Microsoft: No more three-app limit in Windows 7 Starter Edition

Microsoft: No more three-app limit in Windows 7 Starter Edition

Summary: Microsoft is eliminating one of the biggest sticking points for Windows 7 Starter Edition -- the three-application-concurrency limitation -- company officials confirmed on May 29.


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?

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


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Good Move MS

    It would have been a PR nightmare.
    • Are you sure?

      Now businesses have no reason to use anything pricier than the netbook edition of Windows. In the face of Linux competition MS is screwed. Either they have an overpriced OS for netbooks, an artificially handicapped one (3 app limit), or they sell a fully functional OS at a reduced price thus negating the value of the profitable alternatives.

      MS has to cut margins.

      Of course this is great news for the consumer, MS has enough of our money.
      • Yes! Starter is not a good business platform

        Starter does not include the many business/enterprise oriented features such as AD, manageability, etc., that facilitate its broad use in business.

        Businesses that want to take advantage of Windows' VERY powerful management, deployment, monitoring, etc., features will still want to use the business-oriented SKU's.
        • Smart business don't have to pay

          The fully featured Linux is the same exact price as the netbook version. Why buy MS? I can edit Office 07 files in OOo without problems. How many personnel really need all of the features of Office to get their jobs done?

          Removing the app limit takes away one barrier, but as you just pointed out the real limitations are still there.
          • 3 App Limit??!! What is this, 1960???!! Dump Gates for SuSE.

            I don't have a machine around any more that could finish booting without at least 5-6 apps running. Just another reason I've dumped Gates for SuSE.<br><br>
            <a href="">Western News Co (Chicago)</a><br><br>
            Seamus O'Brog
        • And fax wizard?

          Here's hoping fax wizard, available in all pre-Vista Windows versions up through XP, but only in Ultimate and Enterprise for Vista, comes back to [b]all[/b] versions of 7.
          • Debian Linux Fax Server


            If you've ever used a program like WinFax you know how convenient it is to use your fax-modem to send a fax. There's no need to print out a hard-copy and stuff that into a stand-alone fax machine. A fax server makes a fax-modem available to all users on a network and they can use fax client software on their workstations to submit their fax jobs to the server.

            And if your itch is too great to spend money, there is an enterprise (paid) version, also.


            HylaFAX Enterprise Edition
            HylaFAX Enterprise Edition builds upon the mature Open Source platform of HylaFAX by adding the features most commonly requested by our enterprise customers: support for high-performance fax boards such as the Brooktrout TR1034, comprehensive SQL database support, performance improvements for ultra high-throughput applications such as broadcast faxing, and the ability to decode bar codes from received faxes. It is a powerful client-server based solution that streamlines your critical business processes, whether you need to automate your own infrastructure or provide fax broadcasting or application fax hosting services to your clients.

            Get the facts. Don't be faxless.
            Ole Man
      • You will not be able to buy ...

        ... Starter Edition. It will only be pre-loaded on netbooks. The lowest end version of Windows 7 that anyone will be able to buy on a full-function notebook/desktop will be Home Premium and it will not support important business-oriented features like ADS. All but the smallest businesses will have to buy Professional(/Enterprise) at a higher price-point.

        Ultimate will be for the truly hard-core.
        M Wagner
        • Upgrade?

          Wonder if users will be able to upgrade existing
          netbooks from XP to 7?

    • Still a PR nightmare

      Why was there ever a 3 app limit to begin with?

      I'm using Linux for free with all rights and I have no app limit or other bit of limitation.

      Windows costs money, it should provide more ability to be worked with for everyone using it, not less.
      • Unfair to compare Microsoft to Linux

        Microsoft still has to pay salaries to its employees, fines (soon to be universally acknowledged as the Microsoft monopoly tax) and, last and I suppose least in their eyes, their shareholders. It seems unfair to compare Microsoft to Linux: true innovation takes time and, in a proprietary business, lots of money.
        • Perfectly fair to compare Microsoft to Linux

          Imagine, you go to the grocery store, see two products, one is 100% free and one costs money. Which would you expect to be better?

          You walk onto a car lot, some guy is giving away cars and the sales staff is trying to sell you a car. Which one would you expect to have no problems?

