So, here's the situation. The current fleet of netbooks would be rendered next to useless with Vista loaded on, but having Windows XP on there forces manufacturers to regurgitate specification lists. Rather than using the introduction of Windows 7 to fully pursue a world where netbooks can actually run around freely with 2GB (or even 3GB!) of RAM and chipsets powerful enough to open seven Excel sheets simultaneously, Intel is today sparking up its Atom Processor Developer Program. The reason? To "spur a new wave of applications for... netbooks, with support for handhelds and smartphones available in the future." Call us calloused, but that sounds a lot like a company pushing for "lite" software that functions on sluggish hardware.
Granted, we know that's not exactly the case here -- after all, even we wouldn't argue that some applications could benefit from being re-written to operate on a 10.1-inch display -- but it still feels like Intel's pushing software programmers to cater to underwhelming hardware rather than innovating its chips to work faster and more efficiently. There's no doubt that this feeling is compounded by just how long we've been waiting for a new wave of Atom CPUs, but at long last, we digress. The program actually has quite a few positive merits, such as striving to "reduce overhead and streamline the creation of new applications" for smaller devices -- something that would benefit every user regardless of processor. So far, both Acer and Dell have voiced their support for the program, giving us at least a modicum of reassurance that the Aspire One and Mini lines aren't vanishing anytime soon. Hit the read link for the glorified details, if you're into that type of thing.