Phones, Pricing, Netbooks

And yet another week has flown by. Nothing particularly exciting happened this week, but we did have some interesting conversations about old software, some phone news, Microsoft revealed the pricing information for Windows 7, and we talked about netbook customer satisfaction.

The week saw some serious phone news, with HTC announcing its third Android phone, the HTC Hero. The Hero comes with a custom, proprietary interface called “HTC Sense”, which will be installed on all HTC phones going forward, including Windows Mobile phones. Sense comes, among other things, with a Palm Synergy-like contact management system.

Speaking of Palm and the Pre, the company announced its financial results for the past quarter – which ended right before the Pre came out – and as it turns out, the company is doing less worse than anticipated, so stocks went up. Over the weekend, the software development kit for the webOS got leaked on the internet. The SDK is scheduled for release later in the summer.

Early on in the week, Kroc asked you, readers, what old software you were still using. What he meant with “old” was old binaries, untouched for years and years. As an example, he listed Visual Basic 6, released in 1998, which he still uses now, in 2009. The comments section was filled with interesting examples of these types of software you were still using. Another issue we discussed with you was about what type of font rendering you preferred.

We also had a story on a study done by the NPD Group, who researched customer satisfaction among netbook buyers. What they found out was as surprising as the sun rising in the morning: as it turns out, people who wanted a notebook were disappointed by netbooks, while people who wanted netbooks were more satisfied with netbooks. The problem here could be that netbooks are being advertised as every bit as capable as notebooks, while in fact, they do come with a performance penalty.

Microsoft revealed the pricing information this week for Windows 7, its upcoming operating system to be released October 22. The prices did not exactly get a warm welcome by the community, but the fact of the matter is that retail sales account for less than 5% of Windows sales, so it is very debatable just how important these prices really are. At the same time, this also raises the question why Microsoft didn’t take this moment to create some goodwill with by using lower prices.

Other interesting stories were the progress the native Haiku WebKit browser made, the x86 and Linux domination of the Top500 list, and the first progress report on SkyOS using the Linux kernel.