Although Windows 7 Starter Edition will likely be the least used version by readers of this site, its artificial limitations do have our attention.
Windows 7 Starter Edition will be the el cheapo option aimed at low-cost PCs and netbooks, perhaps paving the way for more of the latter products to hit $200. This makes sense, but what has many concerned and curious is the artificially three programs running at once.
Early tests of Windows 7 Starter Edition beta versions show that the three-program limitation is already in place. Microsoft clearly has some sort of criteria as to what counts towards that three, and we would hope that mostly background running applications such as anti-virus programs don’t hog a spot, but we won’t really know until the final version is in our hands.
Microsoft details in its help section, “With Windows 7 Starter, you can open up to three programs at the same time. For example, if you start WordPad, Paint, and Calculator, and then you try to open a web browser, you’ll see a message telling you that you already have three programs open.”
With such limitations in place, users will either want to pony up the cash for the upgrade to Home Premium, or rely heavily on web-based applications such as Google Docs or webmail. We can’t see anyone being happy in being forced to shut down a program just to do some math on the calculator.
For now though, check out these images courtesy of WinSuperSite of Windows 7 Starter Edition hitting the app cap.