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No Wallpaper Swapping in Win 7 SE

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 79 comments

Users, OEMs and Microsoft partners will not be able to change the wallpaper within Windows 7 Starter Edition.

While many consumers anxiously await the arrival of Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system, recently controversy has surrounded the Starter Edition version. Originally, SE would only allow three programs to run in the background at one time, however Microsoft eventually relented and lifted the restriction. Albeit not quite as drastic, now another restriction has surfaced: the inability to change the desktop wallpaper.

According to Within Windows, consumers cannot swap out the original windows wallpaper, change the colors or sound schemes. Apparently the same now holds true for OEMs and partners, a feature said companies normally modify in-house before shipping to retail outlets. Although Windows 7 Starter Edition isn’t available on the market, Microsoft recently confirmed the SE’s upcoming limitation in a short but firm statement.

“In Windows Starter Edition, OEMs must not modify or replace the Windows-provided background for Windows Welcome, the logon screen, or the desktop,” the company confirmed.

As of this writing, Microsoft has not yet revealed the official desktop background for SE. Consumers wanting to switch out the wallpaper for images of Fluffy or the in-laws will need to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium. However, it’s highly likely that a wallpaper workaround will be available online long before the OS makes its debut this October.

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  • 19 Hide
    seboj , June 20, 2009 2:49 AM
    Quote:
    “In Windows Starter Edition, OEMs must not modify or replace the Windows-provided background for Windows Welcome, the logon screen, or the desktop,”


    I'm sorry, but where in that statement does it say anything about the user changing this stuff?

    That's right: it doesn't. All it says is that the OEMs can't change it.

    Yay, reading is fun!
  • 17 Hide
    phatboe , June 20, 2009 2:04 AM
    MS is only hurting themselves with all these restrictions, This only gives people more reason to downgrade to Win XP, or move to a free OS like Linux.

    @Jokemeister NO that is totally incorrect, because the SE version does cost the end user money. A more correct way to put it is if we pay for it we want everything. The end user doesn't want to be nickeled and dimed. There only needs to be two versions of Win 7, Home and Corporate and that's it, not this pay more for more features version crap. MS needs to drop SE versions of Win 7 or prepare to lose marketshare to free OSes.
  • 15 Hide
    jokemeister , June 20, 2009 1:52 AM
    Seems to me people want everything, pay nothing for it and in fact want to be payed for the trouble of using it. Give me a break. If you pay for the entry level version, you get entry level features. I'm not a MS fanboy, far from it, but for crying out loud, let's be real here.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    mindless728 , June 20, 2009 1:51 AM
    oh i bet you can replace it
  • 15 Hide
    jokemeister , June 20, 2009 1:52 AM
    Seems to me people want everything, pay nothing for it and in fact want to be payed for the trouble of using it. Give me a break. If you pay for the entry level version, you get entry level features. I'm not a MS fanboy, far from it, but for crying out loud, let's be real here.
  • 17 Hide
    phatboe , June 20, 2009 2:04 AM
    MS is only hurting themselves with all these restrictions, This only gives people more reason to downgrade to Win XP, or move to a free OS like Linux.

    @Jokemeister NO that is totally incorrect, because the SE version does cost the end user money. A more correct way to put it is if we pay for it we want everything. The end user doesn't want to be nickeled and dimed. There only needs to be two versions of Win 7, Home and Corporate and that's it, not this pay more for more features version crap. MS needs to drop SE versions of Win 7 or prepare to lose marketshare to free OSes.
  • 7 Hide
    duckmanx88 , June 20, 2009 2:10 AM
    JokemeisterSeems to me people want everything, pay nothing for it and in fact want to be payed for the trouble of using it. Give me a break. If you pay for the entry level version, you get entry level features. I'm not a MS fanboy, far from it, but for crying out loud, let's be real here.


    i can change the wallpaper, sounds, ringtones, and theme of my crappy entry level 4 year old phone but won't be able to do it in Win7?
  • 0 Hide
    cletus_slackjawd , June 20, 2009 2:11 AM
    I'd rather have full functionality than the ability to change background image or system sounds. This is a better idea that the 3 process limit.
    Start Edition: High pressure presoak
    Home Edition: Undercarriage Rinse, Soft cloth buff
    Ultimate Edition: Triple Polish, Clearcoat shine
  • 2 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 20, 2009 2:12 AM
    It can't actually cost anything for MS to include these customization options when they're already in the mainstream releases. What's the deal?
  • 7 Hide
    tayb , June 20, 2009 2:20 AM
    This is just dumb. Trying their hardest to annoy anyone who happens to get stuck with SE to the point where they just spend their money and upgrade it. If you want to clean up your image have two versions of Windows 7. One catered to businesses and one catered to everyone else. Ultimate and Business. That's it. None of this nonsense.
  • 19 Hide
    seboj , June 20, 2009 2:49 AM
    Quote:
    “In Windows Starter Edition, OEMs must not modify or replace the Windows-provided background for Windows Welcome, the logon screen, or the desktop,”


    I'm sorry, but where in that statement does it say anything about the user changing this stuff?

