Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Windows Operating Systems Software Microsoft

Windows 7 Starter Edition — 3 Apps Only 695

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
CrustyFace writes "Cybernit reports that the Starter Edition version of Windows 7 will only allow the user to run 3 applications at once. Targeted at notebooks, this doesn't seem like such a bad limitation, however it is a bold move from Microsoft, and it will be interesting to see how the operating system sells."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Windows 7 Starter Edition — 3 Apps Only

Comments Filter:
  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @10:55AM (#27660525) Homepage Journal

    In response to the announcement of Microsoft's innovative 3-application limit, Apple corporation has said it will release a version of OS X that will allow only one application to run at a time, but in a more friendly and artistically enhanced environment than Windows Reduced Vista(tm.) Apple announced the special version late Sunday evening, at a special event entitled "You're the One." Steve Jobs emerged from his semi-retirement to explain how Apple's invention of this one-to-one relationship between users and applications would "revolutionize computing." Jobs stated that the new OS would also herald a return to the one-button mouse, single monitors, and Apple's new "One-at-a-time" network stream technologies.

    Overnight, the Linux community, leveraging its well known security advantages and high speed development based upon open source and developers active in all time zones at once, has released a beta of "Linux Zero", which they claim is the most secure operating system in the world, and the least confusing, by virtue of its enforcement of zero applications running. Linux authority Linus Torvalds said "if an application can't run, it can't bring worms or viruses into the system. In addition, user interaction is now limited to pressing the power button." Waxing optimistic, he went on to say that "We think even Windows users can learn to do this." He told this reporter "In fact, the price is zero, too!"

    An unconfirmed rumor also developed this weekend of an OS that is so carefully and explicitly restricted that consumers interaction with it is limited to attempting to install it; as the rumor goes, completing the installation requires permissions that users simply do not have available to them. Such an operating system would provide the ultimate consumer safety net. When asked to comment, both Jobs and Torvalds derided the rumor as being propaganda. Both OS mavens insisted that technology wasn't up to such a challenge yet. The rumor, however, persists.

    When contacted by the press for comments on these new developments, Intel explained that multi-core processors were designed specifically for reduced application counts. It is only now that the leading OS manufacturers are revealing their deep strategies for the decade of 2010 that Intel is able to comment on the real rationale for multiple cores. Technical Leader Sanji Ramahasmiran" laid out several reasons why systems with few- or single-application loads would benefit directly from multiple cores. He said "Our new 8-core dies will allow switching the same single task cyclically from one core to another, thus reducing the activity levels to 1/8th that of single-core designs and operating in a greener fashion, contributing less to global warming, and simplifying programmer APIs in any properly designed operating system."

    Simply as a personal observation, I always enjoy seeing how competition ensures that corporations compete for the marketplace by leveraging their core competencies and working to out-do one another. The end users always benefit. No matter who your favorite OS manufacturer is, the industry finds a way to work to bring you the latest developments. Isn't technology wonderful?

    • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:00AM (#27660631) Homepage Journal

      Apple corporation has said it will release a version of OS X that will allow only one application to run at a time

      Apple already released such an operating system in 2007. I think it's called "iPhone OS".

      • by rootofevil (188401) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:04AM (#27660697) Homepage Journal

        wow, wish i had modpoints for that.

        snark, wit, and insight.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:13AM (#27660873)

        They also had a "single window" mode in the OS X public beta way back when. It was quickly removed after user comments.

    • IIRC, that only ran one app at a time, then they invented "multifinder" and that allowed more than one, per RAM availability.

      FORWARD! INTO THE PAST!!!

      RS

    • by notarockstar1979 (1521239) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:22AM (#27661041) Journal

      An unconfirmed rumor also developed this weekend of an OS that is so carefully and explicitly restricted that consumers interaction with it is limited to attempting to install it; as the rumor goes, completing the installation requires permissions that users simply do not have available to them. Such an operating system would provide the ultimate consumer safety net. When asked to comment, both Jobs and Torvalds derided the rumor as being propaganda. Both OS mavens insisted that technology wasn't up to such a challenge yet. The rumor, however, persists.

