Most analysts who looked at Microsoft’s announcement earlier today of its new lineup of Windows 7 editions have focused on the number of SKUs and are busily debating whether the new selection will make choices more or less confusing for Windows customers. But there’s a more important story buried in the details, one that will only become apparent when Microsoft fills in the rest of the picture by attaching price tags to the members of the Windows 7 family.
Two weeks ago, Microsoft delivered the shocking news that its Windows Client division reported declining revenue on a year-over-year basis, despite selling approximately as many licenses as it did in the previous year. It’s easy to blame the shortfall primarily on netbooks, as Microsoft did. Indeed, those small, cheap PCs are part of the problem. The market figured out that the least expensive Home edition of Windows (XP or Vista) is an ideal choice for netbooks and in fact is perfectly adequate for many tasks on mainstream PCs. That’s why Vista Home Basic is so popular on entry-level business PCs.
more at » Easy Windows 7 upgrades could earn Microsoft billions a year extra | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com