back to article Windows 7: MS plays a Jedi mind trick on netbook owners

At Microsoft, your potential is their passion. Unless you’re passionate about owning a low-priced netbook, which hurts Microsoft’s bottom line. Netbooks are the only segment of the PC market growing, and while netbooks installed with Windows are good for the ubiquity of Windows and power of Microsoft, they deny Microsoft money …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Ho hum

    I really like my NC10 netbook I also quite like Windows 7 but am I really willing to pay half or twice as much as the hardware to have Windows 7 on it. I don't think so so I guess it's Ubuntu Netbook Remix instead.

    MS seems to have this idea that only idiot cheap skates buy net books so they don't need a full OS, any serious user would buy a real notebook surely.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    3 application limit?

    Are they fucking retarded?

    Who would intentionally buy an operating system that limits you to running a maximum of 3 applications at once?

    It's that sort of behaviour by Microsoft that will encourage people to PIRATE NOT BUY the better version of Windows 7 (or XP where everthing is familiar) for their shiny new (crippled) netbook.

  3. Player_16
    Jobs Halo

    Jedi mind trick?

    They're hoping for a MS 7 Halo Effect. - 14 min.

  4. Mage Silver badge


    MS are now in terminal delusion.

    People won't buy a computer that can only run three applications. most Netbook users at least have Skype, browser, media player, email and and an application running. Media playback is one of the more attractive apps.

    People / businesses won't buy new PCs with Win7 to run virtualised XP. They will run XP. Or Linux or OS X.

    They need to sell ONE version of windows at one price for non-servers, with check boxes at install (and configuration any time later). And One version for servers that by default has all the junk off.

    By default the Desktop version also should have server service, eye candy all all else unneeded junk off with a Wizard for those that need to turn it off.

    An a LAN/WAN button to turn off EVERY serivice/feature on the gateway interface if you connected to Internet directly rather than a firewalled LAN.

    They have completely lost the plot

  5. abigsmurf
    Paris Hilton


    "And Microsoft wonders why European regulators are so willing to see the company in court. But then, hey, they are a bunch of latte-drinking, European socialists - what would they know about liberty and the spirit of free enterprise, the hallmarks of capitalism and Microsoft?"

    Wait... You moan about the lack of media player in starter edition then you follow it up with that paragraph?

    Most of the restrictions to the starter edition are likely because of worries that regulators will accuse them of undercutting opposition if they provide a near identical version that they sell cheaper for netbooks.

  6. Dale

    Flying Reg

    I'm loving the Flying-Toasters-reminiscent screensaver-of-sorts.

    As for the Windows 7 cripple version, how long before someone finds the MaxRunningApplications registry key and "hacks" it to run more apps? Or will this be one of those de-facto limitations caused by the OS consuming 90% of the available RAM?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Microsoft who?

    Pish Tish!

  8. Jon Green

    What's with...

    ...the 45 seconds of wallpaper music before the content?

    Also, something somewhere is doing an evil audio level control, because the volume keeps "pumping" to the point where it's painful to listen.

  9. Wade Burchette
    Black Helicopters

    Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right does

    So I see an article slamming Microsoft and I scroll back to the top of Reg's website and what do I see? A Microsoft banner ad asking me I remember before the internet and email. I guess the slogan "Biting the hand that feeds IT" is appropriate on another level.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And in one fell swoop...

    As a Unix (and now Linux) person, I tend to get a rash when I use Windoze however, to be fair, I was given a Windows 7 BETA DVD and let it loose on my Dell laptop - it's a Dell after all!!!

    I liked it, it felt quicker and glossier than I expected.

    I then purchased an NC10 for leaving around the house for guests to have a look at bebo or whatever.... with XP already on it...

    I was even considering installing Windows 7 on the NC10 as I'd be so impressed with my foray on my Dell....

    Now, I won't bother me arse...

  11. Aaron
    Gates Horns

    Netbooks are for...

    ...those times when you need portability in a lappy that won't break your heart if it gets stolen or broken on a trip. Just because the computer is small in stature, it doesn't mean we expect any less of it.

