Microsoft Might be Controlling Netbook Pricing

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Microsoft may be helping netbook makers to control market pricing in an effort to help avoid cannibalizing Windows-based notebook computer sales. Microsoft is apparently ready to announced "maximum hardware requirements" for netbooks running Windows 7, and the specs will force a clear distinction between the netbook and notebook PC markets.

According to InfoWorld, Microsoft has put together new "maximum requirements" for netbooks running Windows 7 that limit the devices to displays no larger than 10.2-inches, but allowing 32GB solid state drives or 160GB hard drives. Vendors selling PCs that fall within Microsoft's guidelines will be eligible for lower-cost Windows 7 pricing, which translates into potentially higher profits for the companies.

With tightly controlled license pricing in place, vendors would need to limit their product designs to Microsoft's specifications, or face dwindling sales to less expensive products from companies that fall in line and pay lower licensing fees.

By controlling the netbook feature set, assuming there isn't a valid technical reason for doing so, Microsoft could find itself on the wrong end of a Department of Justice antitrust investigation.



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Gee is MS now in the hardware business?  Imagine tying the OS to pre-determined hardware specs in order to assure a better out the box experience!  Well there goes the marketing ploy about running Windows on any cheap collection of parts.

As for the DoJ intervening, I can see say the EU taking a real close look at this practice.  With our economy in the tank I don’t see the impetus for the DoJ to take any action.

As I see it MS just opened the door for Apple to enter the netbook arena.

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