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Opinion: Microsoft still harming netbook markets

Apr 23, 2009, 04:33 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rick Hodgin)

"As recently as September, 2008, Microsoft issued a memo to its Top 20 OEMs telling them what they could and could not have in a netbook computer that ran Windows XP and Windows Vista Basic. These unwritten contracts limit OEMs far beyond the technological limits of the device, the state of the art, the technology, or even what the market itself is demanding.

"It's these "implied contracts" between Microsoft and the OEMs which limit the hardware abilities you and I see in netbooks. And this practice ultimately harms us (the end consumers).

"According to this DigiTimes article entitled Intel GN40 netbooks held back by Windows XP, which relates to the netbooks discussed in the first paragraph above, "Intel said that the decision to adopt Windows Vista or XP on Intel netbook platforms is made solely by vendors in accordance with their business plans." What the article fails to mention is that the "business plans" often include what are called "soft limitations" imposed by Microsoft."

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