There has been a lot of talk recently about Windows 7 Starter, so I thought I’d dive a little deeper into what it means to have this edition of Windows 7 running on a small notebook PC (a.k.a. a netbook).
Today, the Starter edition of Windows is designed for entry level PCs and available only in certain regions. We first introduced a “Starter edition” with Windows XP, and did again with Windows Vista. Starter comes with limitations, such as being able to run only 3 concurrent applications on a PC at a time (this excludes background processes such as anti-virus applications, wireless and Bluetooth, and system tools like Explorer and Control Panel).
There of course will also be Windows 7 Starter edition, but based on the feedback we’ve received from partners and customers asking us to enable a richer small notebook PC experience with Windows 7 Starter, we’ve decided to make some changes compared to previous Starter editions.
For the first time, we will be making Windows 7 Starter available worldwide on small notebook PCs. 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.
It is important to note that Windows 7 Starter still includes only a subset of the features offered in the higher editions of Windows 7 such as Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and above. Windows 7 Starter does not include:
After using Windows 7 Starter out myself on my Dell Mini 9, I loved the advancements that it inherently offered versus Windows XP but also concluded that I wanted more. I like to personalize my Dell Mini 9 the way I want it (because I like showing it off and take it everywhere because it’s so small). I also use it to watch videos and listen to music. Because I also have a portable DVD drive, I also sometimes watch movies on my Dell Mini 9 as well. I believe that the majority of consumers will want a version of Windows 7 – like Home Premium - that will make their small notebook capable of all the things that you could do with an “traditional” PC, like playing movies, working with documents, listening to music, working with photos, and even playing games.
As we continue to say since we announced the Windows 7 editions in February, all editions of Windows 7 have been optimized to run on the broadest range of hardware ranging from small notebook PCs all the way up to high end gaming machines. Windows 7 Starter should not be considered “the netbook SKU” as most machines in this category can run any edition of Windows 7. Many of our beta users have installed Windows 7 Ultimate on their small notebook PCs and have given us very positive feedback on their experience.
I’ve since moved to Windows 7 Home Premium on my Dell Mini 9 and am glad I did.
I also don't understand why to disallow the change of the desktop wallpaper. It is a basic option. If I knew in advance I wouldn't have joined the team of Windows Starter users. Is it going to be changed in the near future? It does feel like being cheated.
Bought a new netbook yesterday as a more portable, casual alternative to my laptop. Got home excited for having a new gadget, but then all the excitement evaporated in less than an hour thanks to Windows 7 Starter.
I understand the concept of reduced-function software for machines like netbooks that aren't meant to do that much anyway, and I didn't mind a 3-app limit in principle since I basically don't plan to ever have more than two open. But not being able to do something as fundamental to the personal computing experience as chaging the desktop background? GIVE.ME.A.BREAK. What was MS thinking? I mean, did you think netbook consumers never would have had any previous exposure to Windows versions? Did you think we haven't all already had (and still have on our other machines) Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, and Vista? Microsoft is spending multi millions on advertising and branding to try and give the PC a shred of creative allure and cool vs. Apple, the clear leader in this regard, and then you go and pull a prank like making wallpaper uncustomizable? Maybe Product Development and Marketing should get on the same page.
I am guessing you expect your customers to pay additionally for a software upgrade that is otherwise overkill for netbook usage. Awful lot to pay for the ability to change one jpg out for another, don't you think? So now instead netbook users get to log on daily to an almost offensively banal blue screen and Windows logo... and have their resentment reignited every single time, several times a day, week after week, month after month. Hurray!!! How's that for building reputation and goodwill in the marketplace?
now let me tell you some things about windows 7 starter 1.its not easy to use 2. it says you only have to click once well i click once and nothing happens i have to click three times to get somthing up 3. it logs me off 4. it runs slow (sometimes but most of the time) 5. it says that i have been disconnected from the enternet 6. when i whatch videos on youtube it freezes 7. when i wanna listen to music on the windows media player i can only listen to one song and i cant listen to any other songs 8. sometimes when i try to click somthing it freezes 9. when i'm on facebook and some one tries to talk to me it freezes 10. there is no background now whats up with that i thought that was messed and when i right click on a picture one of the little links say set as background oh and one more thing i HATE! it
I am really disappointed in Microsoft. I bought a netbook with Windows 7 starter and it's a complete rip-off. It shows how little the company values their customers. Seriously you can't change the background??? That is one of the most basic things! If I can't do such basic customization, I'd rather change the os to Ubuntu or something else. If this feature is not changed somehow, this will be the last product I'll ever buy with microsoft - they've lost me as a customer.
my hp mini came with starter on it...i kinda like it....i had to go through everything and tweak it alittle...but it runs good...and its fast...most of the crap i do is online so its kinda like we were ment to be...me and my starter...i do have to say all the useless trial programs suck...like who the heck wants a 60 day trial of windows office student edition? not me...i just went through everything and weeded it out....and ive been google-ing tweaks and add ons that improve starter so that i can change my background to whatever....
over all, its not that bad....especially for someone like me....or maybe even a college kid...or a grandma that doesnt even remember her name...
