Windows 7 Starter Edition on a netbook ... Non-Starter if you ask me!

Windows 7 Starter Edition on a netbook ... Non-Starter if you ask me!

Summary: PC Pro is reporting that Microsoft's decision to limit the number of concurrent applications that you can run on Windows 7 Starter Edition to three will push up the prices of Windows-based netbooks.

SHARE:

PC Pro is reporting that Microsoft's decision to limit the number of concurrent applications that you can run on Windows 7 Starter Edition to three will push up the prices of Windows-based netbooks.

The company announced last week that it was launching Windows 7 Starter Edition as a low-cost option designed specifically for netbooks.

However, the company's decision to impose a three-app limit could force many manufacturers to opt for the more expensive Home Premium.

The three-app rule includes applications running in the background, meaning that a user running Windows Messenger and Skype, for example, could only use one further application on their machine. Antivirus software is excluded from the app count.

Microsoft says the restriction is designed to ensure that users get the best possible performance from limited netbook hardware. However, it admits it will encourage netbook manufacturers to install the unrestricted Home Premium in the UK.

How will this affect users? Well, according to Laurence Painell, Windows product manager, this won't affect users that much:

"We would expect the limit of three applications wouldn't affect very many people."

But this goes contrary to what journalists were told at last year's Professional Developers Conference.  Then Microsoft claimed that 70% of Windows users have between eight and 15 windows open at any one time. According to Painell those numbers are skewed by enterprise and business users.

A netbook shipping with an OS that contains an artificially-imposed three app limit would be a deal-breaker for me. Those Atom processors are very capable pieces of silicon and to have them neutered by the OS doesn't make sense.

Starter ... Non-Starter if you ask me.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

102 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Yeah, dumb idea

    I have XP on my current netbook, and I constantly run more than three apps.

    And they seemed to be doing so well with Windows 7....
    brble
    • I don't get it.

      [i]I have XP on my current netbook, and I constantly run more than three apps.[/i]

      Welcome to the club. I take it that you wont be purchasing Windows 7 Starter Edition? Oh wait... you can't... unless you're an OEM.

      Windows 7 Starter Edition might as well be called Windows 7 El Cheapo Edition. The target market of this SKU will most likely be very specific niches and will not be available as a retail product.

      [i]But this goes contrary to what journalists were told at last year?s Professional Developers Conference. Then Microsoft claimed that 70% of Windows users have between eight and 15 windows open at any one time.[/i]

      That means that 30% of users have either less or more than 8-15 windows open at any given time. It is painfully obvious that this edition of Windows 7 isn't targeted at this 70%. I imagine that this Edition of Windows 7 will barely reach a 1% market share. In fact I could see Windows 7 Starter Edition become very popular in places like libraries where limited functionality and applications are the norm.

      Also who said that Windows 7 was going to be exclusive to netbooks? I think this article is more of a straw man argument. I could just as easily say 'Windows 7 Starter Edition on a Server? Non-Starter if you ask me!'

      If you wanted to make this article more interesting you should write something for the headline "Windows 7 Starter Edition, who would use it?"
      mikefarinha
      • You sure don't

        My point was that a netbook user can frequently have more than three applications going.

        Buying Widows 7 to install on my current netbook was never a question, but buying a new netbook with this edition of Windows 7 would not be an option for most.

        And much of the info out indicates that the starter edition of Windows 7 is aimed at netbooks, which is why this article is written as it is. The other editions are for those other purposes, and as has been discussed, may not fit within the confines of a SSD netbook, making the starter edition the only Windows 7 option for those systems.
        brble
      • Hey, Selling Windows Starter Server... There's Merit In That Idea

        70% being the number plus/minus one standard deviation within a
        normal curve, it could be as much as 85% who would find this
        operating system useless. (I think it's more likely that more people
        have 0,1, or 2 windows open than people have over 15, plus windows
        does not equal applications.)

        Here's the story, Joe OEM sells a $200 Starter Windows netbook and
        three days later three quarters of the buyers who went for that instead
        of the 225 dollar model with Ubuntu find that Starter Edition is useless
        for real world functioning. $50 to $100 dollars more to upgrade to
        Home (and maybe additional memory) and Profit!!!! That, kiddies, is
        how the clever do bait and switch.
        DannyO_0x98
        • Ding! Ding! Ding!

