Microsoft to release Windows 7 for Netbooks

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced today that the new and improved Windows 7 will be made available for netbooks, those tiny laptops currently out-selling conventional PCs.

With the current economic crunch, consumers are cutting down on purchases of more expensive notebooks and desktops. Ballmer and the rest of the Microsoft family are feeling the strain, since PCs account for one of the largest markets for Windows software.

Ballmer has apparently taken note of the surge in netbook popularity and plans to release a full (if somewhat "lighter") version of Windows 7 that will be able to run on the smaller computers. (Source:

Returned Linux Netbooks Fuel Win7 Need

Ballmer claims to have noted the importance of the netbook market as early as two years ago, when the mini-PCs were first introduced. Initially many netbooks were distributed with Linux, the open-source operating system that has been touted as a substantial source of competition for Windows. However, the rate of return on Linux-based netbooks was high enough to induce some excitement at Microsoft. (Source:

Today, a majority of netbooks are running a lighter version of Windows XP, which will provide an easy platform for upgrades to the highly anticipated Windows 7 when it is released in the next year or so. Ballmer hopes to maintain Windows' dominance in the growing netbook market, despite the fact that the per-netbook revenue Microsoft earns is less than that for conventional PCs.

Because the netbook is smaller and has less memory than a larger PC, this emerging market will provide a number of opportunities for Microsoft.

Creating a "lighter" version of Windows 7 that will be suitable for netbooks will allow Microsoft a greater degree of interoperability, since a lighter operating system has more potential for adaptability with other devices such as phones or personal data storage devices. (Source:

Since Ballmer predicts that Google-based products will provide strong competition for Microsoft in the months ahead, greater interoperability potential for Windows 7 could give MS the advantage it needs to reclaim its dwindling market shares. (Source:

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