Monday, April 20, 2009
News that Microsoft will offer a limited version of Windows 7 for low-cost netbooks is an interesting take on reputation. The firm is betting that people will continue to choose Microsoft over Linux because of Microsoft's long-term lead in operating systems. Microsoft is probably right in taking this bet. Netbook users are unlikely to stray from the authority, but they will have to make a choice. Do I want this operating system that will run only three applications at a time or for the same price, get one that runs as many apps as my machine memory can handle? Objectively, every user would take Linux but people are not always rational about these things. They just want something that works, and that they don't have to think about. Microsoft, in spite of its troubles with Vista, still has the reputation of a trustworthy systems builder. But how much longer will that reputation last?