Microsoft is aggressively pushing a new low-cost version of its operating system intended for use with "ultra low cost PCs," competing with Linux on machines like the Eee and the One Laptop Per Child XO. However, Microsoft isn't willing to sell the low-cost license to any ULPC -- rather, the company has set out onerous conditions governing the maximum spec of these machines: 10.2" screens and no more than 80GB of storage, and no touch screens allowed.
Microsoft is trying to distort the market for cheap, tiny laptops by setting up artificial incentives to manufacturers to limit the power and capability of their lowest-cost units -- even if a vendor can figure out how to put more storage, a bigger screen, or a touchscreen into its machines, Microsoft doesn't want it there, and they'll punish any vendor that tries by refusing to license XP Home Edition on the same preferential terms that lower-spec machines get.
The key term here ls "Ultra Low Cost" -- note that this is not the same as "Ultra Low Spec. The primary market for these super-cheap machines are kids and poor people, and they'll be the collateral damage in Microsoft's crusade. If Microsoft wants to set up a licensing program for low cost machines, then cost should be the limiting factor, not power.
But this isn't entirely bad news: at least this latest move provides incentive to vendors to continue to bundle GNU/Linux, not Windows, on their machines. After all, Linux isn't just cheap, it's free, and no one's going to slap you around for figuring out how to deliver more power and a better machine.
We got one of these gadgets from The Lakeside Collection and it broke on the first use. It turns out the screw neck is made of the cheapest plastic known to man and is doomed to failure upon contact with anything harder than snow, such as ice, wipers, mirrors, roofracks, antennas, and so on. Worse, […]
It’s a very expensive wee gadget, the Teenage Engineering OP-1 [Amazon link; a used one from eBay is much cheaper]! Yuri Wong is an expert with its sampling and sequencing tools, and this video he uploaded is a fascinating illustration of how powerful and approachable they are. Download the mp3: https://gum.co/imadude [Logic Project download link […]
In the wake of this week's Motherboard scoop that the major US carriers sell customers' location data to marketing companies that sell it on to bounty hunters and other unsavory characters, Google has disclosed that they have told the carriers that supply service for its Google Fi mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that they expect […]
Want a career in web design? It’s true that these days, most anyone can throw up a page or two. But for true workhorse web design, you’ll sometimes need to match the platform to the project. Enter the Complete Front-End Developer Bundle, an educational grand tour around the best tools for the web. For beginners, […]
Things move fast in the world of social media, and they don’t slow down for marketers looking to make an impact. Whether you’re grabbing eyeballs for a major company or a local business, you’ll need to adjust your strategy for every platform. Don’t have a strategy to begin with? That’s where the Social Media Marketing […]
It’s a rude awakening for that rookie vacationer abroad when they try to plug in their gear for the night. Veteran jet-setters know that outlet shapes can vary wildly from country to country, which necessitates that most boring must-have for any world-traveler: A sackful of clunky power adapters. Awkward problem, elegant solution: The Twist Plus […]