    Why can't Microsoft make ONE version of the operating system, a'la Apple? At last check, there are 8 versions of Windows 7. Please enlighten me on how this doesn't confuse punters.

  12. John Galt
    Thumb Down

    Free Will

    If you don't like Microsoft's proposal of what they want to sell you, then don't buy it. It's called free will, and when you don't buy it, and others don't buy it, either Microsoft will be forced to change their tune, or someone else will step in and fill their place (Linux, Apple etc.)

    The government doesn't have the right to tell Microsoft what to sell you, just like the government doesn't have the right to force you to buy Microsoft products. You do have the choice to buy whatever you feel like buying with your own money (and not the government's), and Microsoft and everyone else has the right to offer you goods to buy based on whatever terms they want to offer them. (and you can refuse)

    This is the hippocracy of socialism. You would be offended if the government told you you had to buy a Microsoft based netbook (like the Quebec government told its citizens this winter that they had to buy snow tires!), but you don't have a problem with the government forcing Microsoft to sell you something that they don't want to sell.

    Get real people. Exercise your choice. Speak up, express your opinion that it sucks, band together as individuals and refuse to buy their product, but stop using the government's guns to force others to do what you want them to. The end result is Hitler. (and yes, a depression and do-gooders wanting to impose their will on others while rational people who believed in freedom sat back and did nothing, is exactly how we got Hitler in the first place.)

  13. Nigel

    Windows 7/3

    That's two-and-a-third applications crippleware to you.

    Microsoft is, I think, aiming a gun at its feet and preparing to pull the trigger by Xmas.

    The kids know someone with an XP netbook. They've asked for one in their stocking, and Santa has delivered. They are about to lose some of their childhood innocence, and discover in particular that Microsoft exists solely to shaft them.

    What chance that these kids will ever ask for any flavour of Windows in any circumstances ever again? Get the Ubuntu handouts ready!

  14. Torben Mogensen

    Jedi mind trick

    "This is not the OS you are looking for" seems more appropriate. :-)

  15. james


    pack of greedy twats

    i have a netbook and i have windows 7 loaded on it

    it runs ultimate edition PERFECTLY

    it can easily handle me plugging in my dual digital reciever and recording one channel while watching another while i download torrents (of linux naturally) and faff around reading emails or the register and keep and eye on messenger

    they seriously gonna tell me im imagining that? my netbook cant really do all that and id be much happier with something thatll run 3 apps and no media? (antivirus and firewall, thats 2 apps down already cause who uses the microsoft ones? does that leave ONE app?)

    they can bugger off - anyone know where i can buy a hugeassed pirate flag? actions like these make me wanna say stupid things like 'ahoy' and 'matey'

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Browser bollocks

    You know, as much as I hate MS and their product, this browser anti-trust nonsense is rediculous.

    What next, include my icon pack with Windows so they've not got a monopoly?

  17. Software Guy

    give me a break

    The context around the dumbed down version of windows is not a marketing ploy to get you to run a higher priced version of Windows. It is to allow the Windows 7 to run on slow hardware!!!!!! Most if not all laptops that we normally will buy will run on a unrestricted version of Windows 7. This is just more "we should all hate Microsoft" propaganda.

  18. RW

    Why no media player?

    Because that's the only way to dispense with the ludicrous hardware vampire called DRM.

    How long, I wonder, before Linux audio & video players are ported to Win7?

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Normally I truly enjoy and buy Microsoft products (contrary to the majority of El Reg readers apparently).

    Even as a loyal MS user/developer I think this is a horrible idea. What the hell? Also can you define "application"? Do background services count? Or is an application just something that has exists through the main taskbar? Does a console application count? Does a system tray application count? Even by default -- no 3rd party stuff installed -- there are 3 "applications" running in the system tray and dozens as services/processes.

    This is just wacko, and any OEM willing to bundle with such a crippled version of an OS on their kit is also out of their mind, because they simply wont sell any.

    And at the same time, its obvious that MS is doing this on purpose, surely they must know NOBODY is going to buy one. I am still unclear why they are doing this on purpose though? What can they possibly gain?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Free will...

