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All Windows 7 SKUs are OK for Netbooks

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Windows 7 Ultimate on a netbook? Sure, if you want.

Worried that you'll be buying a netbook a month from now and all you'll be getting is Windows 7 Starter Edition? You have nothing to fear, and for a couple of good reasons.

First of all, you can easily upgrade any version of Windows 7 to a higher version through Anytime Upgrade. Secondly, as confirmed to TG Daily, Microsoft will not be putting any restriction on the type of Windows 7 that'll go on netbooks.

"OEMs and ODMs have the choice to install any version of Windows on a netbook," said a Microsoft UK spokesperson. "[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."

Microsoft revealed months ago that the Starter Edition would no longer have the three application limit that was originally planned to limit netbooks. Starter Edition, however, will still not run any of the fancy effects of the Aero GUI.

While most netbooks are of modest specifications, we can see higher-end models – such as those with the Nvidia Ion chipset – sporting Home Premium.

What would really blow our minds though is a netbook packing Windows 7 Ultimate from the factory.

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  • 1 Hide
    dman3k , September 28, 2009 8:56 PM
    WOW. Microsoft is listening... What a change from "we tell you what you want" strategy!

    Now if Microsoft could just get rid of the Starter Pack all together.
  • 5 Hide
    hellwig , September 28, 2009 8:57 PM
    Did MS ever say Vista couldn't be installed on a netbook, or was it simply understood that Vista wouldn't run on a netbook, as it was no where near the minimum system specs?
  • 9 Hide
    Honis , September 28, 2009 9:20 PM
    I'd like to see a bench of the $2.4k system builder marathon with both Ultimate and Starter installed. I wonder if somethings would run slightly faster with 90% of the OS disabled but still functional.
  • Display all 16 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    hellwig , September 28, 2009 9:23 PM
    HonisI'd like to see a bench of the $2.4k system builder marathon with both Ultimate and Starter installed. I wonder if somethings would run slightly faster with 90% of the OS disabled but still functional.

    Agreed, I hope Tom's is already prepping for a Win 7 SKU showdown.
  • -6 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 28, 2009 9:23 PM
    They're just paranoid that Linux (UNR, Chrome OS, Moblin, etc.) will take over the netbook market. Linux just saved the Windows fans from stupid restrictions even if they never use Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    abnderby , September 28, 2009 11:27 PM
    Hey running win7 ultimate on my ibm thinkpad x32. pentium M 1800 single corewith 512MB ram. Runs fine much better than RC did. If I had a 5400 RPM drive and 2GB memory it would be much better. Howmy system stacks up against the atom I do not know. Toms should bench the new netbooks against he older mini notebooks like IBM's x30, x31, x32, x40 and x41. All were single core cpu's banias and dothan I believe
  • 0 Hide
    abnderby , September 29, 2009 12:13 AM
    Tom's, please revisit your atom and ion netbooks against our older mini notebooks. you know the ones with 12" screens running pentium M and older PIII Tualatin cpu's at 1.2 GHz. It would be interesting to see how the stack up. I just bought several older thinkpad X 32 and x40's for friends and family off ebay for $200. Great little laptops. They actually run windows 7 better than windows xp. Only issue I have seen is win 7 uses generic video driver. other tha that it runs great.

    give us some data to compare please
  • 2 Hide
    steiner666 , September 29, 2009 12:44 AM
    win7 ult runs great on my asus 1005ha, even w/ aero, seems to boot faster than it did with xp
  • 4 Hide
    cabose369 , September 29, 2009 3:42 AM
    hellwigDid MS ever say Vista couldn't be installed on a netbook, or was it simply understood that Vista wouldn't run on a netbook, as it was no where near the minimum system specs?


    No you are wrong. I had an HP Netbook 1035NR and I was running Vista Ultimate on it with Aero on. It works.
  • 0 Hide
    buwish , September 29, 2009 7:38 AM
    Turn off all of the fancy aero features and I think W7 would do pretty well on an a medium to high end netbook; regardless of the version.
  • 2 Hide
    Regulas , September 29, 2009 1:27 PM
    QUOTE: "Worried that you'll be buying a netbook a month from now and all you'll be getting is Windows 7 Starter Edition? You have nothing to fear, and for a couple of good reasons. First of all, you can easily upgrade any version of Windows 7 to a higher version through Anytime Upgrade."

    Sure, for a price.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 5:15 PM
    Quote:
    What would really blow our minds though is a netbook packing Windows 7 Ultimate from the factory.


    In my mind,that would be a waste...
    What possibly does the ultimate version of 7 have to offer over the starters edition on a netbook?

    People buying the ultimate edition on a netbook, might prefer to put their money on a premium edition on a notebook.
    Few people are willing to pay +$200 more for a netbook just because it has a higher OS.

    I mean,imagine $299 for netbook + Linux OS; $239 for that same netbook + XP; $289 for netbook + Win 7 starter; and $499 for that netbook + Win 7 business!
    On a netbook!

    No thank you!
  • 0 Hide
    eyemaster , September 29, 2009 5:30 PM
    RegulasQUOTE: "Worried that you'll be buying a netbook a month from now and all you'll be getting is Windows 7 Starter Edition? You have nothing to fear, and for a couple of good reasons. First of all, you can easily upgrade any version of Windows 7 to a higher version through Anytime Upgrade."Sure, for a price.


    Your point? Of course it's going to be for a price, you expected it to be free?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 29, 2009 7:00 PM
    I care about battery life, is there any battery performance difference between starter and premium?

    I run windows 7 32bit rc2 on my netbook at the moment with all the neat aero affects and what not, but I get 5 hours of battery life, 30 minutes less than my xp partition. Would starter (or just turning of aero) give me more performance?
  • 1 Hide
    Regulas , September 29, 2009 7:08 PM
    @eyemaster : "
    Your point? Of course it's going to be for a price, you expected it to be free?"

    The point is this is about cheap netbooks. To causally say in the article you can upgrade at anytime and not reflect on how much more it will cost loses the point of a cheap netbook.
  • 0 Hide
    andyviant , September 30, 2009 5:50 PM
    buwishTurn off all of the fancy aero features and I think W7 would do pretty well on an a medium to high end netbook; regardless of the version.


    It runs perfectly with those features (and disabling aero for win 7 is a sin IMO - the new taskbar leverages peek far more than vista did). I've been running Win7 Ultimate (RC) on a typical acer aspire one with an n270 for 6 months -- keeps more than 4 apps open often and there's no discernable handicap. I'm not encoding video or gaming, but that's silly talk. In fact, I now use this machine for 95% of my at home computing and only fire up the quad core/gtx 280 for games.