          [i]$50 to $100 dollars more to upgrade to Home (and maybe additional memory) and Profit!!!! That, kiddies, is how the clever do bait and switch.[/i]

          O' Danny boy you just won a ci-gar!!!
          MisterMiester
      • Microsoft said it.

        http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1890
        [I]Here is the full Windows 7 SKU line-up:

        * [B]Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)[/B]
        * Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging market customers only)
        * Windows 7 Home Premium (the main ?Media Center? equivalent)
        * Windows 7 Professional (the business SKU for home users and non-enterprise licensees)
        * Windows 7 Enterprise (for volume licensees)
        * Windows 7 Ultimate (for consumers who want/need business features)[/I]

        So there you have it, Starter or a pricier version. No Home Basic for netbooks (for now). I think MS will cave big time, due to intense OEM pressure. Starter is stupid (and I hope they don't allow basic for netbooks) and with Home Premium as the only suitable OS for netbooks, it will either a) cause the Linux versions to be 33% cheaper or b) MS will give Home Premium way for ~$10 to "netbooks".

        TripleII
        TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
        • That's Nice and All. Where are your facts?

          A lot of the stuff floating around on the web regarding the topic is speculation. You can check the press release yourself:

          http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2009/feb09/02-03Win7SKU-QA.mspx

          [i]We?ll also continue to offer Windows Starter edition, which will only be offered pre-installed by an OEM. Windows Starter edition will now be available worldwide. [b]This edition is available only in the OEM channel on new PCs limited to specific types of hardware.[/b][/i]

          Nowhere does it say 'netbooks.'

          There was also some more clarification on the Windows Team Blog

          http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windows7/archive/2009/02/04/a-closer-look-at-the-windows-7-skus.aspx

          [i]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 only allows up to 3 applications to run at once. This is something that will be offered only through OEM partners.[/i]

          Again, nowhere does it say 'netbook.'

          Yes, it does say PCs with limited hardware capabilities and netbooks are the topic de jour of limited hardware so it may very well be for some netbooks in some situations but it could be used in many different situations as well.

          People too often make judgments with out all the facts.

          And the facts of the matter are that there aren't enough facts about this edition to make judgment calls on yet.

          How can you call something an epic fail if you don't even know the target market?
          mikefarinha
          • Excuse me ...

            [i]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.[/i]

            I think that's pretty much the definition of a netbook, wouldn't you agree?
            MisterMiester
          • Yes it could be.

            But it could also be the definition of other computer devices too.

            It could also be the definition of a kiosk type computer. Or a computer in a library. Or a modern cash register.
            mikefarinha
          • Really?

            [i]It could also be the definition of a kiosk type computer. Or a computer in a library. Or a modern cash register. [/i]

            There's already a product for this, it's called XP embedded which runs most of these applications except library computers which would run terminal clients anyway.

            Keep contorting, I'm sure you'll think of something else besides the obvious.
            MisterMiester
          • One more thing ...

            If you had bothered to read the link that Triple II posted you would have read the following:

            [i]Microsoft is putting the bulk of its marketing dollars and muscle behind just two of the Windows 7 SKUs: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional. "We think over 80 percent of customers will be on those two SKUs," [b]Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President of the Windows business[/b] said. "That's where we are putting our marketing focus."[/i]

            http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1890

            So the SKU line up comes straight from the horse's mouth, not the other end as with your postings.
            MisterMiester
          • @MM If you had read what I wrote...

            [i]Windows 7 Starter Edition might as well be called Windows 7 El Cheapo Edition. [b]The target market of this SKU will most likely be very specific niches and will not be available as a retail product.[/b][/i]

            [i]That means that 30% of users have either less or more than 8-15 windows open at any given time. It is painfully obvious that this edition of Windows 7 isn't targeted at this 70%. [b]I imagine that this Edition of Windows 7 will barely reach a 1% market share.[/b] In fact I could see Windows 7 Starter Edition become very popular in places like libraries where limited functionality and applications are the norm.[/i]

            Nothing I have posted has contradicted what you foist up as a rebuttal.

            It seems that you have completely missed my original point. Go back and read my first comment.
            mikefarinha
          • @mikefarinha - I read what you wrote ...

            ... and you said this:

            [i]Nowhere does it say 'netbooks.'[/i]

            You stated this twice in your post. The link that Triple II posted includes the SKU line up that was obtained directly from Bill Veghte at Microsoft. This contradicts you statement since it clearly says:

            [i]* Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and [b]netbook[/b] users)[/i]

            So I would have to believe this is correct unless Mary-Jo Foley is [b]lying[/b], which I highly doubt unless she wants to get blacklisted again.

            Thanks for playing, please try again.
            MisterMiester
          • @MM And just where did MJ cite her reference?

            [i]... and you said this:

            Nowhere does it say 'netbooks.'

            You stated this twice in your post. The link that Triple II posted includes the SKU line up that was obtained directly from Bill Veghte at Microsoft. This contradicts you statement since it clearly says:

            * Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)

            So I would have to believe this is correct unless Mary-Jo Foley is lying, which I highly doubt unless she wants to get blacklisted again.