How does Windows 7 Starter stand up to Active Directory Domains....can it be joined. or is it like other pared versions of windows ?
Can one play DVD’s in Windows 7 Starter via USB memory stick?
Most net books come without a built-in DVD player, and furthermore Windows 7 Starter does not include DVD playback.
But is it possible for (a net book without built-in DVD player and Windows 7 Starter) to copy the DVD onto a memory stick and from there onto the net book hard drive? Could that copied DVD thus be played on the net book?
I can see from the other comments that i am not the only one very confused/frustrated about not being able to change my background without a 90 dollar upgrade. / :
I have spent the last three weeks ripping my hair out with network and media streaming issues with my new Starter Edition netbook. Initially when I started it up it immediately recognised an XP Media Center machine, and I was watching recorded dvr-ms programs off an external HDD wirelessly. A few Critical Updates later and the netbook now cant even see the XP machine on the network anymore, and nothing I can do will fix it. It sees two Vista machines just fine. ^$%@#^ thing!
I guess I will have to pony up $80 for the Premium upgrade... I originally bought the netbook so I could wirelessly stream to my various TV's, as I needed to. Gotcha!
¿cómo que no puedo cambiar el wallpaper de mi netbook porque trae de fábrica el w7-starter?????
Más vale que se inventen algún parche para que podamos disponer del manejo NORMAL de nuestro escritorio, porque me siento DEFRAUDADA. ¿acaso se sienten poderosos de hacer lo que les venga en gana porque son un monopolio??
I can write this in english, but I guess you are more intelligent than me... so TRANSLATE IT AND W-O-R-K in our needs NOW!!!!!!!!!!!...
i dont get why windows start is so basic. its really not that complicated to change a freakin desktop wallpaper. im very unhappy. and i would never recommend this to anyone. i wouldnt buy it to save my life. its really not that complicated. and once again im SUPER UNHAPPY!
Windows 7 starter is just one more example of windows stealing the tires off my pc and selling them back to me!
How many times do I need to keep my programs working from my old to new pc transitions buying software I bought once at the original purchase,just to find out they have to be repurchased for my old pc to make to new one usable?
How many times do you think we're going to fall for this?
I was looking for a netbook but I wanted one with Win 7 because I had heard, via the media that it was a much improved Win OS. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the Win 7 "starter" on netbooks was more like Win 7 rip off. After finding out about the things it couldn't do I returned my netbook to the retailer and found one with XP. It appears to me that this is a con to get people to spend and extra hundred bucks or so to upgrade to home premium or ultimate. Only a marketer would consider leaving out the functions they left off. I wonder how many people got sucked into spending the extra cash?
Everything is good but I was very disappointed about background desktop limitation. I can't understand the reasons of this bad decision. I hope I can choose solid color at least!
WTF? Why the heck would you put an OS in the year 2009 that does not allow you to change your background or watch DVDs? As much as I defend MS with my mack buddies, I'm getting increasingly tired of the stupidity of MS and their short-sidedness. Does anyone know of any third party apps that I can use to regain these two functionalities that MS is Fing too stupid to understand that it gives them a black eye in what is turning into a losing PR battle with Apple? I am blown away that my asus netbook can't change the background...unbelievable. Microsoft, you guys are a bunch of idiots that are ruining what could possibly be your ticket back with windows 7. By the way, I don't live in a third world country so I don't deserve windows 7 starter...you should have plan for a US version instead of cheating.
everythings good but what sucks is we cant change the background its the most simpilest thing in the world and we cant do it; it really sucks. Everything else is fine but that!!!!
While I understand the limitations of not allowing changing of the background image, I at least expected to be able to turn off the image in the Win 7 theme. Background bitmaps take up RAM while loaded. Starter users should at least be able to turn off the image and only show a solid color. Windows has been able to do this for years. I don't fully understand this forced image restriction now. I'm hoping a developer will at least push out a hotfix to let Starter users turn off the bitmap image altogether.
