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.

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  1. identicon
    Shaun, 13 May 2008 @ 12:03am

    Re: DOS

    Umm... Windows XP Home...
    I'd already heard this story and besides the linked article mentions it.

    On another note, this could be a very good thing for Linux. Buy the Windows edition with a plain screen or get the Linux version with a touchscreen for example. The $22 - $32 saved from the windows license probably won't cover the cost of the touchscreen functionality - but having the edition with Linux on it being both better (in terms of hardware) and more expensive that the windows one could help to create the impression of Linux as the premium option.

    Currently with high powered laptops mostly running windows and Linux only on lower cost, low powered models it creates the false impression that Linux is somehow sub-par.

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