Microsoft to offer crippled version of Windows 7 for netbooks
Microsoft has confirmed that it will artificially limit the number of simultaneous applications that users will be able to run on the Starter Edition of Windows 7 to just three. Windows 7 Starter Edition is positioned as the affordable edition of its new Windows 7 operating system, and is meant for low-cost netbooks.
The low cost of netbooks means that Microsoft is limited in how much it can charge for Windows 7 on these devices. Indeed, a recent report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that Microsoft currently makes $15 per netbook with Windows XP installed. On the other hand, the company makes $50 to $60 per system that runs on Windows Vista.
With more than half of its operating income in the last quarter coming from selling the Windows operating system, this is a clear move by Microsoft to protect its margins.