Netbooks makers may forgo free Windows 7 upgrades

Planning to go out netbook-shopping soon? Well, when Windows 7 shows up, you may have to pay for the upgrade out of your own pocket. DigiTimes writes that netbook makers could opt not to offer free upgrades to the new OS on machines with Atom N270 and N280 processors.

That's because, while Windows XP licenses cost them around $25-30, Windows 7 will command a higher price tag—reportedly $45-55. DigiTimes also claims "most consumers" believe Windows XP is good enough for netbooks. Since firms like Asus and Acer already have to deal with "fierce competition," they may not want to compromise with higher prices or tighter margins just to offer a free upgrade path.

That said, DigiTimes claims netbook makers are also negotiating with Microsoft to lower Windows 7 prices. Folks really dying for Windows 7-powered netbooks might want to wait for Pineview, too, which a previous DigiTimes report says could be out in October. Microsoft intends to release Windows 7 to the public on October 22.

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