If there is currently a way to do this in Starter, please enlighten us.
Are Windows taking the absolute p***!? I cannot change my desktop to my own picture on the starter version... How f****** lame! The 3 app thing was an absolute joke too. I'm glad they removed that.
usajvbueno, you can always use Windows Anytime Upgrade to move to a higher edition of Windows 7 such as Windows 7 Home Premium to be able to use Windows Media Center.
Personally I do not understand Why the Media Center was eliminated in Windows & Started. I can live with 3 applications (Ok one at the time as I do not want to work to much in a small screen netbook. A small factor lap net book is perfect for entertainment and the Media Center is entertainment. Small Netbook is to use for some Web, Some Internet, a little work and a lot of entertainment over the web. It is a 10 inc screen but I can see Netflix on it, Hulu, other web with news But I still miss the Media Center.
boii5, Windows 7 Starter is not available for purchase by itself at retail. Its only available to OEMs to be put on PCs they ship.
Can this edition be purchased by itself? I would like to install it on an older Compaq/HP d530 PC.
I saw an article on the net entitled, Weird: Windows XP Netbooks "Still Outsell Windows 7 Netbooks" found at www.i4u.com/article28019.html. I would have commented there, but couldn't figure out how too. But I know why. Why get a notebook with "crippled" or "sparse" software when you can get a fine full functioning Windows XP operating system? I enjoy XP. Being unemployed, poor health, and broke I couldn't afford to buy a new computer anyway or a laptop with any OS. If I could, I would prefer XP over Windows Starter 7. Now if I could afford Ultimate I would get it. I do have Windows Vista Ultimate, which I paid a dear price for, but it just wouldn't play my games like XP and it didn't have all the drivers, so that small fortune spent sits on a shelf collecting dust. I couldn't install Vista Ultimate even if I wanted to because the only computer that I had that could run Vista Ultimate bit the dust, so now I have two very old computers one running Windows XP Professional on 354megs of memory and another antique running Windows ME which won't even run XP. Neither of them could even run the Windows 7 starter edition. So I'll be with Windows XP Professional for sometime. I also have an unused XP Pro license sitting on the shelf, so if I were to get a "newer" computer, I would rather use the Windows XP Pro or Kubuntu 9.10 (also on the shelf), than something sparse or "crippled" like Windows Starter 7. For now I can only "fantasize" about getting a Dell Alienware Area-51 ALX fully loaded computer running on the best, i.e. Windows 7 Ultimate. It's nice to have fantasies and they don't include a "starter edition" even if it is Windows 7. LOL
Windows 7 Starter is really more for Notebooks or Netbooks than for PCs ... I mean all that good features are not included in Wndows Starter.
Will pricing be disadvantageous for UK customers as usaual?
Will UK customers be ripped off as usual by £ for $ pricing
congrads,the ultimate test for seven was to work on an older machine.I've installed seven as a joke on an p3 866 mhz,385mb ram sistem thinking that it will not even boot:) but after finishing installation,gues what!the lammer started and seemed stable enough.The funny part was that it has been installed from a virtual drive and i've been surprized how fast installation process runs besides xp setup.Seven's behavior was better than the xp sp3 meaning better access to pc resources,great experience with ie 8 and great suport for other apps,aero runs exellent and an litle slow but with good quality windows media center ,i didn't knewed that video streaming can run cristal clear with no interruptions.This is the third install of seven(testing purposes ex:booting from dvd-r,add extra space on hard disk and eliminating xp from the boot start)some of my testing was to see how defender works when av is disabled wich it passed exelent finding trojans and deleting them.So in the end the joke becomed serious and determined to continue using seven on this machine (i see no negative diference between xp and seven,even so on seven downloads faster and software installation goes more performant than xp)the only trouble soots i've encountered was with on board sound driver but only on finishing setup,once the updates come,comes from microsoft the sound driver.i must admit that svchost.exe proces can not be compared with the one from xp,seven is not able to finalize well an safety remove hardware properly(same issue noticed on vista)in a short time unpluging correctly removable disks you will be forced to format the disk and might loose important informations(the test was made with an sd card and plug&play card reader and with an plug and play mobile phone supporting card reading via usb cable with an pc.Same as xp,it plugs exellet both devices but does not unplugs them correctly
Oh good God!
