The Vista Capable lawsuit has not even settled yet, and I am predicting the next one: the first Windows 7 Lawsuits – not necessarily against Microsoft, but hardware manufacturers / sellers. Microsoft is setting the stage for these lawsuits now.
The essence of the Vista Capable issue was that Microsoft lowered the specs for allowing manufactures to put a Vista Capable sticker on underpowered computers, which later turned out to be less than capable. Specifically, these underpowered computers would only work with Vista Basic and none of the others versions.
What’s happening with Windows 7 is the exact opposite: the most popular category of laptops, Netbooks will likely be limited by the fact that they will ship with a castrated version of Microsoft’s new OS, one that will only allow up to 3 programs to run at a time. That’s a huge restriction. Worse, consumers are not used to it.
We are pre-conditioned to believe that Windows generally “just works”, we can run any program only limited by the performance of our computer, and that differences between Windows versions are generally in the realm of security, communication, management console..etc – esoteric stuff that consumers typically don’t need.
How many BestBuy, Costco, Walmart ..etc customers or even sales staff will actually know about this restriction? Retailers should literally put huge “handicapped by Windows 7” signs on these netbooks if they wanted to provide fair warning – will they do it? I have doubts – after all, who would buy such disabled computers?
Hence the setup for lawsuits. You’ve heard it first here.
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