    That's right: it doesn't. All it says is that the OEMs can't change it.

    Yay, reading is fun!
  • -2 Hide
    apache_lives , June 20, 2009 3:05 AM
    If SE had the features of the Ultimate Edition why would you buy ultimate?

    You want wallpapers don't buy SE - simple, marketing is marketing, Microsoft has to give the users a reason to go higher and pay the premium.
  • 7 Hide
    joex444 , June 20, 2009 3:51 AM
    Oh, good, weekend joke articles are back and they forgot the notice this time.

    If MS actually came out and said that, then go back to 3rd grade. Luckily seboj and I both passed reading. "OEMs must not modify..." Not sure about THG here, but I'm not an OEM. Perhaps, just maybe, MS meant that OEMs must not modify the background. This is an awfully stupid "feature" to remove... the last OS MS produced that couldn't change the background was what, DOS 6.22? Give me a break. They're obviously talking about OEMs pre-loading their own crap and breaking Windows 7.0 like they think was done with Vista. (How many ignorant users thought Vista always come with all this extra crap software that OEMs bundle and assumed it was MS's fault and went back to XP? All they really wanted wanted was retail Vista, not OEM fubar'd Vista).

    Plus... why would they spend time removing that "feature" we've come to take for granted? It wastes developer time. I believe what MS came out and said was that if OEMs ship out 7.0 SE, they need to ship a retail copy or they'll lose their partnership / require Win 7.0 Home to be shipped at a higher cost (and thus decreased sales).
  • 8 Hide
    tayb , June 20, 2009 4:23 AM
    Kewl MunkyArticles about fucking wallpaper. Anyone know of a better tech site because these lame articles that no one cares about are getting old.


    anandtech.com
  • -4 Hide
    Ciuy , June 20, 2009 4:36 AM
    "oh i bet you can replace it"

    yea and i bet it will be easy to :) )

    stupid limitation.
    I hate it when they try to do sh*t like this....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 20, 2009 5:03 AM
    easy fix, replace whatever paper, probably wallpaper.jpg, with whatever you want. done. that's number 1. number 2, as was pointed out, they said "OEM's," not end-users. number 3, they need 3 versions, not 2. they need a consumer version, a server version, and a corporate version. server version could also be "media center" or whatever you want to call it. feel free to add anything i missed...
  • -4 Hide
    dingumf , June 20, 2009 5:35 AM
    duckmanx88i can change the wallpaper, sounds, ringtones, and theme of my crappy entry level 4 year old phone but won't be able to do it in Win7?


    Daamn straight. My flipping Nokia from 2006 can even change theme/wallpaper!

    Also screw you Jokemiester your freaking strepid.

    I will shank you.
  • 5 Hide
    cadder , June 20, 2009 6:06 AM
    This is just part of MS's plan to allow the sale of a version of their expensive OS for less money, so netbook prices can stay low. You want the additional features, just buy the more expensive OS.

    Personally I would be OK if they just made one version that contained everything, and sell it to everybody for the same price, but it would really bump up the prices of lower end computers.
  • -2 Hide
    ohim , June 20, 2009 7:25 AM
    Even in windows 95 you could change the background .... this thing with Win7 SE totaly blows. Soon they`ll remove the ability to have a sound card in your pc or what ?
  • -1 Hide
    FSXFan , June 20, 2009 7:28 AM
    lusankyaeasy fix, replace whatever paper, probably wallpaper.jpg, with whatever you want. done.


    If you read the Link provided,it says Windows does a hash check on the image file so just replacing it doesn't work. But a fix is already in the works and if I was stuck with this version the first thing I would do is "fix" it.

    I see it as kind of a dick move on MS's part, it's been a feature on every single version of windows ever, the only reason to remove it is to force people spend more money on upgrades.
  • 1 Hide
    TheZander , June 20, 2009 7:31 AM
    I will pass. I refuse to buy any notebook or desktop I can't change the stupid wallpaper on. An old $40 used P3 computer with Windows 98SE will let me change the blitherin' desktop background. I understand some limits - no DVD disc playback, no dual monitors, etc. It's "starter edition." But this is the first time in HISTORY since early Windows versions that a basic, budget starter computer has RESTRICTED the owner (that's right. OWNER!) from changing his/her desktop background. This kind of limitation has never, to my knowledge, been placed on a consumer computer, Mac, Windows, or Linux. We really shouldn't support this. I'll buy a Netbook with real windows 7, or Vista, or Linux, or NOTHING for an OS. But if I can't even change my wallpaper? Do not want. Maybe it's a small thing to you, but it's a product I'm buying with my money, so I want to have at least a few basic rights with it. Restrict me from heavy duty pro stuff and media stuff - fine. But the desktop background? Rubbish.

    /rant
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