Techradar had a day touring Samsung’s European forum and had the chance to interview Samsung’s Head of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Kyu Uhm. During the session, Uhm mentioned that future Samsung netbooks will undoubtedly include Windows 7, but having a full version as opposed to the sorry Starter Edition was iffy. It was also mentioned that future Samsung netbooks installed with a Linux distribution was a slight possibility if enough customers truly wanted it.Uhm said that, currently, Starter Edition is what’s happening for netbooks because Microsoft “would like to give us Windows 7 Starter Edition for netbooks,” but it’s not a far-fetched idea that Samsung could pay Microsoft royalties enough to be allowed to preinstall full versions of Windows 7. In other words, full versions of 7 are definitely on the menu; it just depends on how much Microsoft will charge to put them on a netbook. On the other hand, when the matter of full versions on netbooks was pressed, all Uhm had to say was that Samsung needs to, um, “ask Microsoft first.”
Patrick Pavel, European Product Manager, answered when asked about Linux that there currently weren’t any working movements to design a Linux netbook, but Samsung would give in to consumer’s wishes if there was enough demand for it. He said that Linux netbooks “made a certain community very happy.”
We can do Linux if the market is demanding it. If there’s demand, let’s do it. We even started to develop some Linux platforms.
According to Pavel, though there currently isn’t anything in the works, Samsung already has done development on several netbooks for Linux. If Starter Edition is forced onto the market, it could be that the demand for Linux netbooks will become much greater.
This whole scam called “Windows 7 Starter Edition” is ridiculous trickery on Microsoft’s part, and the idea should have been shot down the moment it was suggested at one of those shiny, long, executive meeting tables in Redmond. I’ve always thought Apple’s restriction of OS X to its own hardware was a bit eccentric, but this is downright dirty, especially if it’ll force netbooks with full Windows versions on them up a hundred or two hundred dollars or force users to pay Microsoft more money to upgrade from Starter Edition. However, it also may influence OEMs to walk on the Linux side of things and bring the best of Linux to the netbook plate unlike many previous netbook offerings. Hopes are either that or that Starter Edition quickly dies an ignominious death and full versions will be offered for much less.