Microsoft drops 3-app limit from Windows 7 Starter Edition

The team of Microsoft developers working on Windows 7 have written a blog post spelling out exactly what features will and will not be available in Windows 7 Starter Edition. And the company has decided to drop one of the most talked-about restrictions: the ability to run just three applications at once. You’ll now be able to run as many programs as your computer’s limited RAM will allow…
Microsoft has been making “Starter” versions of its operating systems since Windows XP. But in the past, these editions were only sold in the developing world. Windows 7 Starter is the first to be available in developed countries like the United States. The goal is to give netbook makers a cheaper alternative to Windows 7 Home Premium to include on low cost mini-laptops.
Windows 7 Starter will cost significantly less than other versions of the operating system, but Microsoft wants to give customers an incentive to upgrade. Windows 7 Home Premium and Ultimate are perfectly capable of running on slower systems like netbooks. But you’ll have to shell out some extra money to purchase them. If you do pick up a machine with Windows 7 Starter you’ll have to live with the following restrictions:
  • No Aero Glass effects
  • No ability to switch between users without logging off
  • Fewer personalization features (you won’t be able to change desktop backgrounds, sound schemes, or window colors)
  • No support for multiple monitors
  • No DVD playback support (although I imagine you’ll be able to add this with 3rd party software)
  • No Windows Media Center support
  • No support for streaming local media remotely over the internet
  • No domain support for business customers
  • XP Mode for running older programs is not included

That list looks pretty long. But if you don’t plan to use a netbook or other low-cost laptop for any of those things, Windows 7 Starter Edition will be offered to computer makers are at a discount to help keep computer prices down.

You will not be able to walk into a store and buy a (boxed version of) this version of Windows 7.

Questions or Comments?