Netbooks with small flash drives might struggle to handle Windows 7 according to Intel blogger Josh Bancroft. He also expressed concerns that the cost of Microsoft's new operating system would make netbooks too expensive.

Bancroft, a community builder the Intel Software Network, an online developer community run by the giant chip manufacturer, did say Windows 7  "runs GREAT on netbooks," but added that  Microsoft's margins on XP netbooks were not strong, and the company woukd feel pressure to increase revenue from Windows 7 netbooks - a move that he suggests could lead to netbooks that are too expensive. Bancroft also doubted whether netbooks with small solid state disks (also known as flash drives) would be able to handle Windows 7.

Bancroft stressed that his opinions did not represent Intel's official position on netbooks or Windows 7.

"I've been running the public beta on my Eee PC 1000H," Bancroft explained, "and it's terrific. Just as fast and usable as XP (still my preferred OS for netbooks)." But he worries that licensing it will cost too much. "No one but Microsoft knows how much it will charge for the various versions of Windows 7," he admits, although he suspects it will be considerably more than the small licensing fee the company charges to put Windows XP on a netbook. "And adding, say,$100(£68) to the cost of a $400 netbook just to pay for Windows 7 is going to be a tough proposition all around."

Microsoft announced six Windows 7 versions this week, without clearly defining which would be the best choice for netbooks. Bancroft referenced a Liliputing blog post suggesting that price issues would drive netbook manufacturers to include the severely crippled Starter edition, which can only run three applications at a time. But in his post, Bancroft states that he "wouldn't want to run anything less than the Home Premium version."

Bancroft is also concerned with the amount of storage Windows 7 may eventually require. A 6GB operating system means nothing on the 200GB hard drive of a conventional laptop, but "some netbooks are equipped with SSDs that only offer a paltry 4, 8, or 16GB of space, total."