Good then. Netbook manufacturers will be able to preload any version of Windows 7 onto their machines – not just Windows 7 Starter Edition. And while we found out in May that the arbitrary three-application limit had been removed from Windows 7 Starter (thereby making it virtually indistinguishable from Windows 7 Home Basic), the lack of other features like not being able to change your desktop wallpaper or use some of the cooler Aero stuff felt more than a bit underwhelming.
Well, fear not. Microsoft has apparently given the green light for manufacturers to go ahead and install any version of Windows 7 they see fit. Granted, the added cost of Home Premium will be passed along to consumers but it’s nice to have some choice in the matter.
According to TG Daily, a Microsoft spokesperson said the following:
“OEMs and ODMs have the choice to install any version of Windows on a netbook. [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.”
If you do happen to buy a netbook with Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic, you should be able to use Microsoft’s “Anytime Upgrade” to switch to Home Premium for around eighty bucks. Yes, that’s a lot of money considering netbook prices hover around $300 to $400 but at least you’ll have the option now.