back to article Windows XP on netbooks to lose life support?

You might not be able to buy a brand-new netbook running Windows XP much past the New Year, even though Microsoft has committed to offering that operating system for another year. That's because Microsoft hopes - and expects - that shoppers will buy Windows 7 Home Premium instead. Shoppers' buying choices will naturally be …


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  1. Johnr
    Thumb Up

    Well lads...I've got Win 7 Ultimate running on an MSI

    an MSI SFF with an atom processor and 2GB of ram . I turned off the eye candy and it seems to be doing quite well orther than occationally chocking if the graphic are too intense or you try and run more than 5 things at once

  2. Nigel Wright

    Thanks to MS and general public stupidity

    ..netbooks have gone from £200-£250 devices to £300-£400 devices with no increase in horsepower or spec'. I'm still on my Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu and it performs brilliantly.

  3. Volker Hett
    Thumb Down

    Netbook Makers will just stop preinstall XP

    and punters buy Win7 equipped machines to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix themselves.

    Or has anybody actualy seen an Asus EeePC 901 with Linux? I searched a long time and then gave in and payed the MS tax.

  4. the_madman
    Thumb Down

    You don't say?

    Of COURSE the marketing will be behind Windows 7 Home Premium... Starter Edition/Home Basic just plain suck. When the users buy the netbook and realize, "crap, this isn't the Windows 7 I heard so much good stuff about", they'll either want to upgrade it, which will cost $80/£60 (or some-such) or have Windows XP back on it.

    Why can't they just ship, "THE Windows 7" and be done with it?!

  5. the_madman

    Re: "Well lads...I've got Win 7 Ultimate running on an MSI"

    Wait, wait, wait... that's a web browser, mail client, a chat client, an explorer window and media player. That's my limit?! What, so I have to close my web browser if I want to view an image with those running?

    You'll understand if that doesn't appeal, right?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Linux has already caught up

    For f** sake linux has long caught up as far as media users _ACTUALLY_ play - the ones ripped off CDs/DVDs or torrented off the internet.

    It could play it with ease yesterday - my home media center is a P3B 1.6 with Nvidia and it has seen heavy use for a 2+ years now.

    It can play it on netbooks today - no problem playing anything SD including scaling SD to HD on atom if you give it decent video.

    It will play it tomorrow unless intel commits suicide and completely screws up all possibilities for decent graphics on an atom.

    Same for office use. For the kind of office use you do on a netbook there is bugger all difference between Openoffice and MSOffice.

    Either this chap is marketing and advertising full force even when giving interviews to tech rags or he really needs to look outside the redmond HQ and get a reality check.

  7. Geoff Mackenzie

    @Nigel Wright

    Me too - my EEE 901 (Ubuntu) and my girlfriend's EEE 700 (Xandros) are just as awesome as they day they were bought :-)

  8. Bill 2

    I dont get it

    All the netbooks that ship with Windows 7 at the moment seem to ship with the Starter edition (or am I missing something?). Are MS seriously thinking that people who want to buy a small cheap computer are going to want to shell out extra money to upgrade a deliberatley crippled starter edition OS to the Home Premium edition?

    I have to admit the whole starter edition malarkey goes way over my head anyway. It seems to me that with XP on your netbook you had a fully functioning unrestricted (relatively) OS that has now been replaced by one with limited functionality and very silly restrictions (i.e. not being able to change the wallpaper - what the hell is that all about???).

    I think the next netbook I buy will probably have Linux installed rather than buggering around with this Starter Edition nonsense. I must be one of those very few people who seem to only use a netbook for web surfing or occasional google docs. Cant think of one thing I use the netbook for that I wouldn't be able to do with Chrome or Ubuntu.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can get stuffed.

    I made the mistake of buying a laptop with Vista once - makes my old Win2000/P3 laptop look like greased lightning. I'm not buying anything with MS on it again.

  10. Daniel B.

    I can't avoid laughing at this statement...

    "It's application compatibly and familiarly with Office or music applications, and hardware compatibility that Paterson believes will help Windows 7 Home Premium hold its own against Linux - a classic Microsoft argument and one that's partly prevailed on desktops and laptops."

    ... the same familiarity that has put off users from "upgrading" to MacOS-wannabe Vista, and made power users cringe at the Office 2007 Ribbon. If anything, they've successfully opened up that possibility for either Linux or MacOSX ... in fact, if MacOS X were not locked to Macs, they would've already taken over the Windows market.

  11. Andrew Barratt

    Its all about the drvers

    Once intel start producing drivers that work properly in Linux its game over for Windows on the netbook. All people really use the for is web browsing in the lounge or as second/third pcs.

