Google Poised to Strike at Microsoft Windows Price-Gouge

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Microsoft plans to make life difficult for manufacturers who want to put the seventh version of Windows on mobile devices.

According to online reports, manufacturers who opt to use Windows 7 as the native OS for a mobile device will only receive a "starter edition" that won't be able to play DVDs and will lack many customization options. For example, users won't even be able to change the color scheme of the devices. In addition, the starter edition of the OS will lack many other interface options seen in the full version of Windows 7.

On top of that, these limitations will apply to desktop versions of the new OS, too. Tech analyst Cliff Edwards suggested that in these harsh economic times, Windows was looking for a way to squeeze more money out of its latest OS.

"The standoff points to a broader problem in the tech industry," he wrote for ZDNet. "The number of PCs sold each year is flattening, and the average selling price is falling fast. That leaves Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell, which once shared profits from a fast-growing market, fighting harder for every dollar."

Microsoft is fighting to the tune of $50 for the starter edition of Windows 7, which is about three times as much as the cheapest full version of the OS available now.

Concurrent with this money-grubbing is Google's Android OS, heretofore a mobile OS. Tech pundit Farhad Manjoo of pointed out that Google has been promoting Android as an alternative OS for netbooks — small, portable and easy-to-afford computers.

But more than that, Manjoo pointed toward a future where Android could become a competitor to Microsoft Windows on desktops as well.

"Android offers a user-interface well-suited to machines with limited power that are constantly online," he said. "Unlike Windows, Android will run only programs that you get from a centralized location—Android's App Marketplace, which lists programs that have been deemed safe by Google. This makes your system less susceptible to malware, which is important on a machine that has so little processing power to begin with."

Google has dabbled with virtual hard drives before, and pursuing a course of action that would move the world closer to a fully remote OS would be in line with most of their core philosophy.

Microsoft Windows 7 is tentative set to release in October.


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