    You have no free choice. The vendors are pushing the hardware pre-loaded and give you little in the line of choice. Some of them even go out of their way to make an alternatice OS selection difficult to find on their site, even thougf they offer one.

    Free choice indeed.

  21. N

    3 applications?

    Retarded? More like completely buggered.

    Id scrub it & install Linux,

    Anything else would do, even Windows 3.1 would run more than 3 apps (well sometimes)

  22. Stephen Bungay
    Jobs Horns

    Netbook Makers Shoot Self In Feet...

    The hardware manufacturers out there who took the Micro Money and installed XP on their netbooks shot themselves in the foot by pushing Linux to the background and promoting XP.

    Lets take a look at what might have transpired, this is in no way factual, but it is plausible, and would have been (was?) a damn good strategic plan on the part of M$.

    ASUS launches the netbook with Linux preinstalled. It's an Internet appliance and as such there is no need for Windows, it's not like people are going to run Quickbooks on it or anything.

    Sales of netbooks take off.

    M$ sees market awareness shifting to netbook appliances. This is bad for their Windows product because the new netbooks use Linux so Windows is no longer in front of the consumer. They can't install Vista on a netbook, so they dust off XP as the only way to move with the netbook trend. They backpedal.

    M$ convinces netbook makers to install XP on their machines. The manufacturers probably think that they will get more sales, they buy in and push the Linux versions to the background.

    M$ works fast and hacks Vista into Windows 7. This version of Vista can be installed on a netbook, but margins there are too thin (non-existant?), they loose money in this market. In order to make money M$ must find a way to drive sales back to the notebook and desktop, but they can't scare off the netbook makers because netbooks are keeping their company name in front of the public.

    A crippled version of W7 will be made available to netbook OEMs, although this information is not released until W7 is close to Release Candidate 1. The crippled version of WIndows 7 should have a sales-killing effect on netbooks. The netbook OEMs have a customer base who expect Windows to run on their machines, and it does, but it is not good enough.

    M$ perpetuates the myth that netbooks are not powerful enough to run more than 3 apps at a time and stands firm. The hardware manufacturers take the blame for W7 not being able to work properly on a netbook.

    The netbook market begins to shrink. Sales begin to move to notebook computers where OEMs are paying a much higher price for the W7 OS.

    M$ is happy


  23. Lewis Mettler

    more fraud to expect from Microsoft

    Remember back in the DOJ v Microsoft anitrust trial?

    Bill Gates lied by saying IE was bundled because offering it separately would cost to much in testing, etc. Like consumers had to be raped to keep the cost down. He is just a liar.

    How many different versions of the OS has Microsoft released since then?

    Today Microsoft is on on verge of defrauding consumers yet again (somewhat similar to the Vista capable fraud). You buy a MS product and then it says you have to send in another $30-$50 in order for it to work. You pay the money and instantly the OS runs more than 3 applications.

    I wonder if Microsoft lied again to the Eu Commission saying that IE was bundled with the OS because offering the OS without their branded browser would be too expensive.

    With Microsoft you are raped with IE and defrauded as well by the non-delivery of key functionality. Functionality that Microsoft knows you need but once defrauded and trapped you have to pay up even more money.

    Microsoft knows that a fool and his money is soon parted.

    "You" are the fool.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Software Guy

    Evidently you know nothing about windows 7 on netbooks.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    win 7

    I don't understand why they don't just flog XP real cheap, £20 for a retail a copy and £15 OEM or thereabouts.

    They'd potentially convert a few pirates and sell shed loads of copies to the netbook industry at the same time.

    Instead we get Windows 7 netbook edition or whatever they're calling it. And they jack up the price of XP higher than ever. Do they not understand that software gets LESS valuable as it ages?

  26. Richard

    @John Galt

    Did you not notice that they put the software onto the hardware pre-installed?

    In buying the hardware you have paid for the software, there often isn't a choice of buying the hardware without the software.

    You might want the hardware without windows, but you don't get that option.