Ok, you expect a rant by posting this ;) But heck, you were living outside of this world far too long, aren't you guys?
when will windows 7 gona be officially released . After vista i think this is a very stable and nice OS. I have been using the RC and I am very happy with its performance. When will the final version gona be released.
I simply don't believe all of this hoopla as it doesn't represent what users of Windows 7 are actually experiencing, and every comment here was fabricated by Microsoft. The truth is Windows 7 freezes randomly, The updates are making it worse, Windows 7 is even scheduled to crash every two hours but Microsoft hasn't fixed this memory leak, and there are remote shutdown commands. My event log is full of errors, crashes, unexpected shutdowns almost to the minute every two hours. What gives Microsoft doesn't want you to see those logs. Is it my hardware? I don't think so. Because Xp has been running perfectly.
1. The option to change desktop backgrounds and window colors should not be removed from Starter IMHO. This could be a problem when using the netbook in bright daylight, because you can not switch to a high-contrast colour scheme then and you might not be able to read menus anymore, for example when checking emails, a typical netbook application. It can also be a disadvantage in the dark / at night the other way round (screen too bright).
2. Leaving out DVD-playback is not so critical, but I would prefer to have that feature included in Starter, so that it can be used with Windows Media Player. If DVD-playback is missing in Starter edition, it might lead people to install third-party-software like VLC instead of wanting to upgrade to Home Premium.
Since Windows 7 Home Premium should work fine with most netbooks, especially with more than 1 GB RAM, it will be interesting to see, how many of those will come with Starter and how many might come with Home Premium instead.
Multi-monitor support might be reconsidered. When using the Win7 beta on my Asus 1000HE, I almost always switched over to a bigger monitor when the opportunity presented (1024x600 resolution is tolerable, but not very productive). Please let us use multiple monitors with all Windows 7 versions. Makes the dock/undock scenario completely painless.
So my comment requesting personalization in Starter was removed silently? What do you get from this, MS?
Wow, seriously guys... I thought you would've learned from VIsta about making anti-features on your OS.
Linux on the notebooks was held back by reviving XP. XP is more useful than Ubuntu, plain and simple. However, cripple Windows 7 enough and you're opening a door for Linux distros that will have far more capabilities than what's offered by Microsoft... and at no cost!
I can understand about Aero and media streaming, but changing backgrounds and DVD playback? Really, stop it... remember that without customers you have no business.
Oh and thanks for putting *.mov file support in Windows 7. I just had my first experience of that my wife had recorded some HD videos on her Kodak digital camera, and they played jerky on her XP system with Quicktime. However on my even more ancient system running Windows 7 these files played great. At first I didnt even realise I didnt have Quicktime on my Windows 7 system...cant say I miss it!
Hi Yonah, I am aware that many machines that run Starter Edition will be small notebooks some of which may not have a DVD drive.
However Starter Edition is also targeted at developing countries where the spec of an average PC is less powerful. As such it should provide the minimal Windows experience, however my point is that it should still allow third party software to add back similar fuctionality be this a desktop background changer or DVD playback.
I think Starter edition is a bad idea. It's going to leave a bad taste in peoples mouth when they realize that the netbook they bought is severly limited for no good reason. If by default OEMs choose to go with Starter edition than the majority of people buying netbooks will get starter edition instead of choosing to upgrade. Then when they get it and realize it sucks they're gonna feel cheated or that the whole thing is a scam if they have to upgrade just to get the most basic of features.
I really think you guys should add the background customization feature to starter edition. After that I won't really have a problem with it. But I think it makes you guys look bad if you're willing to sell such a gimped version of a great OS. I hope the OEMs ignore this edition and only choose Home premium.
I'am running Vista 7 ultimate on a Samsung NC10 netbook.
7 flys looks good and has no issues for me .
This netbook has replaced a 17'' 1.6 core2duo 2 gb media laptop. Because it is so portable and the battery lasts for 4 - 5 hrs.
I bluetooth too my headphones, watch DVD, connect to my phone to text via the netbook, steam my pics from my phone, slot the memory card out of the digital camera to it.
Use word and excel 07 for work. Hook it to my monitor when I want. I use it loads and the netbook and 7. SO what is my point.
I want an all singing and all dancing windows 7 but want a sensible price. Not because I cannot afford it but an operating system should not cost £200 + !
Linux Ubuntu is not so far behind windows now and if it wasn't for the iffy drivers for external equipment I would be using it.
