death and microsoft taxes

After unloading my 13" macbook earlier this year I've been paying close attention to the subnotebook / netbook space to see what offerings might be available to supplement my on the go computing needs. I recently placed a pre-order with a local distributor to get my hands on one of the new Intel Atom + nVidia ION subnotebooks which should be out sometime this summer.

It seems however that Microsoft has reached is gnarled and grizly arm into my nurge to hold me back! Intel, in keeping with their long standing tradition of bending to the Redmond whim have endorsed some sort of marketing based sales strategy that denies reduced prices to OEM's who go outside their spec limits. Basically this means that because some vendors have opted to use cheap Intel hardware to build small devices with screens and (ahem non-Intel cough) graphics chips capable of playing 720p HD video Intel is cutting them out of the preferred pricing circle and charging premium rates for their chips. This of course has pissed vendors off and seems to have delayed my sweet geek toy joy.

But not only is my new toy running late, it's now going to cost extra for an OS I don't want or inted to use because of a hardware feature that's a selling point to the consumer.