Skip to navigation

Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition review

Verdict

As stripped down as the netbooks it will grace, but if you're given the choice we'd recommend switching to Home Premium instead

Review Date: 22 Oct 2009

Reviewed By: PC Pro

Price when reviewed: Free

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
2 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

Windows 7 Starter Edition is designed to be a stripped-down version of the operating system, available only in 32-bit. It's not actually for sale on its own - instead it will come pre-loaded on selected netbooks.

In return for its reduced feature set, it will be cheaper for netbook manufacturers to buy and help to keep the price of Windows 7-powered netbooks as low as possible – as a rule of thumb, we’d say around £30 cheaper than they would be with Home Premium installed.

So what's missing? The biggest sacrifices from Home Premium come in the multimedia features and the cosmetic fripperies. For example, you can’t stream music from a Starter edition system to other computers on your network, and Windows Media Center has also been removed.

Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition

In terms of the cosmetics, the Aero Glass theme has been stripped out to keep performance acceptable on netbook hardware, there's no taskbar preview, and you can’t even change the desktop background which seems a touch overbearing.

Microsoft has also dropped multiple monitor support, which is an issue for netbooks with VGA or HDMI ports, and while you can access homegroups on a network you won't be able to create your own.

The only good news is that, after announcing that Starter would only allow three applications to run at the same time, Microsoft has since gone back on this and sensibly lifted the restriction.

Although Starter Edition is a perfectly respectable operating system, there's a good chance many people will find it frustrating to use on a regular basis.

If you're buying a netbook and are given the choice at a reasonable price, we recommend you opt for Home Premium; if you don’t, you'll still get the benefits of Windows 7's core improvements, but there's much you'll be missing out on.

Windows 7 versions

Author: PC Pro

Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
Be the first to comment this article

You need to Login or Register to comment.

(optional)

Latest Category Reviews
EaseUS Partition Master Server 10.1 review

EaseUS Partition Master Server 10.1

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £119
Citrix ShareFile review

Citrix ShareFile

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £21
DataCore Software SANsymphony-V10 review

DataCore Software SANsymphony-V10

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £2,104
Apple OS X Yosemite review

Apple OS X Yosemite

Category: Software
Rating: 6 out of 6
Price: £0
Netgear ProSafe WC7600 review

Netgear ProSafe WC7600

Category: Switches
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £1,404

advertisement

Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing

advertisement

Sponsored Links
 

 
SEARCH
Loading
WEB ID
SIGN UP

Your email:

Your password:

remember me

advertisement


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010
 
 

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from www.pcpro.co.uk

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/registration.

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.