Mary Jo Foley, over at All About Microsoft, is reporting that Microsoft is searching for people in several countries who might be interested in trying Windows 7 on a lower-power PC. The countries include: Chile, Egypt, Lebanon, Brazil, Jordan and India. She writes:
It’s not clear whether Microsoft’s Windows team is interested in testing a new netbook-specific SKU of Windows 7 or perhaps something more like Windows 7 Starter Edition — a low-end version of Windows tailored for emerging- and developing-market customers. According to an e-mail invitation sent to testers earlier this month which I had a chance to see, Microsoft is seeking testers to run a test version of Windows 7 on machines that sound a lot like netbooks (except for the fact they include DVD drives — something that some purists say disqualifies a machine from being a “true” netbook).
For Microsoft, netbooks are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they're becoming more popular at a time when PC sales are sluggish. On the other hand, they don't generate much as much money and they're still running Windows XP. Both Mary Jo and Larry Dignan dig in deeper on the love-hate relationship between Microsoft and netbooks in their own posts, linked below.