      Until a few months ago, I thought this was how Gentoo was designed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by JDub87 (1391689)
      How did this wall of text get first post?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by radtea (464814)

      An unconfirmed rumor also developed this weekend of an OS that is so carefully and explicitly restricted that consumers interaction with it is limited to attempting to install it...

      Hurd.

    • Re:In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DdJ (10790) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:16PM (#27663007) Homepage Journal

      You know MacOS started out that way, right?

      The original MacOS didn't have any app-level multitasking, not even "cooperative" multitasking. The first hints of being able to run more than one app at once came with the "Switcher" program by Andy Hertzfeld in 1985, which let you run... two. You could install MultiFinder in MacOS 5, and it was bundled with MacOS 6.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MultiFinder [wikipedia.org]

      Now, back in the "one or few apps" days on the Macintosh, there was a need for little widget-like mini-apps that could be run without exiting the current app. The calculator was one, and an alarm clock was another one. They were called "desk accessories". I would bet that Windows 7 includes something like this, and that the app limit doesn't apply to them. And as a result, I would bet developers start cramming more and more functionality into them, exactly as occurred under MacOS in the 80s.

  • Artificial limitations like this seem to me to be an invitation for problems and end user frustration.

    What is an application?

    Are tool tray apps possible, or allowed?

    What about apps that launch other apps as part of their functionality?

    Would Chrome be limited to two tabs? (One for the host window, two and three for the first two tabs.)

    I would say this is an invitation for piracy, but if it really is intended for netbooks, most consumers would find it very hard to install a new OS on a computer with no cd drive. It will make users angry, although potentially limit things on machines with small amounts of RAM.

    If it's intended for developing countries, I suspect piracy (or Linux) will win out.

    • Would Chrome be limited to two tabs? (One for the host window, two and three for the first two tabs.)

      Chrome and Firefox count as 4 applications each, and thus can't run.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shrike82 (1471633)
      Most of these question are answered in an article that this (poorly written and biased) one links to. I suggest you check it out. It's the zdnet.com one about half way down the page.
    • by Abreu (173023) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:13AM (#27660877)

      Indeed. What advantage would Windows 7 starter offer over Ubuntu Netbook Remix?

      Also, about installing an OS from a flash drive, remember the advances we have seen in OS install programs in the last 10 years.
      I am pretty sure there could be a program to sell cheap 1GB drives with different flavors of Linux preinstalled...

    • by should_be_linear (779431) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:13AM (#27660879)
      I am using beta Windows 7 CXP (Crippled Experience) so applications are defined by items in taskbar. I can't tell more because they also limited per app keystro
    • by Rary (566291) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:59PM (#27662747)

      Artificial limitations like this seem to me to be an invitation for problems and end user frustration.

      Given that this is designed for especially low-cost (and hence low-power) small notebook PCs, it may not really be an artificial limitation, but rather a valid means of managing extremely limited resources.

      What is an application?

      Ed Bott took it for a test drive [zdnet.com] and answered that question...

      Are tool tray apps possible, or allowed?

      Yes and yes. They don't count toward the 3 app limit.

      What about apps that launch other apps as part of their functionality?

      If they open multiple tabs (ex. Firefox, Internet Explorer) or windows (ex. Messenger), that's fine. If they launch completely separate applications, well, those would be completely separate applications.

      Would Chrome be limited to two tabs? (One for the host window, two and three for the first two tabs.)

      Nope.

      Some other interesting details:

      • "Windows Explorer windows don't count."
      • "Basic Windows tools don't trigger the limit."
      • "Most Control Panel applets don't count either."
      • "Program installers run without triggering the limit."
      • "Desktop gadgets are free, too."
      • "Some system utilities get to bypass the three-app limit."
      • "Antivirus programs that run as a system service don't count."

      All in all, according to the ZDNet writer, "when I used this system as a netbook, it worked just fine".

