By Woody Leonhard
Last week, Microsoft dropped its plan to enforce a three-concurrent-app limit on Windows 7 Starter Edition — the version of the new OS that will be preinstalled only on small PCs, such as netbooks.
Microsoft is still expected, however, to restrict netbook hardware configurations that are eligible for Starter Edition pricing, which means your choices for cheap netbooks may be hobbled — at least in the near term.
When Microsoft first unveiled the various versions of Windows 7 in February, the Windows Team blog explained the editions as follows:
- “Windows 7 Starter: Something that our OEM partners asked for is to have an offering for folks that will do very limited things with their PCs and for PCs with limited hardware capabilities. Windows 7 Starter allows only up to three applications to run at once. This is something that will be offered only through OEM partners.”
Heaven knows why, but Starter Edition users can’t even change the desktop background (wallpaper).
| UPDATE 2009-11-19: In the Nov. 19 Top Story, Woody Leonhard explains how to change the desktop wallpaper in Windows 7 Starter Edition for netbooks.|
In addition — as promised on the Windows Team blog — the Release Candidate Starter Edition was going to limit you to a maximum of three applications running simultaneously.