Windows 7: The Linux (Netbook) killer?

Windows 7: The Linux killer

It’s amusing that Linux got to them on the desktop and as a result they are being forced to come up with something that isn’t such a hardware hog. Personally, I think Linux: The Windows Vista Killer would have been a better title. If nothing else, the Microsoft marketing machine is gearing up.

Hah! They’re boasting that Windows 7 only takes 512mb of RAM!?! A full openSUSE KDE is only in the 300 to 400mb range, and that’s with a lot of uneeded services!

I suspect it’s mostly a bluff. However, he has one thing right, there’s no marketing competition on linux’s side. Something needs to change that. Modern society gets about 50% of it’s brainpower from TV. Most of the public’s thinking is nothing more than regurgitated TV content (I am so glad I don’t own a TV!). If people don’t know there is an alternative to Windows, then they’re probably not going to look for one.

Microsoft isn’t just worried about ceding 30% of the netbook market to Linux. It’s also worried that if people get used to running Linux on netbooks, they’ll consider buying Linux on desktop PCs as well

Or getting it free of charge and with the latest gear. Many may complain “oh god noes my system is so unstable” like people did with Vista, but that is what SLED (or CentOS) is for.

This is where Microsoft is really worried. Even with almost 9 years support for each version from the vendor for Windows, something that is generally free of charge and claimed to work better in many cases (GNU/Linux) will prosper.

Hackers who enjoy patching Windows apps will enjoy patching GNU/Linux apps all that much more should there be a large userbase.

  • saahne,

IMO MS didn’t expect the netbook hype. I don’t think Linux “got them” on the desktop: Hardware vendors had netbooks, and MS only had their resource hungry brand new NT Millenium Edition.
If netbooks are going to stay (I don’t believe that; I don’t see the use, except from a certain cuteness factor), and if Windows 7 will run properly on netbooks, I think Linux will disappear from netbooks completely.


Microsoft just extended the shelf life on XP, yet again. Looks like they will Allow OEMs to intall it all the way up to the arrival of Windows 7. It’s going to be funny if Windows 7 tanks as well.

Uwe, This makes me curious to your view on what Linux will be doing on desktops and laptops in the next 5 to 6 years?? (As also in many embedded devices which will be coming very close to the netbook scene in terms of functionality as I see it…)


While the article does have some good points, they are assuming that Microsoft can make Vista SP3 -er , I mean Windows 7 (same thing, essentially) not only run on such a low-spec machine as a Netbook but to also leave room for the actual applications!

XP is already criticized for being slow and unstable on Netbooks and I don’t think Windows 7 will actually be modular enough to trim down to the needs of a Netbook and without a complicated, misdirecting pricing scheme that will sour people’s tastebuds!

IF Microsoft can actually pull off what they say they are going to do then yeah, Linux may have some new competition in the marketplace, but that’s a big “IF”.

If Netbooks are a fad and fade away, or Windows gets it’s foot in the door and begins to dominate the Netbook market the “damage” is already being done. People are…

  1. … getting fed up with Microsoft’s half-baked Vista
  2. … not wanting to sell their soul for a new machine to just get the same bells and whistles but get them louder
  3. … finding out there ARE alternatives (other than Apple), and that the alternatives are actually viable
  4. … growing more technologically savvy and want something that fits their lifestyle, not fit their lifestyle to their technology

Only time will tell.

This got me to thinking (maybe for the first time :wink: ). I’m thinking about marketing linux. Since MS is one big marketing machine, you would think that a little marketing to counter them would grow linux, even if only a little.

I’m thinking about a generic ad campaign that all commercial vendors of linux could join. Ubuntu, Red Hat, Novell, even IBM could put together a distro neutral ad campaign encouraging the use of linux. Remember the phrase “the other white meat?” It came out of a series of ads from pork producers that did not even mention a retailer. Similarly, the milk marketing board puts out ads extolling the value of milk but never mentioning where to buy it or who to buy it from. There are other generic marketing campaigns, I’m sure.

