HP netbooks will likely run 3 versions of Windows 7

Hewlett-Packard said it will likely offer at least 3 different editions of Windows 7 - The Starter, Professional and the Home Premium editions on future models of its Mini netbooks.

Kyle Thornton, category manager for Business Notebook PCs at HP, said in an interview that Windows 7 Beta testing is going on in the Mini netbook line and it runs very well on the Minis, even with Aero turned on. Besides the three editions of Windows 7 that HP plans to support, Thornton also hopes to continue to pre-install both Windows XP Professional and Vista Business on its business-oriented netbooks. HP offers three operating systems for business users - XP Professional, Vista Business and Novell's SUSE Enterprise Linux in the Mini 2140 introduced last month.

Microsoft has planned to offer a total of 6 editions of Windows 7 so far to meet the needs of PC makers & users and confirmed that there will be no special netbook SKU of Windows 7. PC makers will be allowed to install the Starter edition on netbooks and low-end PCs for sale in markets worldwide.

The Starter edition however will limit users to running only three applications at a time. The three-app rule includes applications running in the background but excludes any antivirus applications. The restriction is designed to ensure that users get the best possible performance from limited netbook hardware. However, Microsoft will encourage manufacturers to install Home Premium for better-spec netbooks and Starter in lower-end netbooks which could possibly lead to the rise in the price of netbooks.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions regarding HP and its future offerings, you could very well post your questions to Phil McKinney, CTO of of HP's Personal Systems Group, here and in the coming days we'll get his responses posted.

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