June 3, 2008 / 9:25 AM / 11 years ago

Microsoft extends Windows to low-cost PCs

Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates speaks during a news conference in Tokyo May 7, 2008. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is making its Windows operating system available to low-cost desktop PCs, as cheaper laptops enjoy booming demand globally, the software giant said on Tuesday.

“Distributors, retailers or end-users, people are really looking for Windows-based devices,” Steven Guggenheimer, vice president for Microsoft’s original equipment manufacturing business, told reporters at Computex, the world’s second largest computer show.

Microsoft’s customers and partners have made it clear that they want Windows on their Netbooks and Nettops, he said.

Netbooks are low-cost laptops that target students and other first-time PC users in the emerging markets, while Nettops are desktop computers that are much cheaper than typical desktops.

Asustek Computer Inc’s low-cost Eee PCs are gaining popularity worldwide, and many other PC vendors are joining the march to launch similar models.

“We have seen much demand for Windows on the Eee PC,” Asustek Chief Executive Jerry Sheen said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It is great that Microsoft is addressing this customer demand and providing a Windows solution on these devices.”

Asustek expects sales of Eee PC laptops to double to around 10 million units in 2009 as sales of the low-cost laptops will likely hit 20-30 million units globally next year.

On Monday, Microsoft’s shares fell 1.8 percent, lagging the Dow’s 1.06 percent decline.

Reporting by Baker Li; Writing by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Louise Heavens

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