As BBC News and other Web sites reported Monday, Microsoft is meeting ultra-low-cost PC (ULPC) makers where they are -- with an ultra-low-cost version of its Windows XP operating system. Apparently the powers that be in Redmond can't bear to see Linux corner the market on these stripped-down, low-cost devices aimed at users in developing countries.
What might not have been clear from the first rumblings about low-cost XP is that it will come with very tight spec requirements. Tech Digest cites IDG News Service, saying:
[T]he machine specs have to be kept very low. The screen must be 10.2 inches or less, it is allowed no more than 1GB of RAM and a single-core processor of 1GHz or less, 80GB is the maximum hard disc space and absolutely no touch screens either.
The only problem, Tech Digest writers say, is that the low spec requirements may encourage the ULPC makers to further limit their machines' power regardless of how much the devices could hold. Needless to say, they hope at least a few makers will not "bow to [Microsoft's] whim."