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.