So, “linux is the other stable, secure, free OS.” Oh, yeah. Where’s the first one?

If Microsoft says Windows 7 can run with only 512 MB of RAM. Then translation means you won’t want to see how it will run with anything less than 1 GB of RAM minimum. As a rule I have always seen that you would want to double the Microsoft minimum for RAM and things like that as they want to make it look like it can run on far more stuff.

I got an old, old laptop from a coworker whose father was complaining it was too slow. It was a Pentium w/MMX, 233Mhz and 64 MB of Ram.

For their peace of mind I was going to use something that would overwrite the hard drive with "1"s and "0"s but had to gasp when I saw the splash screen come up for Windows XP! Now wonder it was slower than molasses flowing uphill on a cold Vermont morning!

I looked on the Microsoft site to find that the laptop did indeed technically meet Windows XP’s minimum requirements. So meeting minimums doesn’t mean you have something useable.

I think you underestimate ‘portability’ and the ‘good enough’ factor. In fact, I’m using mine (Acer Aspire One - Linux version w. 8GB SSD) as a souped-up PDA/personal organizer… there’s no way a PDA could do what this machine does. It is also great for watching videos on the train… there are plenty of people using iPods or PSP’s for that… well, guess what, mine’s bigger :stuck_out_tongue:

So far I’m very happy with the device. It makes for a great travel companion, easily put in a backpack or a briefcase.

Given all that, it’s no surprise that one of the places these things are popping up is in (mobile) phone shops.

  • Darkelve78 wrote, On 12/24/2008 04:16 PM:
    > I think you underestimate ‘portability’ and the ‘good enough’ factor.

I don’t think I do. I remember the Psion, which basically was a netbook, but with the battery runtime I’d expect from a netbook today.


From M$ own specs link and just for fun vista specs

64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features

my cousin has a computer with about 755mhz and 256mb of ram and the system takes its time starting up as if it was waiting for me. its surprisingly fast without anything installed, i wonder how slow it can crawl if i put modern programs into it.

Anyone else a little tired of seeing articles along the lines of ‘Product X the Product Y killer’? :rolleyes:

well im running windows 7 (pre-beta, but I should have the beta real soon) and the only way I can put it is Windows Vista without all the problems it had, a better, cleaner UI and it really does run better. This is with pre beta code and debugger galore on. I’m not saying that Windows 7 is amazing, But it is without a doubt what Vista should have been, and has moved itself back into the OS market for the consumer. Personally I like it enough to give it a chance. If anything it will make sure that linux developers are aware that Microsoft does indeed care. Even if it took them +1 OS and 4 years to fix the problems.

Thats not to say i’m moving away from linux, Not at all, way to many awesome programs already set up that I’m not going to change back, but I will give Windows a shot.

  • Magic31 wrote, On 12/23/2008 08:56 PM:

> Uwe, This makes me curious to your view on what Linux will be doing on
> desktops and laptops in the next 5 to 6 years??

I cannot find my crystal ball right now, but actually I don’t see any change. Let’s face it, Linux on the desktop, compared to Windows and Macs, is for:

] specialists
] open source zealots
] masochists

Check all that apply.

> (As also in many
> embedded devices which will be coming very close to the netbook scene in
> terms of functionality as I see it…)

Maybe a different beast, if we are really talking embedded devices: If I don’t get in contact with the OS, I don’t care what the machine is running. I don’t care what OS my Wii uses, or my cellphone.


My guess is…

New linux-convers users are coming for assistance to change their netbooks…

Let’s thank Mr Gates for making this community bigger and stronger ;=)

Happy New Year


Let’s face it, Linux on the desktop, compared to Windows and Macs, is for:

] specialists
] open source zealots
] masochists

Check all that apply.

I’ll check mine!

[x] none of the above :wink:

Sure, I am in favor of open source, but I am by no means a “zealot” (software isn’t that important to me). And, no, I am not a specialist, or a masochist.

I am just an ordinary guy who likes using an os that works!

And if I can make it do what I want it to do, so much the better!