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Microsoft confirms no Windows 7 restrictions on netbooks

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.

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