You see, there's not much wiggle room when it comes to netbook
pricing. By and large, vendors have priced their machines about as low as they can in order to receive but a sliver of a profit, and there's certainly no way they could eat another $20 to $30 on each unit and still feel good about themselves. To that end, we're hearing that many companies may make their Atom N270 and Atom N280-based netbooks ineligible for the Windows 7
upgrade (from the factory, anyway), with those always-mysterious "industry sources" pointing to "increasing costs and low consumer demand." In essence, these guys feel as if consumers will view Windows XP as sufficient for those underpowered machines, while it'll be the Atom N450
, Atom D410 and Atom D510 machines that'll be most suited for Win7. 'Course, we suspect you'll be able to pony up for whatever upgrade you'd like once it's in your hands, but we wouldn't anticipate any handouts to suddenly be attached to existing machines.