    It pisses me off no end that you have to get an OS when you buy a machine by default, but that's because I know how to work a computer and am quite happy to install an OS myself.

    Fortunately I don't buy pre-assembled PC's, I haven't bought a laptop either as I get supplied them by work. The only prebuilt machine I've bought is a netbook for my wife, an Acer Aspire one, once the citrix client was installed on their cutdown Linux thing she's perfectly happy using the thing.

    There are seemingly fewer laptops and netbooks running linux as time passes, all the manufacturers seeming to decide that "people prefer windows", that means the rest of us who don't prefer to pay a premium find that they have to just to buy the hardware they want.

    It's partly the manufacturers fault in not offering the options, but then you have to ask exactly how could they offer the option without it costing a lot more? People expect to buy a computer and have it work right out the box.

    Anyway it's Friday I haven't the energy to rant at you suffice to say you clearly aren't aware of the issues.

  27. Bug

    I have a netbook with OSX on it...

    A Dell Mini 9 with a licensed retail copy of OSX Leopard. With its 16gb SSD and 2GB of memory, I regularly run about ten apps at the same time, and it does everything a full-sized laptop can do...I just wouldn't, say, run Photoshop CS4 on it!

    It uses Office. It uses all browsers. It uses iTunes and Audacity and AIM and Skype.

    What would three apps be? Skype, IM, other, Word OR a browser? Nice try, Microsoft, you fail again.

  28. Chad
    Jobs Halo

    Ayn Rand "types" (Objectivists) not satisfied by mixture of freedom and controls

    "Microsoft does, though, plan to compete against Oracle ... so, rest assured, there is some red-blooded, meat-eating competition ahead for all you Ayn Rand types"

    I realize this was in jest, but Objectivism is a principled philosophy and not an interest some people have that's appeased by throwing it a bone or two. But this isn't even a bone.

    Competition is not a value by itself. The right to dispose of one's property (and thus build and sell a competitive product) is a profound moral value. But two companies competing isn't necessarily an indication of something good (if they created completely different products with the same resources there would often be more net value!)

    Anti-trust, on the other hand, is always a bad thing. It's a violation of the rights of business-owners (including shareholders) who wish to make and sell the best products they're able to.

    "If a small group of men were always regarded as guilty, in any clash with any other group, regardless of the issues or circumstances involved, would you call it persecution? If this group were always made to pay for the sins, errors, or failures of any other group, would you call that persecution? If this group had to live under a silent reign of terror, under special laws, from which all other people were immune, laws which the accused could not grasp or define in advance and which the accuser could interpret in any way he pleased—would you call that persecution? If this group were penalized, not for its faults, but for its virtues, not for its incompetence, but for its ability, not for its failures, but for its achievements, and the greater the achievement, the greater the penalty—would you call that persecution?

    If your answer is 'yes'—then ask yourself what sort of monstrous injustice you are condoning, supporting, or perpetrating. That group is the American businessmen."

    That's Ayn Rand's start to her essay "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business." There were two pieces of news being addressed by the "Ayn Rand" comment: an example of competition in the marketplace and Europe raping a company it sees as not having competition. All this demonstrates is that competition is being upheld by law, whether you want to or not. The principle underlying these news stories is not the right to property (which is the natural law underlying the stories) but rather the enshrinement of competition--whether or not anyone wishes to compete.

    Compete, darn you! If you can't find someone to compete with, you can't remain in business. That's not individual rights, it's statism, something Rand consistently opposed.

  29. Codge

    @ John Gait

    I call Godwin's law.

    Nice try! LOL.

  30. mike tierney
    IT Angle

    what next kreskin?

    right on John Galt, good to see at least one person here actually gets it. *it* being free will and capitalism.

  31. Mark Wills


    "Microsoft hopes you’ll succumb to a Jedi Mind Trick: that you’ll buy a netbook with a version of Windows 7 that will only let you run three applications simultaneously and that won’t have a media player or simplified networking, but that you’ll like Windows 7 so much you’ll then want to buy a notebook or desktop running a full version of Windows 7"

    As opposed to say, Ubuntu Remix which runs lovely on my AA1 and lets me do anything I like.

