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Taking a beating with Windows 7 pricing

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When you buy a PC what do you think the single most expensive part? Is it the CPU? Nope. The hard drive? No way. It’s long been Windows, and, with the coming of Windows 7 on netbooks and lower-priced PCs, Windows may not only be the priciest part, it may cost you more than everything else in the PC combined. Now, that’s real value for your money!

Windows 7 Starter Edition is expected to cost netbook vendors $50. That’s not much, but it’s a good deal more than the $15, and less, it currently costs them to put Windows XP Home on their machines. Adding insult to injury, Microsoft has decided that Starter Edition can only go on a netbooks with a 10.2-in. Or smaller screen , with no more than 1GB of RAM, a hard disk drive of no more than 250GB or a solid-state drive no bigger than 64GB, and a single-core processor no faster than 2 GHz.

In short, if a netbook manufacturer wants to produce a high-end netbook, Microsoft is forcing them to use Windows 7 Home Premium. And, guess what? According to a report, Mike Abary, a senior VP at Sony’s Vaio PC unit, says that Windows 7 Home Premium will “add $200 to a unit’s cost.” On an advanced netbook, or low-end notebook, that could easily mean that Windows is the most expensive part of the entire package.

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