Microsoft announced that they have removed the netbook restrictions that previously prevented OEM and ODM from installing any version of Windows 7 on their netbook. The lifted restriction means OEM and ODM can install Windows 7 starter on a netbook, and that the three application restriction has been removed as per consumer's request.
"OEMs and ODMs have the choice to install any version of Windows on a netbook," a Microsoft UK spokesperson said. "[But] Starter is an entry version and doesn't have many of the consumer or business features. The three application limit isn't there anymore."
Windows 7 Starter and Home Basic variety only come in 32bit versions and are missing a variation of features from the higher end versions. Some of the features missing from Windows 7 Starter include:
- Aero Glass
- Taskbar Preview
- Aero Peek
- Desktop personalization
- Fast user switching
- Multi-monitor support
- DVD playback
- Support for domains and XP Mode
- Windows Media Center
Home Basic also lacks some key Windows 7 features including Aero, Taskbar Preview, Internet Connection Sharing and some other features. Windows 7 Home Basic will not be sold in the US, Europe and other established markets, while Windows 7 Starter will be available through OEM.
Retail stores and manufactures will be able to strip some of the cost off their netbooks using Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic. Microsoft will now have two entry level SKU versions of Windows 7 in some markets.