No Netbook Restrictions for Windows 7

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It’s been revealed that there won’t be limitations placed by Microsoft on what versions of Windows 7 netbooks users can expect to see on their devices.

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Word comes via GadgetMix that there won’t be any restrictions placed on netbook users (with regard to Windows 7 at least) by Microsoft, so OEMs can go right ahead and install any version there’s enough demand for from customers. Naturally this could be restricted by the resources available to netbooks, but that’s far better than a hard-line “Only Windows 7 Starter” from Microsoft as had been expected from some quarters.

That said, GadgetMix is quick to point out the various Windows 7 features missing from Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Basic (the flavours we’ll most likely see in use on netbooks). Essentially, they’re a kind of easy-on-the-resources build of Windows 7, which cuts out fast user switching (whereby multiple users are essentially signed in at the same time), Aero (which can be fairly resource intensive), support for multiple displays and the new taskbar preview functionality. Still, it’s good news to hear that Microsoft won’t be dictating what OEMs can install on netbooks with Windows 7.

For us, the feature that will be most missed will be Internet Connection Sharing, if only because netbooks serve so very well as wireless bridges for anyone using 3G based USB mobile internet connections as a connection for multiple machines. It’s long been a function we could put off to netbooks, which tend to see less use when you’re not out-and-about anyway…

For some of us that’s going to mean sticking with Windows XP for the time being; it may well be old and starting to look a little doddery, but it’s hard to argue with something that gets the job done so well.

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2 Responses to “No Netbook Restrictions for Windows 7”

  1. intars Says:

    never really used Internet Connection Sharing but just a quick google search showed that it’s not a big hassle to set it up on windows 7 machine. and 3g routers are around 120 euro.

    • komplettie Says:

      It’s not that it’s specifically a bother, it’s just strange to see that Windows 7 Starter and Basic don’t support it. It might just be that I’ve had more cause to use netbooks as a wireless birdge than most, in which case that could well have coloured my impression of how important it is 😉

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