    Oh, and is free.


  32. Mark Wills

    Just thinking out loud

    I wonder, in these days of the free software movement, if BeOS would fare better now if resurrected?

    There's an awful lot of talent writing completely open software for Linux, and I wonder, if BeOS could have it's time again now, would it get the success it deserves?...

    Just wondering.

  33. Matthew Knaggs

    Journalism vs. Sarcasm

    Regardless of the position shouldn't articles like this contain real journalism and not just sarcasm? I believe that this author should re-evaluate their style and produce a more professional approach to the news. Yes, this is not good what Microsoft is doing but, there is a difference between journalism and blatant sarcasm. As my English teacher would say "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit!"

    -Matthew Knaggs

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yawn new an interesting.

  35. Dan

    What are you talking about

    MS has already said you can run ANY version of 7 on a netbook, and many people have already stated that it runs great on a netbook. The limited version of 7 is only designated for emerging areas... We wont see much of any of it in the states etc...

    Stop the FUD...

  36. Jon Green
    Black Helicopters

    @ John Galt

    Free will works in a free economy. But Microsoft has a near-monopoly on anything without a fruit on the front. Unless you go to your friendly local system builder, getting PCs without an MS operating system pre-loaded and paid for is likely to be a futile endeavour.

    When legislation is passed preventing Microsoft from penalising big-ticket system builders from providing no-OS machines (no, it _doesn't_ mean the user will install a ripped-off copy of Windows!),and when that legislation is enforced effectively, _then_ there might be a chance of a free-will choice. Until then, it's fruit or cheese, and no penguin steak.

  37. frymaster

    "why so many versions"

    ...because that way you pay less for a version that doesn't include things you don't want?

    ignoring netbooks for the moment, there's essentially 3 versions: home, business, ultimate, where each is a superset of the one before it - in business you gain remote desktop and AD support, in ultimate you get bitlocker and what used to be called SFU. Realistically, 99% of people only want home or business, then.

    The other versions are are volume licence version of ultimate, a home basic version for poorer countries, and the tesco value edition for netbooks.

  38. jim
    Thumb Down

    they've gotta be kidding

    Just when you thought maybe MS had been sufficiently chastised by the reaction to Vista, and that W7 might be a new direction - they come up with something like this 3-application version for Netbooks. Unbelievable. No one will buy this. Absolutely no one.

    I'll just run XP on my ASUS 900 forever. Screw it.

  39. Raymond Cranfill

    Windows for White Trash

    Finally, this is getting some attention. I'm a little surprised that it's taken El Reg almost a week to pick up on it. In the end, al;l it will do is further damage MS reputation and sully what could be a relative come back after the Vista fiasco.

    Will they never learn?

  40. Daniel


    I can't believe I'm saying this, but THIS is the dumbest goddamn article I've ever read by a Microsoft hater. Probably.

    For starters (pun?) Microsoft offers a Vista Starter Edition already. Have you heard of it? Probably not, as it's main application is foreign countries that desperately need cheap laptops. Yes, some people need cheap laptops. I know you may not, but some people do, and Microsoft is willing to provide.

    So will 7 Starter Edition be something we see on netbooks everywhere in a year? Who knows. If the vendors like it, and the customers like it, then yes. In which case, what's the problem? Microsoft isn't exempt from the tastes of the free market. And why would Microsoft want to sell anybody cheap software? The only reason they're doing it with XP right now is to stay in the netbook market.

    Also, for somebody who hates MS you sure have an unusually cynical attitude towards competition.

  41. J

    Of course.

    "but that you’ll like Windows 7 so much you’ll then want to buy a notebook or desktop running a full version of Windows 7"

    They know their clientèle. There is one born every minute.

    @ Dan "The limited version of 7 is only designated for emerging areas..."

    So? Screwing up "them brownies and yellows" is fine, you say?

    @Stephen Bungay "Netbook Makers Shoot Self In Feet..."