    I got an Aspire one 751 couldnt buy it without the Windows XP tax, but soon got ubuntu 9.10 installed. Worked well initially even with the default vesa gfx driver, but was a bit sluggish. Once I managed to find a way to get the right driver on this machine feels much much slicker and responsive than the junkyard xp. Even passed the "even the wife thinks its quicker" test!

    MS - stop ripping people off with millions of flavours of your os, stop pre-charging people for their hardware....

  12. Goat Jam
    Dead Vulture

    Netbooks are dead

    They died 3 years ago.

  13. Mike Gravgaard

    Windows 7

    I bet Microsoft will hope people buy plenty of Windows 7 stuff for christams.

    The thing is I've not seen anything so great about it yet.


  14. Nathan 13


    Do you want it or not, thats the choice you have with W7. Im a crippled pc im a W7 pc

  15. batfastad
    Jobs Horns

    Asus 1005HA-P here, 9hr battery and counting

    Weighs just over 1kg, does everything I ever want/need with ease, battery keeps going and going all day.

    Well worth the £270 in my book!

    I don't think people complaining about "the price of netbooks these days" get it.

    The Asus 7"/9" series netbooks were cheap... but I wouldn't go near one. Battery life was too poor, screen too small and too underpowered... glad they've gone up in price by £70 odd quid and made them usable.

    Anyway back on track... Yeah Windows 7 is meant to work fine on these things especially turning all the fisher price stuff off. Makes Vista even more embarassing.

    XP's excellent though once you've replaced explorer.exe with a different shell. GeoShell works great on a netbook screen res (no more start menu) and I've replaced all file management stuff with a43 and a few utils.

    Enough of all this talk of google/netbook OSs... how about a reliable version of windows with a huge selection of open-source shells? Good enough for me at the moment anyway.

  16. jim 45

    Nigel Wriight, I think you meant to say that...

    ... thanks to MS and a meltdown called Xandros on the EEE PC (and not "general public stupidity") netbooks have become just another marketing channel for MS's bloated and overpriced "Home" releases.

    We're not using these things at "Home". So when do we Windows 7 "Mobile" or "Netbook"?

  17. Kevin 6

    I've had win 7 running on a Atom

    330 dual core with 2 gigs of RAM and it runs pretty crappy. Its performance is a little bit under XP's and when shutting down it gave a BSOD and rebooted instead of powering off. I've installed X86 and 64 bit (330 supports 64 bit) both crash same way.

    Reinstalled BOTH with absolutely no software outside what MS installs and let it idle for a few days 64 bit still does the crash 1st day, and x86 started BSODing after 3 days. BTW THIS IS IDLING with NOTHING installed just turned on let it for 8 hours and shut down. Put XP back on works flawlessly. No crashing after 8 hours of CPU intensive work (re-encoding videos) when turning off.

    Waiting for SP1 before I'm going to re-try Win 7.

    BTW I used the Betas on the same PC and both betas did not have this issue. It seems it is something MS added into win 7 after the final beta thats causing it.

  18. Christopher Martin

    "hopes that shoppers will buy Windows 7 Home Premium"

    Wtf offtopic, but... If I were ever in the market to purchase an operating system, I think I would baulk at these titles. "Home premium"? What the shit is that supposed to mean? It's good enough for the "home" but not the office? What is "premium" about it?

    Microsoft, do yourself a favor and start naming your versions after animals like everybody else. It's SOFTWARE, for god's sake, it deserves a capricious naming scheme.

  19. Cliffodemus

    @Volker Hett

    I think Asus gave up preinstalling linux, the cited reason was lots of complaints from customers about the different UI, lack of MS word, the strange browser, why doesn't my favourite desktop gadget/spyware load anymore etc. Either that or Microsoft made XP cheap enough to install without much extra charge.

  20. Marvin the Martian

    win7 is like condoms

    You can choose between "premium" and "extra premium," to not crush your ego as you're stuffed with a very basic product.

  21. JC 2

    Innit funny?

    Seems like people are now doing on netbooks what they used to do on Win95, but MS thinks they should need over an order of magnitude more memory, storage space, CPU power, to do so. We've certainly steered the PC industry somewhere, but it's not "where I want to go today".

  22. Keith Oldham

    Ausu 901

    "Or has anybody actualy seen an Asus EeePC 901 with Linux"

    I've got one and very useful it is too - esp for travelling. Just installed eeebuntu recently & that's better.

  23. Mage Silver badge

    Buy Office?

    I *have* full Office Suite + extras.

    I find I increasing use OpenOffice. Which while a bit slow to load, in some areas is better.

    I have the Mystic Kola also.

    I don't believe Netbook sales can be making much difference to MS Office sales.