            Thanks for playing, please try again.[/i]

            Did MJ talk to Bill Veghte personally because she didn't cite anything official Microsoft stating what she said verbatim.

            I don't think MJ was lying, that would imply intent on her part. I think she, like the rest of the Tech blogger loony show (perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh), often unintentionally put their own little, usually insignificant, spin on things.

            Find me an official Microsoft source that says Windows 7 Starter Edition is mainly for netbooks. If you can do that I will recant everything I said and admit that you were right and I was wrong.

            Update: Also if you look at the feature charts that are coming out you'll notice that the 'mobility center' doesn't come with Windows 7 Starter Edition. Last I checked netbooks were mobile devices...

            http://bink.nu/news/windows-7-sku-feature-list.aspx
            http://www.dailytech.com/Updated+Windows+7+Editions+Compared+With+Table+of+Features/article14198.htm
            mikefarinha
          • @mikefarinha - You just can't be wrong ...

            Some piece of work you are that you have to "demand" the sources that Mary-Jo cites in her articles in order for the information to be to your satisfaction questioning her ethics and integrity in the process.

            Guess what? If you want them so badly to prove that somehow in your little fantasy world that you are 100% correct you can just email her for that information.

            Please post her response if you would. I'm sure everyone here would like to see it.
            MisterMiester
          • @MM That's what I thought.

            I'm sorry for wanting facts, as opposed to fiction or spin, when trying to make a decision.

            [i]Guess what? If you want them so badly to prove that somehow in your little fantasy world that you are 100% correct you can just email her for that information.

            Please post her response if you would. I'm sure everyone here would like to see it.[/i]

            Actually I think most people here couldn't care less. Also I don't care to be proven 100% correct. I just want the facts.

            The whole point of my diatribe was to point out the fact that people make silly judgments on unsubstantiated facts.

            Saying that Windows 7 Starter Edition is a non-starter because of netbooks is silly when that edition of Windows 7 has never been targeted for netbooks. Sure it may run just fine on them, but I'm sure other editions would run just fine on them too.
            mikefarinha
          • @mikefarinha - You're argument is not with me ...

            You're argument is now with Mary-Jo Foley since it's you that is questioning her sources and ultimately here reputation. It's obvious that you have no concept of how source material is obtained and presented in a journalistic setting.

            Let me give you a little education. Since you are questioning the source of the material that I am presenting it is not my obligation to verify sources that the author has used. If you believe that these sources the author has used are invalid than the onus rests on your shoulders to discredit such information.

            As I stated before, your argument is now with Mary-Jo Foley since you are questioning her sources, not mine. Therefore if you email her and ask about her source material in a kind fashion I'm sure she would respond with that information.

            So please if you would post her response in this thread so everyone here can read it and the issue can finally be put to rest.
            MisterMiester
          • MisterMiester is wrong

            The other guy is right and you wrong
            ... given the facts. You have to base
            your argument in official documents
            and that's what farinha is doing. He
            does not have any argument with MJ.

            Besides, it's so easy to prove him
            wrong, find an official document from
            MS stating corroborating what MJ did.
            Honestly I have no idea if it exists,
            but the fact is you are wrong right
            now.
            markbn
          • @markbn - Produce Official Documents?

            We now have verification from two articles, one cited from this blog (PCPro UK) and one from Mary-Jo Foley stating that Windows 7 Starter Edition with be present on netbooks. Two independent parties that have sources that confirm the same conclusion.

            Seriously, what are you people smoking?

            Edit:

            And Triple II just sourced a statement confirming this directly from Microsoft:

            http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-12554-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=60596&messageID=1115098

            So you either you have no comprehension of independent confirmation from multiple sources or you're just doing this for the lulz. Either way you look like a complete idiot.
            MisterMiester
          • @Miester: Argument sorely lacking

            Your basing your entire argument, one you seem
            to believe in vehemently and are even
            criticizing other people over, on a single
            statement made in a BLOG post. This statement
            in the blog post has no supporting documents or
            any other validation other than the fact that
            it is said in the blog, and in no way gives
            direct implication that it is fact. You've got
            to notice how silly you sound.

            As well I find it extremely annoying that you
            are making it sound as if anyone who questions
            your infallible logic (based on a statement in
            a BLOG post) is completely dense. Really its
            okay to say that you read something somewhere,
            but the simple fact that its written in a blog
            does not make it instantly into a cold hard
            fact. Even in journalism, scratch that,
            especially in journalism sources are important.
            Otherwise people could say anything, and people
            like you would run around quoting them in inane
            arguments.

            I'd rather be a piece of work than a peon that
            regurgitates blog posts.
            gilbertw1