Few people would argue that Windows 7 is a great step forward for the platform -- but those folks probably don't use the Starter edition. Anyone who is stuck with it will know that this entry-level variant of Microsoft's operating system is swathed in red tape, and is a real bummer to use beyond browsing the Web or checking your email.
Aimed at netbooks and other proprietary systems, it's the most diluted version of Windows 7 with many basic features missing. Among them are the Aero Glass interface, fast user switching, DVD playback, multi-display support, as well as personalization options, such as the ability to change desktop backgrounds
, window colors, or sound schemes.
Most of the excluded features won't really hinder the use of a netbook. After all, few ship with DVD drives or have multiple users anyway, but staring at a bright blue Windows logo for the lifespan of your system is torture. Hell, even Windows 3.1 lets you set a desktop background, and thanks to a number of free utilities, so will Windows 7 Starter.
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