When Windows 7 is released in October, Microsoft will make the “starter edition” version of the software available in developed countries for the first time. The reason? Because the company wants to give PC makers selling low-cost netbooks a low cost Windows licensing option. Of course, we already knew that. Here’s what we didn’t know: Not only will Windows XP Home Edition still be available as an option for the immediate future, but it will be cheaper than Windows 7 Starter Edition.
That’s right, Microsoft has decided that rather than lower the price of the cheapest version of Windows 7 too far, the company would rather offer a fuller featured version of an operating system that’s almost a decade old at a lower price. On the one hand, netbook users who pick up XP models won’t get some of the newer features baked into Windows 7 and may not be able to run some newer software, you’ll still be able to do pretty basic things like, oh, I don’t know, change your desktop background by paying less money.
Microsoft still hasn’t officially announced exactly how much it will charge for Windows 7 Starter Edition, and the price could be variable since it will be sold in large volumes to PC makers. Consumers won’t be able to walk into a store and pick up a copy. But Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer did suggest recently that the pricing scheme will go something like this: Windows XP, Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home, and then Windows 7 Professional.
Ballmer also laid out some of the other details about Windows 7 Starter. In order to qualify for the operating system, a netbook will have to have a “super-small screen… has to have a certain processor,” and so on.
via Netbook Choice