    I've been saying something like that for a while, apparently more people are coming to the same conclusion. Although I don't know whether the manufacturers consider this "self foot shooting"... I wouldn't be surprised if they were not scared by the prospect of "real netbooks" (not the almost-same-price-as-cheap-laptop mini-laptops on sale now, like my Eee 1000HE), you know, little things to access the NET and little more, really taking over the market. Much lower profit margins and all that, you know, not to mention the lack of MS bribes if they are not installing Windows, or the lack of money from the junkware pushers that infest any OEM Windows installation, etc..

  42. raving angry loony

    get real.

    @John Galt: it's only a choice if Microsoft isn't allowed, yet again, to browbeat and threaten netbook makers into only providing THEIR operating system, as opposed to allowing netbook makers to provide a CHOICE. When the quasi-monopoly provider of an operating system starts refusing to sell to you, you're kind of screwed given all the sheep out there who continue to buy Microsoft "Because it's popular", not "because it's good". That's the pressure they bring to bear. That's not choice, that's illegal abuse of a monopoly, something Microsoft is very good at.

  43. Camilla Smythe

    Re: What's With

    Oh, go on!

    It's quite obvious that Gavin was giving Mary a good tonguing during production.

    Now Mr Knaggs.

    Regarding sarcasm. Why don't you go fuck an abrasive wall?

  44. Richard Plinston

    Netbook XP

    People are not buying netbooks with XP after comparing these against netbook with Linux, they are comparing against laptop with Vista and choosing XP. That it is a netbook is not particularly important, it is good enough and does not have Vista.

    When there are netbooks with Vista Mk 2, crippled edition, then we will see what the punters buy, or not.

  45. Richard Plinston

    Microsoft's customers

    You are not Microsoft's customers. MS's customers are: Dell, HP, Walmart, etc. You are a customer of those.

    MS makes products that its customers ask for. In the case of Vista and Win 7 this is various editions of Windows which allow product differentiation. Cheap machines have the low function OS. Midrange have middle features, topline machines have 'ultimate' OS.

    This allows the OEMs to 'sell up'. by offering a cheap machine (which is actually adequate for 98% of all uses) with a crippled OS. If you want some with flash then you have to buy a more expensive machine, for something to brag about get top of line with all the bells and whistles.

    If there was just one edition then most users would just get the cheap machine.

    For example a netbook with crippled 'starter' may well be cheap enough to attract buyers into the shop, but the salesman can point out all the disadvantages to sell up to a mid-laptop with Home Basic or a top-line with Ultimate.

    Linux spoils this because a Linux netbook does it all and has all the software. Even if the Linux is crippled is is easy and free to install a full version.

    Thus retailers do not want Linux netbooks, they want 'starter edition' on their shelves in the hope that they pull in the punters who get pushed into buying something twice the price (and more than twice the profit).

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Ah....Starter edition


    I can see this new level of bullshit being hailed as a great success as it will likely be bundled with most laptops (sorry, notebooks or whatever) in order to keep the price more attractive to recession hit consumers. In reality they just buy whatever is put in front of them because they won't have the slightest idea what the implications of "Starter Edition" are.

    In fact, even the name "Starter Edition" indicates an easy to use OS aimed at people getting to grips with computers, which is completely false, however those people are most likely to buy something labelled as "for the beginner or starter". It should be called the "Restricted Functionality Edition" or something.

    I only hope the damn thing is practically free or else there are going to be a lot of angry notebook owners around.

  47. crypt

    @John Galt (and little annie rant)

    If you don't like Microsoft's proposal of what they want to sell you, then don't buy it. It's called free software, and when you don't buy software, and others don't buy it, Microsoft will be forced to withdraw and open source software will fill their place (Linux,BSD , etc.)

    The government doesn't have the right to tell Microsoft what to sell you, just like the government doesn't have the right to force you to buy Microsoft products. You have the choice to download whatever you feel like when it comes to FOSS (and so do government's), and Microsoft has the right to offer you inferior goods to buy based on whatever terms they want to offer them. (and you can refuse)

    This is the hippocracy of capitalism. You find free marketeers waxing lyrical about choice (which is between apple and microsoft) and then realise that both microsoft and apple do their best to stifle new OS's and innovation (BEOS anyone) using sneaky deals with vendors or threats of litigation.That and bundling as much software as possible (most of its innovation copied directly from less wealthy software houses) to keep you tied to the one vendor means

    we live with a functioning microsoft hegemonony rather that the promised "competetive" enviornment that the market system is supposed to create.

