Microsoft has confirmed to tgdaily that OEMs will be free to install any version of Windows 7 on netbooks. This is a change from the original policy that stated only Windows 7 Starter or Basic Editions would be allowed on low-end notebooks such as netbooks.
“OEMs and ODMs have the choice to install any version of Windows on a netbook,” said a Microsoft UK spokesperson. “[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.”
The reaction to the three application limit was largely negative when it was first announced by Microsoft, and this limit is primarily the main difference between the Starter and Basic Editions. OEMs will no doubt still be looking at keeping the OS licensing cost down on low-margin netbooks, but at least they have the option to install a more complete version of Windows 7.
Windows 7 Starter lacks advanced features of the OS, with desktop personalization, Aero, DVD playback and Internet Connection Sharing chief among them.