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Windows 7 Starter Edition might not be that bad

Windows 7 Starter Edition
Microsoft has been offering a low cost, limited "starter edition" of Windows for customers in developing nations for a few years now. But with Windows 7, Microsoft will begin offering a starter edition in developed nations like the US for the first time. You won't be able to walk into a store and buy it, but it may come preloaded on some low cost computers like netbooks. It'll be up to each computer maker to decide whether to install Windows 7 Starter Edition or offer a pricier option like Windows 7 Home Premium.

There's been a lot of talk about how Windows 7 Starter Edition had a limited feature set. It won't let you run more than three programs at once, for instance. And users won't be able to change the desktop background.

But ZDNet's Ed Bott discovered that these limitations don't have to spell out a horrible user experience. For starters, he says that three application limit isn't exactly written in stone. For example, you can open as many windows of a single program as you like. So you can have a dozen browser tabs or separate windows open at once. And a number of programs that are built into Windows don't count against the limit. That includes Windows Explorer, the Task Manager, or Command Prompt.

Installer programs also don't count against your limit. So you can run three programs while installing a fourth. Control panel applets, Windows desktop gadgets, and anti-virus apps running as a Windows service also get a free pass.

So if all you plan to use your computer for is surfing the web, checking your email, and maybe sending instant messages, you shouldn't have a problem. If you want to do all of those things while making a Skype call and watching a video you probably need a more powerful version of Windows. And Ritalin.

Tags: osupdates, windows-7, windows-7-starter-edition