    Exercise your choice. Speak up, express your opinion that its no good and simply dont buy their product, or, If your tied to windows ; form a consumer group to encourage microsoft to make an OS that you can use.

    [[at this point the poster broke Godwin's law]]

    Parody ends :D

    On a more serious note I look forward dealing with win7 users over the phone complaining that there some prob with their new notebook cause "nothing will open"

    then checking the systray and seeing msnmessanger ,google desktop and skype.......

  48. Marcelo Rodrigues
    Paris Hilton

    XP has a "Starter version" too

    @Daniel Posted Friday 1st May 2009 19:33 GMT

    Yes, Microsoft offers a Vista Starter edition. AND a XP Starter edition, did You know? Limitations as follows: Maximum 3 applications open at same time, and no more than 3 windows for each application. No, You can't open a single application and 9 windows. Application (in this context) is anyting the USER open. Browser, media player, game... But system processes and antivirus are not included in this number. Therer are limitations on browser tabs - but i can't remember them now. Maybe they count as one windows each - but I'm not sure.

    But You ,as many others in this thread, are wrong in one point: this version has nothing to do with processing power - or hardware price. It has to do with (more) money to Microsoft. How so? Well, I can't speak for the Vista and 7 versions - but did You know the Starter version of XP has a button to upgrade to normal version? Of course, Starter+Upgrade is more expensive than the normal version.

    @Richard Plinston Posted Friday 1st May 2009 21:57 GMT

    I disagree with You. Yes, we are Dell's (and alike) customers. Yes, THEY are Microsoft's customers. BUT they doesn't need a crippled version of Windows to sell more expensive hardware. They doens't need even various versions. Take a look at the Dell site (it's easy to compare things there). Using the same version of Windows we can choose between N different machines. Even choosing one given machine we can (usually) choose between two or three Windows versions. This plethora of versions exists only to fill Microsoft's pockets.

    @No one in particular

    This damned version of XP (Starter XP) sells! i know, I know; it's awful. But it sells. And the worst part is: the (l)user doesn't undertand WHY he can't open more than X windows and Y applications. One web service sold by the company I work for got into trouble with this limitation. Works this way: The user opens our site. He clicks on the link to the service - and one window opens. In this window he put user/password, and the login is made. Then, he can open many windows - this way he can search easier inside the web service. And then came the staretr edition. And the users started complaining that our site was broken - because the window (the fourth window) wouldn't open. Now, go explain to the user it's Windows fault...

    Paris, because she isn't a Starter version. :D

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me?

    Or would anyone else just simply not be happy with an OS that has these kind of limitiations lurking about underneath the GUI...nah, it just wouldn't sit right with me, ever. Now, I can't see myself being happy with Windows7 when I was beginning to sit up and take note.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ John Gault...

    The thing is John, that you can not easily buy a laptop with the OS of your choice, and the public at large has been manipulated into thinking that Windows comes with everything. I have had people tell me that Windows was 'free' because it came with their PC.

    JG wrote

    "If you don't like Microsoft's proposal of what they want to sell you, then don't buy it. It's called free will, and when you don't buy it, and others don't buy it, either Microsoft will be forced to hange their tune, or someone else will step in and fill their place (Linux, Apple etc.)"

    As someone else pointed out, YOU are not Microsoft's customer, the hardware manufacturers are. With the exception of the MacIntosh you have no real choice at time of purchase. Well, some OEMs will preinstall Linux but first you have to play 'find the alternate O/S', and they don't make it easy.

