It isn’t news that Microsoft and Intel cower in the giant shadow of the tiny Netbook that darkens the road of their future. They helped create it (with a big push from Asus) and are desperately seeking ways to restrict Netbooks and downplay what they offer in hopes of turning consumers towards bigger, more powerful machines that also have larger profit margins. During the recent financial analyst day Steve Ballmer had this to say:
Our license tells you what a netbook is. Our license says it’s got to have a super-small screen, which means it probably has a super-small keyboard, and it has to have a certain processor and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I think the blah, blah, blah,… says it all.
Ballmer also bemoaned the Windows XP pricing structure and says Microsoft was planning to recitify that with Windows 7:
“[I]t turns out the theory was wrong, and you will see us address the theory in the Windows 7 time frame. We’re going to readjust those prices north, so to say, and I think with our Windows 7 SKU lineup, we also have a great chance to do some up-sell … to Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home….”
I’m not sure of this up-sell and pricing strategy. It could conceivably work if consumers want more, but by placing restrictions on what a Netbook can be and poo-pooing (or is that blah-blahing) your product I don’t think it creates an atmosphere of that’s conducive to moving product. But that’s just me.
Neowin via Sascha Pallenberg on Twitter