In anticipation of its release of Windows 7 this fall, Microsoft announced some changes to its Starter edition. The Starter editions are popular on netbooks, smaller laptops that cost about $300.
Netbooks have become a strong growth segment in computer sales, and most are sold with Starter editions of Windows, which cost less than desktop and business versions of Windows. Previous Starter versions could only run three applications at a time. That restriction will be lifted in the Starter edition of Windows 7.
Having said that, the Starter edition will still have limits: It will not run DVDs, Windows Media Center (for watching recorded TV), the highly touted taskbar preview function for Windows 7, XP mode for applications that are not ready for Windows 7.
Netbooks should be able to run the more expensive “home” version of Windows 7, which will include all those features, Microsoft says. Buyers will just have to upgrade.