Note to previous commenters: Starter Edition isn't an edition you can buy. It's one that PC manufacturers can choose to pre-install as a cheaper option on their machines.
Starter as the name suggests its the basic ones....
but hey are the bugs being fixed in the upcoming build.version
I m fully satisfied wid WIN 7 LOVE IT...... :)
Tnx Brandon and the team ofcourse.....
This is the perfect start at making Windows 7 all the better! That 3 app limit is very... well... limiting. That said, I still don't think I will be going for Starter for my EEE PC 900HA and will be instead going for either Home Premium or Ultimate as the Ultimate RC runs like a dream on my netbook.
Everything including AERO, Media Center, and Windows Live Essentials runs perfectly to enhance my user experience and watch DVD's and listen to music.
I'm sure if the development team could also add back some of those listed removed features, Starter could look a little more attractive towards people looking for a low end laptop to drag around with them to the coffee shop!
sorry that was off the subject. I have been working on this for some time and wanted it out. thanks
OK guys, MSN Premium works great on the RC 32 bit but has the 253 error on RC 64. I hope this will clear up in the future cos I prefer 64 bit for proformance. I chatted with MSN teck and Windows 7 tech about this problem and this seems to narrow it down to a 64bit situation or, a IE8 situation on 64 bit OS. Not sure but hope it gets fixed soon.
DVD playback? Where do you think this "Starter Edition" is going to be used, Beverly Hills? No, the machines this particular edition will be installed on might not even have a DVD drive at all.
Well good decision to remove the 3 application limit, that was pretty barbaric. The limit could have been 10 or something reasonable like that but 3 would have been far too annoying.
The DVD playback feature, not being included is a bit of a disapointment....While I can understand it being cut due to licensing costs, hopefully 3rd part codecs could be installed to allow playback?
With DVD players being so common these days to disable such a commonly used feature without allowing some way to get it re-enabled would be crazy... like say on the Wii!
Imagine how many more original Xbox's Microsoft would have sold had you not needed to buy a silly remote to use the DVD playback feature...mind boggles, anyway I just hate hardware being crippled by software. Still great news on lifting the application limit, that changes Starter edition from a non-starter to something that would be useful on low low end machines.
I guarantee the people giving you the "feedback" about the 3 application limit would not be using the Starter Edition anyway. Their lives just don't have any meaning unless they are complaining about something. The largest, most successful software company on the planet makes an easy target.
After i had installed this window 7 and omg what a impressive, this is more clearer and more understanding, I am happy with this result as improvement rather than vista. I don't mind about background pictures they are seem fine to me i wouldn't complaint etc.
The taskbar is more neat rather the mess like vista that keep open more on taskbar.
The start up is more quicker but the sound is similar as vista (which i didn't like that sound) i want something else a better sound for start up
I have tested everything from window 7 i must say this is better technology than Vista because vista is using waste of souces which is useless, however this window 7 is more less than vista
So overall the whole of window 7 is 10/10
While I might understand the reasons behind having a "starter edition" O.S. The price better be right if Microsoft thinks people will purchase this.
I can guarantee no one will buy a stand alone version (either it already comes in a laptop or the price is right). Either way with all limitations included....man this O.S. would be great for maybe a person who have a hard time with computers, or just surf the net and check e-mails, just your basic reasons for a computer.
Also, what was Microsoft thinking by just allowing 3 programs open at one time! I'm already thinking the stand alone price for this is $50.00. But limiting this version even more, I wouldn't buy this even if Microsoft gave me one.
I agree with Brandon....I am currently running 7100 Ultimate x86 on my Acer Aspire 150 and it is working perfectly.
Whoops, sorry, haha. Can't find a way to delete that...
I agree with all but two of the limitations here:
1. Turning off the ability to stream from other computers. The scenario I imagine is a user having Windows 7 Home Premium/Pro/Ult on a home machine, where their music resides and then being at a coffee shop with a netbook and wanting easy access to their home music collection but not needing a full copy of Home Premium on said Netbook.
2. Not being allowed to change the background. Lock 'em in to colors, but really? The background? That's pretty brutal.
But overall I think, even with these limitations, Win 7 Starter will be a better value than was Vista or XP Starter for many users.
I don't understand why a user wouldn't be able to change the desktop wallpaper. I get why a lower end computer wouldn't get high intensity features like Aero and Media Center, but it doesn't make sense as to why someone couldn't change something as simple as a wallpaper...besides making it clear that a person would want to immediately spend more money and upgrade. Is there a reason for the limitation on the wallpaper?