Today we are going to talk about Windows 7 Starter, the most limited edition of Windows 7. The rise of ultraportable It has had profound consequences not only for computer manufacturers, who have had to adapt and create a market segment with cheap computers, but also for operating system manufacturers, such as Microsoft, whose plans have been twisted but this type of notebook .
And it is that ultraportables have given a second life to Windows Xp, an operating system that Microsoft would like to have replaced Vista for a long time, but that has been revealed as ideal for these computers, due to its lower requirements for hardware, its stable operation and its good compatibility, in addition to an interface already known to users.
Thus, despite attempts by some manufacturers to sell ultraportables with Windows Vista, it has been XP the one who has taken the cat to the water, also surpassing the different versions of Linux with which many ultraportables can be purchased. In fact, Linux was the first system to be offered with the Asus Eee.
The tight price of this type of equipment made Linux the most reasonable alternative to install on them, since it avoided paying Microsoft licenses. But the Redmond giant reacted by lowering the price of those licenses. Rumors point to about $ 15 for each Windows XP installed on these computers, although Microsoft has not wanted to confirm this data.
On the downside, the restrictions that are imposed To achieve this price, they have hampered the development of a range that has grown exponentially in just over a year, but could have done much more. And is that Microsoft only allows these cheap licenses to be installed on computers with 1 GB or less than RAM and with a maximum of 160 GB of hard disk.
If these limits are exceeded, you have to go to Windows Vista, increasing the total cost of the equipment not only due to the price of the license, but also due to greater needs of hardware. Therefore, most manufacturers have preferred not to exceed them and develop other fields of your computers.
With the next outing of Windows 7, Microsoft confirmed that several versions of its operating system would be offered, one of them, Windows 7 Starter, especially focused on ultraportables, with a lower cost per license but with a significant series of limitations.
The most important is the inability to run more than 3 applications at the same time. By doing this they want to keep the price of ultraportables low but also the ability to get more money for licenses. And it is that users will be able to pay an extra to have a full version without these limitations.
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Windows 7 Starter
Many manufacturers are concerned about the impact this may have on their sales, as it can be difficult to convince customers that 3 applications open at the same time are sufficient. No wonder, right now I have six applications open on my desktop, and I’m doing nothing but browsing and typing.
Audio players, browsers, an office application, a mail client, … Are you telling me that I can only open three of them at the same time? Obviously, with the jump to the cloud the browser will be one of the fixed ones, but this brings us to the operating system independence.
And is that if the vast majority of my applications run inside the browser, what does it matter to me which operating system runs underneath? As long as it allows me to perform basic tasks such as music playback, include a messaging client and a text editor for me. And for many other users the situation will be similar.
Obviously, we are talking about ultraportable, focused on being our second computer, not the main one. This is where Linux may get its second chance in this field, after not having achieved it in a first batch. Now it may be the manufacturers who bet the strongest on this operating system in order to reduce the final price, especially in an environment of economic crisis. A reduction of 15 dollars of the final price can suppose a major difference in sales versus rivals.
The development of ultraportables with ARM processorsIn other words, with architectures other than x86 and therefore not compatible with desktop versions of Windows, it can also be an important step for Linux. These computers can not only reduce the price but also increase autonomy of computers, making them more attractive to users.
In this environment, Linux is the most suitable option, as it offers an interface that is more than usable and very familiar to most users, as well as a large number of applications available, not only for free, but with a very intuitive installation environment, thanks to the tools available to many distributions.
Against this, Does Windows 7 Starter have a future? Honestly, I think not, and manufacturers will have to look for other options, which will depend on what customers demand, either the full version of Windows 7 or alternative operating systems. The battle is served and promises to be interesting to watch.
More information | WSJ.