Microsoft touts Windows 7 for Netbooks

During a recent question and answer session with Brad Brooks, corporate vice president of Windows Consumer Product Marketing, he gave his take on Windows 7 on netbooks, or mini-notebook PC's.

Brooks confirms that Windows 7 will support netbook PC's, and not only support them, but improve the consumers experience over any other Operating System. After recent showings at PDC, WinHEC, and CES, Brooks said users using Windows 7 on netbook PC's had an overall great experience on the miniature devices, from Windows 7 small footprint, and improved user interface.

Windows 7 will help improve boot up and shut down times on the netbooks, with a fully-functioning Windows experience. Brooks also mentions the great demand for the netbooks in 2008 will likely continue to 2009, where netbooks have shown great portable user experiences. The small devices running Windows 7 will have greater battery life; enhanced media capabilities; increase reliability; stability and security said Brooks.

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Who uses Windows Mobility Center to configure power settings??? Mobility Center is to connect your phone or PDA, what would it have to do with power configuration ...

DawnUnder2002 said,
Who uses Windows Mobility Center to configure power settings??? Mobility Center is to connect your phone or PDA, what would it have to do with power configuration ...

No Windows Mobility Center is to manage power, sound, screen brightness etc. on a portable machine. Windows Mobile Device Center is to connect a PDA/Phone.

Netbooks seems like it's only a trendy market. In a couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if it vanished. If I'm proven wrong about that then so be it, the more the merrier I guess... not that that would confuse your average consumer or anything.

Nothing vanishes if there's a market. I can't say I've seen a lot of netbooks in people's hands from my own experiences, but I've seen a few, and also heard of the practical reasons for some people's decision to purchase one.

One fellow I know is a photographer and got an EEE so he could examine his photos, store the good ones and throw away the crap while on an trip to a fairly remote part of the world. The small form factor and weight proved useful.

netbooks exist as a necessity of the market for cheap small portable computers, that's why Sony and Apple are so reluctant to embrace them.

And they are not going away, once they start getting touchscreens and start changing shape more like big ipod touch than a mini pc, you will see.

They won't go anywhere. Really they are just a subset of the Laptop market and that isn't exactly fading away. There is and will be for a very long time a market for portable computers that don't require an awefuly lot of screen real estate.

Netbooks are fantastic for students, they weigh next to nothing, as you can get around 6 hours out the battery there̢۪s no need to even bother carrying a charger around with you.

I can only imagine people who travel a lot for work will feel the same :)

Apparently nobody has seen the videos of Windows 7 running on a UMPC with a 600mHz processor and 512mb of RAM: Win7 scales to 600mHz UMPC

Asking if Windows 7 will run on a Netbook is a moot point; Windows 7 will be able to run on the next generation of cellphones.

I'm running windows 7 on my netbook. it runs almost as quickly as XP does even with 1GB memory. its gunna fly with 2 Gigs love it

I've been running Windows 7 on my MSI Wind for quite some time, but I'm not really sure if its doing better on battery life. I watch some tv episodes on it before bed and the amount it drains is pretty much the same as XP. Can only just barely watch 2x 45min shows before it does hibernation on 5%. Maybe the tweaks to battery life is extended at times when the laptop is left idle?

You can't expect it to do better than XP when watching TV episodes, as you're drawing a lot of power from the CPU/Harddisk and such when doing that no matter what OS you use. The power saving advantages come when the computer is undergoing light usage/idle.

Robin.B said,
You can't expect it to do better than XP when watching TV episodes, as you're drawing a lot of power from the CPU/Harddisk and such when doing that no matter what OS you use. The power saving advantages come when the computer is undergoing light usage/idle.

Actually they've made some tweaks in media player to fix this I believe. By caching more into the memory and syncing of process timings to decrease the power state.

I'm running it on my Acer Aspire One with 1gb of ram now. A few wifi probs, which is just a driver prob, other then that haven't had a single prob, and it runs absolutely fantastic.

A friend of mine install Windows 7 Beta 1 on his very recently acquired Acer Aspire One and he was blown away at how well it ran on the default 512MB it shipped with - ran faster than the included Linux distribution he said.

I'm normally the first to heap scorn on Microsoft but it looks as though they've been really cracking the whip on slimming down the bloat and now it's paying off..!

Chicane-UK said,
A friend of mine install Windows 7 Beta 1 on his very recently acquired Acer Aspire One and he was blown away at how well it ran on the default 512MB it shipped with - ran faster than the included Linux distribution he said.

I'm normally the first to heap scorn on Microsoft but it looks as though they've been really cracking the whip on slimming down the bloat and now it's paying off..!

Yeah, let's hope they learned their lesson from the mess that Vista was.

I'm typing this on Win7beta running on this old dual P3 @ 1Ghz with 768MB ram, and a ATi Radeon 9600XT.

Full Aero effects and all, runs just the same as XP on it imo. No problems at all.

I cant understand how is good for netbook with so much things running at startup. Also the bigger toolbar with the window thumbs which will take the full screen are not the best thing for 10" monitors.

IMHO some custom linux distro (there are already couple) is the best thing - really small footprint, custom drivers loaded only for this device, custom GUI etc

10" screen or not, they are still showing at the same resolution (like 1024x600 for the Acer One) as a typical 15". A little less height (600 vs 800) but since the taskbar adds a few pixels to the XP based one (and you can go back to the "classic" vista style height), moot point in the end.

Basically you're showing the same thing on a smaller screen, just like putting a projector closer to a screen. Same content, smaller viewing size.

What people dont realise is that there WILL be an OEM license for netbooks, for instance my current AAO has 'windows xp home edition ULPC, Acer Incoperated' on it, granted yeah it is still just regular home, but there is alot more 'licenses' (dont know what else to call them) if you think of it in these terms so having a 'Windows 7 home premium ULPC' is very likely, but likely wont be any different from regular home prem.

skynetXrules said,
^ maybe windows 7 : netbook edtion !