  24. David Love

    XP rules

    In the unlikely event that this report is true, there will be a rush to grab XP netbooks while they're still available. Netbook buyers want simple machines with an OS that Just Works. Leave the bloated underpowered 17 inch bricks to others to play with - and be disappointed.

  25. nematoad Silver badge

    @Goat Jam

    Well, that's quite a trick seeing as the Asus eee701 didn't ship until November 2007. I got one of the first from RM and apart from upgrading the memory it's still running as well as ever and does all I want from it i.e. web surfing, email etc. No office apps, if I need to write something I can use Kwrite. It's great, because when I go abroad it does not make much of an impact on my baggage allowance and fits easily into my cabin bag.

  26. Jodo Kast

    What a troll!

    "Or they just hate change."

    It's just a netbook running an operating system. Who cares if it's XP or the latest, we're just doing 'netbook' things like surfing the net.

    Reminds me of a a troll trying to start a flame war. No one really cares, they just want a PC that works.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Linpus Linux runs just grand on my Acer Aspire One, bought for £150 a year ago.

    I'm 26 so not in their target demographic, but it does well as a "living room" machine, for checking the internet / emails when there's nowt on the TV.

    In fact, my non-techie whatsoever girlfriend was so impressed with it that she now dual boots Ubuntu on her Vista full-latte laptop (which ran like a 1 legged dog) and uses it now as it just works, and works fast. Especially after the last fake-antivirus worm she downloaded thinking it was a real virus warning. At least on Linux it would just laugh, and easy to get rid of, even under wine.

    Windows has it's place on top of the range laptops, secured to the hilt with every single anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall known to man (even then something will get round them), but for just getting stuff done on a small netbook, Linux all the way.

  28. Gilbo

    Total bollocks

    I recently bought two Samsung NC10s for myself and the missus, and put Win 7 on mine and installed XP Pro on hers.

    Booting side by side, clean installs with appropriate drivers and tools, by the time her XP was at the desktop and online I had to wait another 10 seconds for my desktop and another 10 seconds for the WiFi to connect. Win 7 was using 450+ MB of the 1GB of RAM whilst XP was using about 150MB, and that was with as many Win 7 services disabled as I could get away with. A rough estimate put the battery life about 15% shorter running Win 7 which on these babies is about an hour less . I wasn't impressed.

    Now I absolutely love Win 7 and really wanted it on my notebook but I'm sorry, XP blows it out of the water on netbooks in all the ways that matter: booting, speed, responsiveness, memory utilisation and most importantly, battery life. All said and done there's bugger all you'll be doing on a netbook that seriously justifies putting Win 7 on it.

    They now both run XP.

  29. apexwm

    Don't believe Microsoft's word

    Think of Microsoft as the salesman. They want to sell you a product. So, they are going to say whatever it takes to sell that product. This is just a fact, and it happens all of the time. Microsoft stretches the truth as much as they can in their favor all of the time, to make themselves look good. In this article, they mention the threat of Linux but mention it's not a worry at the moment because of misorganization, etc. The truth of the matter is, Linux IS organized. Use a common distribution like Fedora, Red Hat, or Ubuntu. He failed to mention how Windows 7 Starter Edition that is installed on netbooks is crippled and very limited. Linux is full featured because nobody is waiting to force you to upgrade to the higher edition and pay more. Linux comes with everything out of the box, Windows doesn't.

  30. david bates


    I've pretty much replaced OpenOffice with Abiword and Gnumeric for day-to-day stuff. Even on a 701 they fly and unless you start getting silly with tables etc they do a very good job.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andrew Barratt

    Once intel start producing drivers that work properly in Linux.

    Good luck with that. Intel still cant make decent drivers for windows .

  32. Gis Bun

    Windows 7 Starter === not for me

    Glad I bought my Asus 1000HE when I did. While Microsoft would like to see Win 7 Home Premium on netbooks, so far most netbooks with Win 7 are with Win 7 Starter which has a few limitations [I heard you can't change the desktop background]. Why Starter edition? Switching to Home would add maybe $80 to the cost of a netbook.

  33. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    Just like a kid again? No I'll stick with XP....

    I'm glad they worked the bugs out of their user data collecting system but I'm not inclined to wanting my mommy keeping up on my day to day activities much past the age of 19yrs old. Of course if you like your mommy knowing everything you do still then by all means use Vista or Windows 7 because Microsoft is collecting your data with it and you should feel just like a kid again.

  34. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    I like the line

    If people do their homework...

    Actually if people did do their homework they wouldn't be getting win7 on a netbook.

    ...but as someone mentioned, you can't find linux on a netbook now, or one with an SSD.

    Me thinks the MS boys have been using market position again.

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