved in selling a license.
    Reply
  • The Schnoz
    I could have sworn the cost for an XP license was only $15 per netbook, period.
    http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/04/19/ms.asks.15.for.xp.netbooks/
    and
    http://www.netbookchoice.com/2009/05/23/microsoft-prepping-maximum-specs-for-windows-7-netbooks/
    and even
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-7-starter-Netbooks-15,7573.html

    Reply
  • apache_lives
    Its a newer, better product! Ofcourse its going to be more expensive atleast to begin with
    Reply
  • salem80
    Uncle MeatAnd the other $10-$15 goes to who, exactly? There's no cost involved in selling a license.you're right..
    Reply
  • witcherx
    i never liked the atom hype.........
    Reply
  • ta152h
    Actually, there is a cost for selling a license; it's called support. All those folks at Microsoft that talk to you for free for a limited time have to be paid, and they wouldn't need to be paid unless people had licenses. More licenses, more support costs. Of course, Microsoft also has to figure in their development costs, not only in creating the software, but also supporting it with fixes (again, back to the "S" word). Then, they have to deal with legal fees, and fines from the EU, because they are so poor they always need to fine Microsoft so they survive. No licenses, no EU legal fees and fines.

    Selling licenses do have costs. It's not all profit.
    Reply
  • Uncle Meat
    Actually, there is a cost for selling a license; it's called support. All those folks at Microsoft that talk to you for free for a limited time have to be paid, and they wouldn't need to be paid unless people had licenses. More licenses, more support costs.

    Microsoft doesn't provide free support for OEM software.

    Of course, Microsoft also has to figure in their development costs, not only in creating the software, but also supporting it with fixes

    I'm pretty sure Microsoft has recouped their development costs for XP by now, and fixes don't cost more because you sell more copies.
    Reply
  • I definitely hope I'll see some nice benches of the Atom processor on Toms!
    Please,don't compare it with a corei7 and don't try to play Crysis on it for God's sake!
    Pentium D or M and Celeron processors, as the slowest Core2duo processors on the market may already overwhelm the chip!
    A great test would be to test the upcoming Atom in gaming benchmarks against such processors running an Intel GMA 945 or something... A chipset often found in laptops.

    I know Toms only benchmarks ATI and NVidia, but the majority of laptops have an Intel integrated chipset. So of course I would love to see how the newer processor +IGP does in gaming benchmarks (of games like 3+ years old), and in HD video playback even on larger external monitors...

    If the chip is overclockable or not, and at what speeds

    Power consumption at normal and overclock is interesting

    Perhaps compare the IGP to whatever comes closest in graphics processing power of ATI and AMD (eg: Radeon 9200 pro? TNT card? ...).

    Although the chip will stun no one in graphics or CPU processing power, elaboration on it's performance and power draw would be greatly appreciated!
    Reply
  • ossie
    Uncle MeatAnd the other $10-$15 goes to who, exactly? There's no cost involved in selling a license.To the marketing droid$, and propaganda $hill$, like yummy boy. This constant bombardment with ads, new$, and review$ costs big $$$ - the lu$er finally pays...

    Netbooks (atom) won't have vi$hta sp2+ (aka $even), because it's not capable to run on them - despite all the hype - even xpire struggles. The "new" netbook - shaped to "updated" m$ min specs, as the traditional one was deliberately killed - is a castrated notebook, with a high price tag: win(tel)- win situation for m$ and oems. Consumers just pay more for less.
    ta152hActually, there is a cost for selling a license; it's called support. All those folks at Microsoft that talk to you for free for a limited time have to be paid, and they wouldn't need to be paid unless people had licenses. More licenses, more support costs. Of course, Microsoft also has to figure in their development costs, not only in creating the software, but also supporting it with fixes (again, back to the "S" word). Then, they have to deal with legal fees, and fines from the EU, because they are so poor they always need to fine Microsoft so they survive. No licenses, no EU legal fees and fines. Selling licenses do have costs. It's not all profit.Ever bothered to read a (OEM) license agreement? It basically says you're screwed.
    Keep to your intel rants, the win part isn't your strength at all - the intel one, not much better, either.
    Reply
  • Actually, there is a cost for selling a license; how do you think Microsoft pays its outsourced workers to confirm your windows activation over the phone?

    As long as manufacturers don't give up on GNU/Linux then I'm happy. I can hardly wait to try the next version of Moblin on my Aspire One.

    Reply