          You go to a news stand, there's a stack of papers with no cost and a stack of papers costing $1.50. Which would you expect to have the most up to date News?

          Pick any product, put a free one next to one you pay for and you'll get the same scenario. You expect the one that costs money to give you better perks. It's how the Economy is supposed to work. It's the idea behind the free sample and the Freemium. To prove that you get what you pay for.

          Linux cost me nothing but I'm getting more freedom with it, I'm getting all the perks that Vista and Windows 7 are being claimed to have and none of the limitations.

          Microsoft has employees on salary, that means those employees should be doing more than the guys working on Linux and open source apps, doesn't it?

          Maybe I'm old fashioned but when I pay someone to do a job when someone else offers to do it for free, I expect a better job to be done.
        • I'll Give You Unfair: Spelled Gates

          I'm sorry. This is not about ego (mine) or whining. It is about an operating system which Windows isn't and never was.

          Windows is an insecure toy put out by the story of incredible greed and by buying up and stifling innovation. Just another Robber Barron who is trying to cover up the fact that he is perceived as a thief and plunderer in this country by being Santa Claus in another country.

          Try Linux...any distro. Linux is an OS. Secure, Stable. To be honest, some of the Free apps are a bit less than ready for prime time, but the OS is rock solid and secure....which, again, Windows is NOT. Take the Windows black box of file sharing if you need an example. Very aptly named because share is what you will do.

          That makes a few bumps in the apps worth it. And tell me about any perfect Windows apps.<br>
          <a href="">Western News Co (Chicago)</a><br><br>
          Seamus O'Brog
  • NOW what are the ABMers going to complain about?

    MS had better stop this or the ABMers are going to have to start inventing stuff. Oh... too late.
    • Thank you Linux.

      Even without actually using it, Windows users are receiving benefits from Linux.

      If Linux wasn't there, there would be more reason for Microsoft to squeeze more money out of its hapless customers.
      • Linux does keep Microsoft honest ...

        ... but the price-point for the UPGRADE version of Home Premium will be the same as that for MacOSX, about $130 retail.

        With Shrink-Wrapped Home Basic @ $99, Microsoft was leaving money on the table.

        With Home Premium as the baseline consumer SKU (except for netbooks), MS gets to compete head-to-head with Macintosh for shrink-wrapped sales.

        That's where Microsoft has been feeling the pinch. Not Desktop Linux, which poses no threat to MS.

        Linux in the machine-room is another story and in that market, Microsoft is plenty concerned.
        M Wagner
        • Well then, you might want to inform ZDnet.

          Hey, they're saying it. Why kill something if it's not a "threat"?
    • Windows should cost $35

      I watched the latest video podcast (also available as mp3) of John C. Dvorak's Cranky Geeks. The panel, which included Dvorak, Rupley, Louderback, pretty much agreed the Windows operating system should cost $35, instead of the hundreds of dollars it does.

      • A product is worth what someone will pay for it

        OSX should run 14.99, Red Hat should sell support for 29.99 a year?

        If someone's willing to pay $400,000 dollars to buy your house, who should I be to complain it's too high?
        • Not really

          Someone who has a ton of cash can buy things easily. If those people generate the value of a product, the poorer sections of society would suffer greatly. In my country, an XP professional disc is $1200. A Windows Vista Home Premium disc is $1100. Not to mention ultimate discs. My currency is less than 1/6 the value of US currency, and there are other places wherein the value of their dollar is even less. Countries with a low dollar value don't always make a lot of relative cash. I make less than $400 USD a month at my job, why should I have to pay $177 USD + retail-store-added price + added price for being shipped to this country for a single operating system? It's far too expensive, and MS definitely would not lower prices for the "few" of us who legitimately don't have.

          Linux is free, Macs are for idiots with big pockets who feel that it's the best thing to buy if one has the money for it, and windows is for the average person who doesn't want to take a chance with linux, doesn't have the billions of dollars to give to apple or simply wants everything they put on it to work. Microsoft has done well with Vista from SP1 and onward, windows XP was not so bad before SP3 and Windows 7 looks like it's shaping up to be a nice, user friendly OS. That doesn't mean it should cost hundreds of US dollars because some people would happily pay for it simply because they have
          D2 Ultima