Quite honestly people are better off sticking to XP on netbooks. The way they've shaped it you'll probably almost end up paying more for OS then actual netbook itself.

Digix said,
Quite honestly people are better off sticking to XP on netbooks. The way they've shaped it you'll probably almost end up paying more for OS then actual netbook itself.

Not to forget that XP isn't the only thing that would ever be for netbooks!

Windows 7 has already been good with several netbooks tested and with all the updates that it has than XP, why wouldn't anyone consider loading Windows 7 on their netbooks!

Windows XP is past, move on.

Digix said,
Quite honestly people are better off sticking to XP on netbooks. The way they've shaped it you'll probably almost end up paying more for OS then actual netbook itself.

The battery life on netbooks under XP is bad compared to 7 beta 1. There are a lot of tweaks that seem to give on average 20-33% more battery life in my own personal tests. Like the screen dimming when not in use for example.

Chaks said,
Not to forget that XP isn't the only thing that would ever be for netbooks!

Windows 7 has already been good with several netbooks tested and with all the updates that it has than XP, why wouldn't anyone consider loading Windows 7 on their netbooks!

Windows XP is past, move on.

The point Digix was making, I think, is that the retail pricing of Windows 7 will be pretty steep ($199 - $250 I'm guessing) for a netbook priced at $350 - $500. I doubt there will be a good pricing option for users who want to upgrade from Windows XP Home Edition to Windows 7 Home Premium. If there is a

Shadrack said,


The point Digix was making, I think, is that the retail pricing of Windows 7 will be pretty steep ($199 - $250 I'm guessing) for a netbook priced at $350 - $500. I doubt there will be a good pricing option for users who want to upgrade from Windows XP Home Edition to Windows 7 Home Premium. If there is a

Thats silly. XP when it was out, as a OEM, was $200. If you say its 200-250, its the SAME PRICE, same performance (as noted) and not 8 years old.
Also AFAIK XP doesn't have specialized tools for SSD drives. Not that Vista used them correctly but performance tests show Win7 fixes that.

Digix said,
Quite honestly people are better off sticking to XP on netbooks. The way they've shaped it you'll probably almost end up paying more for OS then actual netbook itself.

even if that was true, what would be the problem with that? your computer is not worth more than its weight in grava without software to runit.

Patchou said,
even if that was true, what would be the problem with that? your computer is not worth more than its weight in grava without software to runit.

But we are not talking about going software-less on a Netbook. Lol. We're just examining what benefit investing another $200 for an OS has. That is 44% of the cost of my current netbook. Windows XP runs all of my programs perfectly fine. MS will support security patchs for at least a few more years. I'd rather save my money for a future Netbook upgrade that comes with the latest Windows for $300 to $500.

If MS has a good upgrade price option from Windows XP Home to Windows 7 than I may end up upgrading. Who knows...

As for my desktop, I'm definitely planning to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate from Windows Vista Ultimate.

MS will have the OS on many of the netbooks at time of retail. I don;t think it's expected that a huge number of users will buy a netbook and Windows 7 separately just the same way as most users get their updated copies of any Windows OS via OEM when they buy new computers.

Not really, if you plan on putting home premium on these with no mobility center it's all but useless and a pain if cannot manage things like power usage etc.

waruikoohii said,
You can manage power usage with Home Premium.

Not according to SKU announcements on home page it says under home premium under lost features windows mobility center which i know is in Vista home premium but won't be in 7 home premium apparently.

TCLN Ryster said,
You don't need mobility center to manage power usage, which is what waruikoohii said.

Yeah but it's not in a single solution easy manageable system like mobility center which obviously if they're aiming at netbooks and wider adoption in the segment people who're techno-fobes/non-geeks aren't going to understand the default windows power management features let alone be able to easily find them.

Digix said,
Yeah but it's not in a single solution easy manageable system like mobility center which obviously if they're aiming at netbooks and wider adoption in the segment people who're techno-fobes/non-geeks aren't going to understand the default windows power management features let alone be able to easily find them.


I think that was a mistake by Thurrott. He's corrected it now:

"Windows 7 Home Premium
Market: Mainstream retail market
Key features: Aero Glass, Aero Background, Windows Touch, Home Group creation, Media Center, DVD playback and authoring, premium games, Mobility Center
What's missing: Domain join, Remote Desktop host, advanced backup, EFS, Offline Folders

The volume Windows 7 offering for consumers builds on Starter and includes Mobility Center, Aero Glass, advanced windows navigation features like Aero Snap and Aero Peek, and multi-touch, as well as the ability to both create and participate in Home Groups. Home Premium will be sold at retail and be included with new computers."

Digix said,
Yeah but it's not in a single solution easy manageable system like mobility center which obviously if they're aiming at netbooks and wider adoption in the segment people who're techno-fobes/non-geeks aren't going to understand the default windows power management features let alone be able to easily find them.


I think it's the other way around. Most people don't know that Win+X opens Mobility Center, let alone know about its existence. Instead, they know that little battery/plug on the lower right is for power; clicking on it gives a link that reads "Adjust power options" and gives you the option to switch power plans. Whereas Mobility Center only gives you the option to switch power plans.

rm20010 said,
I think it's the other way around. Most people don't know that Win+X opens Mobility Center, let alone know about its existence. Instead, they know that little battery/plug on the lower right is for power; clicking on it gives a link that reads "Adjust power options" and gives you the option to switch power plans. Whereas Mobility Center only gives you the option to switch power plans.


Agreed. It's great if Mobility Center is in Home Premium... and I like it. But I have to question how many people actually find it. It's totally a power user thing.