last week at Computex, Microsoft Corp. announced that following the success of Windows on netbooks, the Windows offering is being extended to include nettop devices. Netbooks are commonly referred to as ultralow-cost PCs (ULCPCs) and were originally intended for students and other first-time PC customers in emerging markets. Nettop refers to desktops that are ultralow-cost.
In April, Microsoft announced the worldwide extension of the availability of Windows for this emerging class of devices that are primarily used for e-mail, accessing the Internet, and instant messaging, and the company is seeing much demand among industry partners who want to ensure that customers can have the benefits of Windows on both new and existing devices.
Customers are asking for Windows on these devices because the experience is familiar to existing PC users and easy to learn for customers who are new to computing. Customers want to be able to take advantage of the wide range of applications, devices and online experiences supported by Windows today. Microsoft partners also appreciate Windows-based solutions for these computers because they already know how to build and support high-quality systems that are powered by Windows.
The marketplace for this emerging class of computers has expanded, and Microsoft and its partners are now seeing interest in these devices in developed markets as well, especially as companion devices in multi-PC households. As demand for this new category has grown, both customers and partners have expressed their strong preference that Windows be the operating system on these devices.
"Customers and partners have made it clear to us that they want Windows on their netbooks and nettops," said Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer Division at Microsoft. "We are committed to providing Windows solutions for these devices, helping to ensure a high-quality experience for both our partners and customers."
The company has been investing in this emerging hardware category in a variety of ways, with its efforts around Windows in emerging markets and by extending the availability of Windows to developed markets worldwide. The special class of mobile and desktop devices known as netbooks or nettops is optimized for Internet-based activities such as e-mail, Web browsing and instant messaging. By making it possible for OEMs to offer Windows on these devices, Microsoft enables consumers to have the familiar computing experience they have come to expect, as well as a robust platform that can integrate with their other computers and devices.
"We have seen much demand for Windows on the Eee PC," said Jerry Sheen, CEO of ASUSTek Computer. "It is great that Microsoft is addressing this customer demand and providing a Windows solution on these devices, which will provide a familiar computing experience."
"The Asus Eee PC has been and continues to be a very successful product for Cellnet," said Julian Phua, general manager of Cellnet Group Ltd. "The feedback from our customers in retail and the reseller channel is that they overwhelmingly prefer to sell the Eee PC running with Windows. To move our existing Linux inventory, we are now offering our channel the option of purchasing Windows XP with their Eee units so they can provide a compelling offering for customers."
Microsoft is working with more than 20 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Acer Inc., ASUSTek Computer Inc., BenQ Corp., Dell Inc., First International Computer Inc., Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd., HP, Inventec Corp., Lenovo, Medion AG, Micro-Star International Co., Positivo Informatica, Pegatron Corp., Quanta Computer Inc. and Wistron Corp. to deliver Windows-based offerings for consumers.