Full version of Windows 7 on Samsung Netbooks? Maybe

Samsung exec says the decision hinges on what Microsoft charges for Home Premium and other versions of the revamped Windows operating system.

Though Microsoft wants Netbook purveyors to pack future products with full versions of the new Windows 7 operating system, it's going to come down to pricing, as one Netbook maker, Samsung, confirmed.

Samsung Netbook

TechRadar.com sat down with the head of global computer marketing from Samsung, Kyu Uhm, on Wednesday, where he discussed Samsung's development of Netbooks around the new features available in Windows 7. When asked about what versions of the OS the company plans to make available on its Netbooks, Uhm had this to say:

"Currently Microsoft provides Windows XP for Netbooks. For Windows 7 they would like to give us Windows 7 Starter Edition for Netbooks. That's the current plan. [Different versions are a] matter of how much we need to pay to Microsoft. It is an open issue. So we can ship other Windows 7 versions, but it is a matter of royalties."

Microsoft has been saying since before it showed off Windows 7 that it intends for the operating system to reach into the Netbook arena, a segment which Vista largely overshot due to its hefty memory and disk space needs.

The challenge, it appears, has more to do with pricing. Microsoft is offering all of its flavors of Windows 7 for use in Netbooks. The company has said it hopes more PC makers will choose the Home Premium version, but it is also making available a "starter edition" version. Previously, the stripped-down Starter version had only been used in emerging markets.

As Samsung's comments indicate, it appears PC makers' decisions will largely be a factor of just how much more Microsoft wants to charge for Home Premium vis-a-vis Starter.

CNET News' Ina Fried contributed to this story.

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