Thank god. The absurd and arbitrary limitation of running three apps at a time on Windows 7 Starter edition has been lifted, although all the other ways in which it sucks are still intact. When they announced the six different flavors of Windows 7, everyone gaped at the punishing 3-app limit, wondering how Microsoft intended to justify it when so much rides on Windows 7 being a good choice for netbooks and nettops. There are still many pieces missing, and the blog post announcing the change goes out of its way to make this clear.
So for the record, just what isn’t included in the Starter edition?
- Aero Glass, meaning you can only use the “Windows Basic” or other opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero Peek.
- Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
- The ability to switch between users without having to log off.
- Multi-monitor support.
- DVD playback.
- Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
- Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV from your home computer.
- Domain support for business customers.
- XP Mode for those that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7.
As you can see, it really is the poor man’s version of the otherwise sweet-looking OS, but at least you won’t have to shut down your browser in order to watch a movie. No DVD playback, though? I don’t remember that from before. Did they sneak that in there?