Since announcing last month that its Windows 7 Starter edition would have severe limitations, Microsoft executives have changed their minds, promising to remove crucial application limits.
Most notably, Windows 7 Starter — designed for netbooks and other low-powered devices — originally would have limited only three programs to run at a single time, with consumers forced to pay for an upgrade if they want to use the OS normally.
"There of course will also be Windows 7 Starter edition, but based on the feedback we’ve received from partners and customers asking us to enable a richer small notebook PC experience with Windows 7 Starter, we’ve decided to make some changes compared to previous Starter editions," Microsoft’s Paul Thurrott said in a Windows 7 Team Blog. "For the first time, we will be making Windows 7 Starter available worldwide on small notebook PCs. We are also going to enable Windows 7 Starter customers the ability to run as many applications simultaneously as they would like, instead of being constricted to the 3 application limit that the previous Starter editions included."
I was unsure why Microsoft would potentially shoot themselves in the foot among netbook shoppers, and am glad the company is reversing the original decision. If you were on the market for a new netbook and could purchase one that didn’t have an application limit, would you now consider purchasing a Windows 7-powered device?
Microsoft has struggled with the netbook sector, as the company’s XP OS has been extremely popular, though revenue isn’t nearly as high as it’d be if Vista was being offered. Early reviews indicate Windows 7 could put Microsoft back on track, and its success on netbooks will be crucial, analysts believe.