Microsoft Tries To Limit Machines That Can Use Low Cost OS

from the can't-let-anyone-use-a-cheap-product dept

Kevin Stapp writes in to alert us to the fact that in Microsoft's attempt to compete against Linux on various low-end PCs, it's offering a cheap version of its operating system -- but rather than simply offering it up for different computer makers to use, it's got specific rules limiting the type of computers it can be used on -- basically guaranteeing that their operating systems remain off of many low end machines that don't qualify under the extremely limited specs (no touch screens, no hard drives over 80 gigs, etc.). This is pointless for a variety of reasons, but the simplest one is this: any time you try to limit the use of your software to platforms that are less useful and less powerful than what's available, you're basically telling everyone who wants quality to go with a different provider. It's hard to see why Microsoft would want to make that kind of argument -- unless they don't realize that they're actually competing in this space. Given how little competition Microsoft has had to deal with in the OS market for years, perhaps it's natural that they don't know how to compete when it's finally necessary.

Filed Under: cheap pcs, low cost, low power, operating systems
Companies: microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Kevin, 13 May 2008 @ 2:39am

    May not be as dumb as it sounds

    While I agree that it's stupid to put artificial restrictions on PC makers about what kind of hardware can use the super low-cost version of XP Home Edition, it's worth pointing out that we are talking about a very small part of the market here. Right now it's only the Asus eeePC, the XO, and similar very small, very inexpensive systems that typically ship with a Linux distro to keep costs down. It's interesting to note that NONE of the PCs/laptops in this class come anywhere near to exceeding the Microsoft specs, and are unlikely to do so for several years.

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