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Windows 7 Starter Edition - Worst Windows Ever?

   
2:30 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'm in the market for a cheap netbook, I'd been hanging on until the Windows 7 release to see what is available.

Looking around today, I see that most of the low-end netbooks are being offered with something called Windows 7 "Starter Edition". When you look at what the Starter Edition is, you wonder what on earth Microsoft were thinking?

No Aero, no DVD playback, no taskbar previews, no user-switching, and - worst of all - no personalization options whatsoever. You cannot even change the wallpaper! Seriously, the first thing any ordinary user does on a new machine is stick a photo of their cat as the background, with Windows 7 Starter you can't even do that!

Why would anyone ever choose this unusable, insanely-crippled "can't do" OS over the ancient but solid "can do" XP Home Edition? Is this really Microsoft's best answer to the Linux encroachment in the netbook field? Anyone buying this junk will very quickly tire of the petty restrictions and either install XP or a (probably pirated) real version of Win7, or be forced to pay for an upgrade to Home Premium, all whilst being left with a poor impression of Windows 7 as a product.

Is this the worst Windows release ever?

2:49 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



It may be the most hobbled version of Windows ever. ;)

That's their nearly free version that is limited to netbooks with screens under a certain size and Atom processors and 1GB of RAM. (if memory serves) It's not even available to OEMs as an option if the machine has more power than that. There is no retail version of Starter available.

The idea was to make a limited OS to work with the limited capabilities of netbook machines. Moreover, it allows them to sell the licences at a big discount which will lower the overall cost of the netbook.

However, I've run Windows 7 Ultimate on several of my netbooks, and the performance issues aren't evident. In fact they run better on Ultimate than they did on Linux or XP. I see faster startup times and longer batery life.

Is this really Microsoft's best answer to the Linux encroachment in the netbook field?

It's the other way around actually. When netbooks first came out they were all Linux based. When they upped the processor and memory in netbooks consumers opted for XP in droves. People will pay the extra for Windows.

In this case the pros will spend a bit more to get a higher version of Windows 7 for their netbooks.

3:03 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



People will pay the extra for Windows.

Dell is currently charging $20 more for Windows 7 Starter over the same machine with XP - but XP is more capable. XP actually undercuts Ubuntu (go figure).

People were prepared to pay extra for Windows XP - but if they pay extra for Windows 7 Starter, they will be sorely disappointed - Microsoft are throwing away their advantage over Linux.

In this case the pros will spend a bit more to get a higher version of Windows 7 for their netbooks.

Home Premium or other "full" versions don't appear to be offered as a pre-installed option. I suspect this will quickly change. But Microsoft is then faced with the pricing problem they had before they slashed the price of XP for notebooks - the cost of the OS would be exorbitant in relation to the cost of the hardware. A $300 machine with Linux versus $500+ for the same with Windows 7 Home Premium. People were prepared to pay extra, but not that much.

3:26 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Dell is currently charging $20 more for Windows 7 Starter over the same machine with XP

That's odd. I agree.
I'm guessing that they still have XP licenses left to sell. They are using the pricing to clear them out. I'd recommend XP over Starter for functionality.

My guess is that this will be a temporary tactic. You will gradually see other Windows 7 versions being offered on netbooks as the XP licenses are depleted. Vendors are allowed to sell XP as long as their license stocks hold out. Most of them purchased these licenses expressly for their netbooks.

My guess is that we may see some more pricing deals in the future for the netbook market for other versions of Windows 7.