Most netbooks on the market are still shipping with Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows XP. As new options roll out — such as Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system — Microsoft has planned a special, cheaper netbook version of Windows 7 to try to keep its place atop the market. (And to encourage consumers — if not manufacturers — to spring for more expensive, more powerful editions of Windows 7, which ships this fall.)
But according to DigiTimes, via Gizmodo, it’s still charging too much. And netbook makers — already barely scraping a profit out of a $400-or-cheaper computer — might stick with XP. Or worse, go to a free OS like Android if its consumer experience becomes decent.
DigiTimes: Netbook vendors are considering keeping their Intel Atom N270 and N280-based netbooks using Windows XP and will not offer upgrades to Windows 7 due to increasing costs and low consumer demand, according to industry sources.
The current price of Windows XP OEM version is only around US$25-30, but the latest quotes from Microsoft for the netbook version of Windows 7 is around US$45-55 and therefore first-tier vendors are unable to transfer the cost to the netbooks’ sales price due to the fierce competition.