Posted by: Peter Burrows on June 3, 2009
Well, that was quick.
Yesterday, I blogged about an interesting confrontation in the making between Microsoft and its fastest-growing Windows licensee: Acer. It’s become clear that while Acer wants to light a fire under the new Netbook category of cheap computing devices to drive volume hardware sales, Microsoft—having largely coopted this low-end market from the early Linux-based variants that dominated the market a year ago—now would rather make netbooks go away and convince consumers they are nothing more than plain old PCs, albeit with somewhat smaller screens and somewhat higher price tags. Now, given comments made by Microsoft manager Steven Guggenheim at the Computex 2009 show in Taipei today, this is the official position of the company: that the phrase netbook is meaningless.
I doubt it will be so easy to get consumers to give up on the idea of buying a device costing $200 or $300, rather than $500 or more. Once established, new low price points rarely just disappear.