Windows 8 pricing to "kill netbooks"

PC manufacturer says lack of Starter edition will make netbooks unviable

Nicole Kobie
31 May 2012

Windows 8 pricing will be the final nail in the coffin of netbooks, a leading PC manufacturer has told PC Pro.

The next version of Microsoft's OS has been cut down to only two versions - the standard Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro - as well as versions for ARM and enterprise.

That lack of a Starter version, such as the cut down Windows 7 edition offered on netbooks, could add $100 to the cost of the cheap and cheerful laptops, an executive at a major PC maker told PC Pro.

The executive added that the company would like to continue making netbooks, but that would no longer be feasible in a declining market that has been savaged by the emergence of tablets.

Netbook sales have fallen dramatically over the past two years, with Dell halting sales to consumers last December, and many other manufacturers failing to refresh their netbook ranges. When netbooks first arrived, manufacturers released versions running Linux OSes, but failed to grab significant market share.

Microsoft said it wouldn't comment on rumour or speculation.

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