Microsoft, Intel put squeeze on Via

A report alleged that chip giant Intel and software giant Microsoft have hatched a cunning plan to limit netbooks running Windows 7 to 10.2-inch screens.

According to Digitimes, this means the end, or the beginning of the end for 11.6-inch Atom based screens.

And that might well put the kybosh on netbooks which use Via’s Nano chip, because machines with screens larger than 10.2-inches won’t qualify for the licensing rates that Microsoft will offer to vendors wanting to produce systems running Windows 7.

Via has just won a Computex award for its “Nano” microprocessor but Intel’s Atom has more wins than the Taiwanese company.

The jury is still out on how Windows 7 will perform on netbooks, or for that matter on notebooks when it’s finally released. Intel appears to be rather craftily hedging its bets by backing alternative operating systems such as Moblin.

According to Digitimes, the 10-inch segment of the netbook market is already dominated by Intel’s Atom microprocessor, while Via has made some progress in 11.6-inch netbooks.