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Windows 7 Starter Goes to Four (and Beyond)

Let's set the mood for this one with a Pink Floyd tune we hadn't heard in years until it broke the normally crushing banality of classic-rock radio on the commute home the other day. It's "Free Four" by Pink Floyd, and while it's actually incredibly depressing, it is catchy...and relevant to this entry.

Apparently -- and, as has been the theme lately, this seems to be still-unconfirmed stuff -- Microsoft is going to allow Windows 7 Starter Edition to run more than three applications at once. (See, that's why we cranked up "Free Four." Four apps, not just three. Get it? Free to run four.) Anyway, Starter Edition is the Windows 7 version most likely to ship with netbooks, those nifty little devices your editor loves so much these days.

The idea had been that Windows 7 Starter Edition would only run three apps at once, but apparently (and allegedly) somebody in Redmond decided that even netbook users might like to crank up, say, Outlook, Word, Excel and a browser at the same time It's a dizzying concept, we know. Well, you can live dangerously now, netbook users, or you'll be able to when Starter Edition hits the streets later this year.

Microsoft has an uncomfortable relationship with netbooks and doesn't seem to have totally figured out what to do with them. But shipping a version of Windows 7 on them that isn't next to useless seems like a step in the right direction. Of course, Starter Edition will still have its limitations, but at least it won't be a total slap in the face to netbook buyers. And any time Microsoft decides to not slap users (and, by extension, partners) in the face, that's probably a good thing.

Have any leftover comments on Windows 7 or netbooks? Shovel them on over to lpender@rcpmag.com. Next week, we'll run some reader feedback. And this time, we mean it.

Posted by Lee Pender on 05/28/2009 at 1:22 PM


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