Blogger Paul Thurrott was right. Microsoft is eliminating one of the biggest sticking points for Windows 7 Starter Edition -- the three-application-concurrency limitation.
Microsoft officials acknowledged the change on May 29 on the Windows Team Blog. Windows Communication Manager Brandon LeBlanc posted the news:
"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.
"We believe these changes will make Windows 7 Starter an even more attractive option for customers who want a small notebook PC for very basic tasks, like browsing the web, checking email and personal productivity."
Microsoft attributed the change in the number of applications that can be run concurrently on Starter Edition to customer and partner feedback.
Windows 7 Starter Edition is the lowest-end SKU in the planned Windows 7 line-up. Microsoft has not made public Windows 7 pricing for either OEMs or consumers. (XP Starter Edition is believed to cost OEMs about $15 per copy.)
Windows 7 Starter Edition -- which Microsoft acknowledged back in February would be available in all countires, not just developing ones, a limitation of XP Starter and Vista Starter -- is the version that most Microsoft watchers are expecting PC makers to preload on netbooks. (The second most likely choice is Windows 7 Home Premium.)
Microsoft is doing a lot of thinking about WIndows 7 on netbooks -- or, as company officials prefer to call them, "small notebooks" -- as of late. Microsoft has created a check-list of netbook specs to which PC makers will need to adhere to get netbook-level pricing for Windows 7, according to a recent report on TechARP.
Does removal of the three-apps-running-concurrently stipulation make you any more interested in running Windows 7 on a netbook?