One of the biggest limitations to the Starter editions of Windows XP and Windows Vista is being able to run only 3 concurrent applications on a PC at a time (excluding background processes such as anti-virus software, wireless and Bluetooth, and system tools like Explorer and Control Panel). As Windows 7 Starter is going to be available on many netbooks, Microsoft has wisely decided to remove that limitation on its upcoming operating system.
Despite that change, there will still be many limitations to the OS:
Windows 7 Starter does not
- 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.
Starter will still be limiting for those used to more powerful versions of Windows. In fact, in the blog post announcing the Windows 7 Starter change, Brandon LeBlanc noted
After using Windows 7 Starter out myself on my Dell Mini 9, I loved the advancements that it inherently offered versus Windows XP but also concluded that I wanted more. [...] I’ve since moved to Windows 7 Home Premium on my Dell Mini 9 and am glad I did.