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Samsung: Netbooks Can Handle Full Windows 7

Samsung says that its netbook hardware could handle the more ‘premium’ versions of Windows 7.

Right now, the mainstream operating system of choice for netbooks is Windows XP. Its demands on the system are light and it offers the common user a familiar environment for computing. But with Windows 7 looming on the horizon, Microsoft isn’t about to let an OS that’s two generations old continue to proliferate on the fast-growing computer segment.

Microsoft will release a version of Windows 7 called Starter Edition that’s meant for low-cost, entry-level PCs--including netbooks. Starter Edition is to be a lightweight version of the OS, but it’ll also be handicapped at running just three applications at a time. Microsoft also hopes that users will pony up the cash to upgrade to a more capable version of Windows 7.

When Samsung was asked by TechRadar if it was developing Windows 7-based netbooks, company marketing head Kyu Uhm replied affirmative and said, "Currently Microsoft provides Windows XP for netbooks. For Windows 7 they would like to give us Windows 7 Starter Edition for netbooks. That's the current plan. ... [Different versions are a] matter of how much we need to pay to Microsoft. It is an open issue. So we can ship other Windows 7 versions, but it is a matter of royalties."

While Microsoft has not revealed its pricing structure for the different levels of Windows 7, the Starter Edition will surely be one that’ll have the least impact on price -- the largest deciding factor in the budget segment -- making it the logical choice for system makers.

Those testing the Windows 7 beta on current netbooks report that the full, uncrippled version of the OS works well even on the modest hardware. With the performance tweaked in the final version, performance on a netbook will be even better. Users will undoubtedly prefer to run Windows 7 Home Premium on their netbooks -- but now we’ll just have to wait and see how many OEMs choose to ship their products with it. 

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • SneakySnake
    Why limit the user on the number of applications they can have open. Surely even a netbook could handle 4 light application (web browser, email, skype, itunes/WMP).

    If it is to much for the computer the user will see that and close an app or two. No need to hold their hand when it comes to CPU usuage
    Reply
  • sot010174
    No. Starter edition is unacceptable. I think MS will shoot itself on the foot, because people eventually will get mad with this 3 apps limitation and will format and put a (pirated) XP copy on their machines.
    Reply
  • mindless728
    it is done so that you go and buy a better version of windows 7 so M$ can make more money
    Reply
  • Microsoft already did starter edition with Vista. If you don't enter your serial and select your version and then just select Starter. The only problem is I could never find any license so I eventually had to crack it. And yes, the starter version is terrible. With the ability to uninstall so many features in Windows 7, I am running Ultimate just fine on my Atom netbook.
    Reply
  • judeh101
    windows 7 ultimate runs just fine. windows 7 works fine on everything.
    Reply
  • radguy
    duh
    Reply
  • kato128
    I just hope vendors step up and at least give the option of the better versions of 7 even if they can't drop starter from their lineup entirely. ATM I'm not impressed with software choice on netbooks because XP Home = Blech and the linux distro's that come pre-loaded are a joke
    Reply
  • cruiseoveride
    Netbook > $300 = Notebook
    Reply
  • tayb
    SneakySnakeWhy limit the user on the number of applications they can have open. Surely even a netbook could handle 4 light application (web browser, email, skype, itunes/WMP). If it is to much for the computer the user will see that and close an app or two. No need to hold their hand when it comes to CPU usuage
    You are giving the average consumer way too much credit. The average consumer will open up a shit ton of programs and bitch and moan all over the internet that Windows 7 is slow. The average consumers won't think to themselves "Well I do believe I have too many applications open consuming too much resources I should close one." Yeah right.
    Reply
  • OrderChaos
    ^+1

    Most people don't know anything about how a computer works, most people don't care to.

    If we were just talking about users like those that Frequent Toms, yes, you could trust them to know what their computer can handle.

    The average computer user would likely think, "well I've got all these open, but only one is on the screen so it should be the only one using up power. Why is the computer running so slow!!!"

    And of course, many people think that restarting a computer just means turning off the monitor for a desktop or closing and reopening the lid of their laptop.

    However, in regards to all this, I do think this is a rather extreme way of making sure the OS runs smoothly even on basic hardware and that MS should just get rid of starter all together and go with fewer versions of Windows so there is less confusion for the general populace.
    Reply