Microsoft Strips Three-App Limit From Windows 7 For Netbooks, Adds Hardware Limitation

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One of the most controversial aspects of Windows 7 starter edition, the version slated for netbooks is that users were only going to be able to run three applications at a time. This caused uproar amongst the user community.

While I think the limitation was a bad idea, I see why Microsoft wanted to do it. Obviously, they want to give people reason to upgrade to a more expensive version of Windows. They are trying to earn a buck, after all.

But really, this wouldn’t have mattered very much. The limitation didn’t include services, anti-malware applications or Windows applets, nor did it include multiple instances of the same application.

So, what applications are people going to run on their netbooks? Most of the time they will probably just a use a browser. They’ll sometimes also use a word processor or iTunes perhaps. Really though, just how much multi-tasking were y’all planning on doing with an 8.9” screen and a gig of RAM? I could listen to Pandora while surfing That’s already more than I can do on my iPhone, and I’d still have two apps left to go.

Microsoft did the right thing by removing the limitation, but they’re not going to let us off that easy.

Their newly published limitations on Window 7 netbook hardware are far more irritating. To qualify for the most inexpensive version of Windows, a computer limited to a 10.2” screen, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard disk (or a 64G solid state disk), and a single core 2ghz processor with no more than 15 Watts of thermal output.

This gives netbook hardware virtually no room to grow before people are forced to pony up for a more expensive operating system.

Maybe that three-application limitation wasn’t so bad after all.

Michael Scalisi is an IT manager based in Alameda, California.

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