If you ask VIA’s marketing manager Tim Brown where the company has been in the netbook game in the last few months, he will tell you “We are still here, and we aren’t done with the netbook business.” The VIA C7-M chipset, which was used in the HP Mini-Note 2133, was a popular choice for sub-laptop manufacturers at least until Intel’s Atom processor hit the scene. But the Taiwanese company isn’t backing down. Brown talked to us at length yesterday about the company’s plans to stay in the netbook game; its partnership with Microsoft, which was announced today, is just the start. VIA is teaming up with Microsoft and more than 15 leading Chinese PC manufacturing partners to deliver Windows XP–based “mini-notes and notebooks.” Called the Global Mobility Bazaar (GMB) VIA’s C7-M chipset will be used by these manufacturers in China in their development of new netbooks. The GMB systems will be equipped with Microsoft Windows XP and will range in size from screen sizes of 7 to 15 inches. The program is being launched at an event co-hosted by Microsoft in Shenzhen, China, today, where many of the newly designed netbooks will be on display. See images after the jump for some of the models that will be shown.
The program with Microsoft will no doubt create for some nice looking netbooks from some Chinese ODMs, but the question on our mind is, where is VIA’s Nano processor in the mix? Brown wouldn’t reveal much about the future of the Nano platform in netbooks, but he did say that the company would release a whole new wave of new netbooks in March 2009.