One of our readers was kind enough to send in the Microsoft Windows hardware requirements (or limitations) for the NetBook and NetTop platforms. This spec applies to the top 20 OEMs and should have come into effect in September last year.
For Windows XP:
1. Main storage: Max built-in flash drive of 16GB and/or a hard drive of no more than 160GB.
2. Graphics: No greater than DirectX 9.0 capability.
3. Main memory: No greater than 1 GB.
4. CPU has to be single-core and no more than 1 GHz unless it’s one of the following: Intel Atom (N270, N230, Z500, Z510, Z520, Z530, Z540); or Intel Celeron 220; or AMD Geode LX, Athlon (2650e, Sempron 210U); or VIA C7-M (ULV), Neon (U2300, U2400, and U2500) CPU.
5. Screen size: NetBook: Up to 10.2 inches. Large screen NetBook: Up to 14.1 inches. NetTop: No limit given.
For Windows Vista Basic, the only spec difference is the increase in size of the built in flash drive to 24GB max.
So the first thing to point out is that Microsoft and Intel aren’t singing off the same hymn sheet. Microsoft allows a large screen NetBook whereas Intel currently doesn’t. These people clearly have a different view of where the NetBook market is going.
Max main storage of 160GB might prove a limitation for those NetBook users who want to store their movies, music and pics on the hard drive.
When one can pick up 1GB of notebook main memory for $12, the main memory limitation is crazy. Let’s not forget that increasing this memory is by far the most effective way to speed up a slow machine - especially if you’ve got a slow CPU to begin with.
For the NetBook/NetTop platform, it seems that Intel and Microsoft are moving away from what the PC is supposed to be about: usefulness, practicality and expandabilty.
What serious user is going to buy a NetBook or NetTop computer when the limitations may render the platform useless in just a few years? X
HP asks Intel to ease Atom restrictions
Intel’s Atom is a gem