Microsoft is getting serious about making sure that those ultra low-cost computers that will be hitting the market in mass will be powered by Windows and not Linux. Microsoft has contacted OEMs and is offering a version of Windows XP Home edition for very low pricing to try and stay competitive with Linux boxes. What is unknown is how much pressure Microsoft will use to make sure that Windows is the only OS to be used.

In a recent article from IDG it states:

Microsoft is launching a program to promote the use of its Windows OS in ultra low-cost PCs, one effect of which will be to limit the hardware capabilities of this type of device, IDG News Service has learned.

Microsoft plans to offer PC makers steep discounts on Windows XP Home Edition to encourage them to use that OS instead of Linux on ultra low-cost PCs (ULPCs). To be eligible, however, the PC vendors that make ULPCs must limit screen sizes to 10.2 inches and hard drives to 80G bytes, and they cannot offer touch-screen PCs.

The program is outlined in confidential documents that Microsoft sent to PC makers last month, and which were obtained by IDG News Service. The goal apparently is to limit the hardware capabilities of ULPCs so that they don’t eat into the market for mainstream PCs running Windows Vista, something both Microsoft and the PC vendors would want to avoid.

When ULPCs were first being introduced most of these inexpensive systems came with a version of Linux installed. It is being predicted that ULPCs will be the next computer boom and this is why Microsoft has taken such a keen interest.

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Full article is here.

Full article is here.