Microsoft to introduce new 'netbook-like' Windows Server SKU

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer listed the areas where Microsoft plans to invest in the annual Strategic Update presentation for Wall Street analysts. During the event Ballmer said the company will introduce a new, low-priced Windows Server version in the next couple of months but acknowledged that Microsoft has to decide on how it will handle Windows 7 SKU pricing for netbooks.

Ballmer said about 90% of netbooks generally priced at $200 to $400 have been shipped with a stripped-down version of Windows XP and buyers of netbooks with the low-end version of Windows 7 will have the option of upgrading to the more powerful versions.

Microsoft has already said that there will not be a separate netbook-specific SKU of Windows 7, and will allow netbook makers to preload any version of Windows 7 they want. However, Microsoft expects PC makers to opt for Windows 7 Starter Edition for smaller notebooks with limited specs and Windows 7 Home Premium for notebooks with sufficient specs.

During the meeting, Ballmer also called out Internet Explorer as an area where the company is losing market to its competitors, specifically to Firefox.

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