Microsoft Wants to Rebrand Netbooks 'Low-Cost Small Notebook PCs'

Microsoft wants us to move away from the term "netbook", instead referring to the tiny, cheap laptops, which the company says demand recognition for handling more than just browsing, as—brace yourselves—"low cost small notebook PCs", according to Digitimes. Sorry, Intel!

Steven Guggenheimer, general manager of Application Platform & Development Marketing, outlined the plan in a speech yesterday at Computex. The theory behind the push, according to the report, is tied up with Microsoft's overstrict definition of "netbook", as gleaned from Windows 7 Starter Edition's alleged maximum specs.

The thinking is, I guess, that Microsoft would look bad for deeming one notebook as eligible for the discounted OS and not another, when the only difference between the two is an inch in screen size or a extra stick of RAM. By changing the term from "netbook" to the more descriptive, performance-aware "low cost small notebook PC," they can base the slim version of Windows 7 around that term's definition—which they are free to write—and avoid clashing with the public's broad preconceptions about what a netbook is.

Microsoft is planning to outline this plan in more detail today, but from here it looks a little silly. Microsoft can construct as many internal device categories as it wants, but to customers, a netbook will still be a netbook, and Windows 7 Starter Edition will be unreasonably exclusive. [Digitimes]