Ramblings & ephemera

The limitations of Windows 7 on netbooks

From Farhad Manjoo’s “I, for One, Welcome Our New Android Overlords” (Slate: 5 June 2008):

Microsoft promises that Windows 7 will be able to run on netbooks, but it has announced a risky strategy to squeeze profits from these machines. The company plans to cripple the cheapest versions of the new OS in order to encourage PC makers to pay for premium editions. If you buy a netbook that comes with the low-priced Windows 7 Starter Edition, you won’t be able to change your screen’s background or window colors, you won’t be able to play DVDs, you can’t connect it to another monitor, and you won’t see many of the user-interface advances found in other versions. If you’d like more flexibility, you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive version of Windows—which will, of course, defeat the purpose of your cheap PC. (Microsoft had originally planned to limit Starter Edition even further—you wouldn’t be able to run more than three programs at a time. It removed that limitation after howls of protest.)

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