According to tech site TechARP, Microsoft has set the maximum hardware specification that OEMs will be able to pre-install the cheaper netbook-only Windows 7 SKUs onto.
The three SKUs considered here are:
- Windows 7 Starter
- Windows 7 Starter for Small Notebook PC
- Windows 7 Home Basic For Small Notebook PCs (China only)
Microsoft already has a similar limitation in place on OEMs offering XP on low-cost systems, called the Microsoft Windows XP Home Ultra Low Cost PC (ULCPC) program.
Here is the new Windows 7 maximum hardware spec. I've added the current spec for comparison.
- CPU: Single core CPUs no faster than 2GHz and with a TDP no greater than 15W. Currently the limitation is only 1GHz, or the following CPUs: Intel Atom N270, N280, 230, Z500, Z510, Z515, Z520, Z530, Z540, Z550, or Intel Celeron 220, or AMD MV-40, 1050P, TF-20, Geode LX, Athlon 2650e, Sempron 210U, or VIA C7-M ULV, Nano U1700, U2250, U2300, U2400 or U2500.
- Screen size: No larger than 10.2". Currently the limitation is 12.1.
- RAM: 2GB. Currently the limitation is 1GB.
- Storage: 250GB HDD or 64GB SSD. Currently the limitation is 160GB HDD or 32GB SDD.
- Graphics: No limitation Currently the limitation is no greater than DirectX 9.
- Touch: No limitation. Currently the limitation is resistive only
So, basically what's really changed is that you can have more RAM and storage but the screen size has shrunk by nearly two inches and with a more rigid CPU requirements.