    JG Wrote

    "The government doesn't have the right to tell Microsoft what to sell you, just like the

    government doesn't have the right to force you to buy Microsoft products. You do have the

    choice to buy whatever you feel like buying with your own money (and not the government's), and Microsoft and everyone else has the right to offer you goods to buy based on whatever terms they want to offer them. (and you can refuse) "

    Again, you DO NOT have a real choice, YOU are not the M$ Windows customer. The end-consumer is the M$ Office customer, the Quickbooks customer, the AutoCAD customer, etc.

    JG Wrote

    "This is the hippocracy of socialism. You would be offended if the government told you you had to buy a Microsoft based netbook (like the Quebec government told its citizens this winter that they had to buy snow tires!), but you don't have a problem with the government forcing Microsoft to sell you something that they don't want to sell."

    The government of Quebec said you need to have "snow-tires" (snow-tyres for those across the pond), ANY brand of snow-tire would do. Now if the tire/tyre stores only sold MICHELIN then that would be closer to what is happening in the OS world.

    The second argument about forcing M$ to sell what it does not want to sell is also backwards. Remember the general public is not the Windows customer, the OEMs are the main customer of Windows. What the government is doing is trying to ensure that M$ is not the only choice. Does a web browser NEED to be a part of the operating system? No. Does a media player? Also no.

    JG Wrote

    "Get real people. Exercise your choice. Speak up, express your opinion that it sucks, band together as individuals and refuse to buy their product, but stop using the government's guns

    to force others to do what you want them to. The end result is Hitler. (and yes, a depression

    and do-gooders wanting to impose their will on others while rational people who believed in

    freedom sat back and did nothing, is exactly how we got Hitler in the first place.)"

    People can't exercise a choice when choice (for all practical purposes) does not exist. People are speaking up... and they are being lambasted as M$ bashers when they do. Oh gawd you mentioned Hitler, there goes the discussion.

  51. Alan Brown Silver badge

    MS makes money from windows?

    I've seen theories elsewhere which hint that MS at best breaks even on Windows.

    The real money is in Office and other software packs - which is highly vulnerable to predation from Openoffice.

    etc etc etc

  52. tebiru

    Mr Galt and Hitler

    Firstly, there's the world of difference between regulated capitalism and fascism, so you make your arguments look silly when you compare the EC's actions to Hitler.

    As many others have pointed out, the 'free market' only works with certain conditions, one of those conditions being that the market in question is sufficiently competitive. When you have one company controlling 88% of the OS market, and virtually the entire PC market, it clearly does not fulfill one of the key conditions of a functioning competitive market. This is why Microsoft's actions need to regulated by something higher. And you're living in a dream world if you think consumer groups can meaningully perform that role - if they did, there wouldn't be any problems, and the EC wouldn't be taking Microsoft to court.

    If it's your desire to live in world where giant corporations shaft the little man under the name of 'free will', then so be it. But comparing any alternative to that with the actions of Hitler is a bit much.

    As for this silly 3 app limit, again, this 'free will' BS does not apply. Perhaps most reg readers will understand and obviously avoid anything so crippled, but what about, say, the average parent buying a computer for their child who might know nothing about computers? This is a despicable move by Microsoft, and I sincerely hope enough people realise that it backfires and people stand up and complain. The 'emerging markets' edition is similarly repugnant, and will only serve to encourage more piracy.

  53. JohnG

    Choice of OS - yes and no

    While it is true that you can load an alternative OS (e.g. linux) on your netbook, notebook or whatever, many manufacturers will not not provide support if you do this. Some imply that they might not honour the warranty if you return a machine and have changed the pre-installed OS.

  54. Matthew Knaggs

    This Argument is Meaningless

    Last time I checked Microsoft owned 40% of Apple shares. They win

  55. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Are they serious?!?!?!

    Seriously? They had a Windows XP crippled edition, priced at like $4 (in certain countries only) to try to stop piracy (didn't work, the "real" XP could be bought pirated for like $1.50-$3...)

    Do they seriously think Windows 7 crippled edition will fly? What it will REALLY do, is make Linux netbooks fly off the shelves instead (no crippling, plus they run better), which is not what they intend I'm sure.

    Oh well, I was going to get a netbook with Ubuntu anyway, this just makes me even more glad for this decision.

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