Microsoft Corp. may have ditched the three application limit on the Windows 7 Starter Edition, but other restrictions on the netbook-only version of the operating system will be an unwelcome surprise for many netbook buyers, according to a survey published Monday.
Sixty-one percent of consumers do not know that Windows 7 Starter lacks some features standard in any version of Windows XP, such as support for multiple monitors, DVD playback -- even the ability to change the desktop image from the Microsoft logo, according to a survey by electronics shopping site,Retrevo.com.
Other higher-end features Windows 7 Starter lacks include the advanced Aero interface, multi-touch, Windows Media Center, and XP Mode virtualization.
Informed of these missing features, 56% of the 1,100 randomly surveyed respondents (95% likely to fall within plus or minus 6.5% of the overall population results, says Retrevo) said that they would not be satisfied with Windows 7 Starter.
The problem, according to Retrevo, is that 23 out of 28 netbooks available today on Amazon.com are installed with Windows 7 Starter.
But it could also create ill will toward Microsoft, said Andrew Eisner, director of content for Retrevo.
"I think most users will feel angry with having to pay the $80 for an upgrade to get those features," he said.
It could also boost demand for Linux netbooks, which are expected to grab nearly one-third of the booming worldwide market this year for netbooks.
Microsoft declined to comment specifically on Retrevo's survey. Rather, it pointed to a statement it made back in February when it announced the six versions of Windows 7.
"Small notebook PCs can run any version of Windows 7. For OEMs that build lower-cost small notebook PCs, Windows 7 Starter will now be available in developed markets," it said. "For the most enhanced, full-functioning Windows experience on small notebook PCs, however, consumers will want to go with Windows 7 Home Premium, which lets you get the most out of your digital media and easily connect with other PCs."