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @10:58AM (#27660579) Homepage Journal
    should be enough for any Dell.
  • Severe foot trauma (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @10:58AM (#27660581)
    This is pretty blatantly defective by design. I can see a lot of people (especially less sophisticated users) being caught out by this when they discover that they can't run outlook, internet explorer, media player -and- messenger all at the same time. Or will Windows apps that are 'part of the os' going to be excluded from those three programs? I think MS's gun is pointed firmly at its downward.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Froboz23 (690392)
      It's a safe bet that Internet Explorer (or whatever MS decides to call their browser) will not count as an application. They'll use that to reinforce their legal argument that browsers are actually part of the OS. And it's the only way they can stop users from migrating to Firefox.

      However, this might be a good thing for gamers. If nothing else in the OS is crippled, this should work for gaming, which is the only thing I need Windows for anyway.
  • I suppose (Score:5, Funny)

    by gringofrijolero (1489395) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @10:59AM (#27660593) Journal

    one of them will be the System Idle process. Naturally. That's the one that hogs 98% almost all the time.

  • by Razalhague (1497249) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @10:59AM (#27660605) Homepage
    Really, nowadays you can do practically everything with just your browser. It's the new emacs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ArhcAngel (247594)

      I was thinking along the same line

      1) Web Browser

      2) JAVA

      3) Adobe FLASH (Sorry Silverlight)

      Things have been moving in this direction for a while. Even the next version of MS Office is supposed to be a web app.

      • Is Malware an app? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by zoward (188110)

        You left out malware. Does malware count as an app? If so, three pieces of malware can prevent you from using any apps.

        If regedit.exe counts as an app, you won't be able to clean out the malware either. I think I'll stick with Jaunty.

  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:00AM (#27660619)
    This isn't newsworthy. Starter Edition, ever since its inception, has had a 3 app limit.

    Why are we wasting time on this again?
  • I will just run (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Icegryphon (715550) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:01AM (#27660633)
    VMware with 3 more versions of Windows 7. AH-HA! Beat you at your own game Micro$oft!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      I am sure that will work real well on the target platform for this version of Windows 7: the netbook.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:06AM (#27660741)

    "You can have the friking useless edition for 40$. Or, you can be a premium user of the Shiny Platinum Standard Edition VIP for 150$.

    Yes, we understand it's a bit expensive, but you're buying the PSS Edition VIP, what did you expect?".

  • by Vexler (127353) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:06AM (#27660745) Journal

    svchost.exe
    svchost.exe
    svchost.exe

    There, you've used up your allotment of three apps.

  • Sorry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by omar.sahal (687649) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:06AM (#27660753) Homepage Journal
    You'll get people here saying 3 apps is enough for any one (is enough for any one should raise alarms) but if Microsoft is banking on this limited OS against Linux, ARM CPUs and any cost and power advantages they offer in the market I see problems for them.
  • by earnest murderer (888716) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:09AM (#27660799)

    This article is basically a two paragraph summary of something I would expect to hear from a hysterical spitting nerd who hadn't showered for three days standing outside of a Gamestop. (Or in a Digg summary)

    "Windows Home Basic OMG! Such shite! Install linux!"

    I'm actually kind of offended it got posted. Plus also, it's already been discussed ad nauseam.

    Send me to troll hell, but you know it's true.

  • Biased Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shrike82 (1471633) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:09AM (#27660803)
    Now I'm not an M$ fanboy so save your trolling, but TFA is clearly biased and written badly. Thankfully there's a link to a better article hidden in there somewhere, and I suggest people read it [zdnet.com] before they post or judge.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      This other article... just kind of smacked of Stockholm Syndrome.

      I mean, yes, point made, it's not completely unusable. It's still a really weird restriction, and still looks very much like it could lead to more Web-based app usage, rather than desktop app usage -- which isn't really in Microsoft's best interests.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:12AM (#27660861) Homepage Journal

    I'm guessing that a new 3rd party shell will be released within a month of Windows 7 that defeats this. Anyone want to take a wager on when or how this will be cracked?

  • Original story link (Score:5, Informative)

    by InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:13AM (#27660881)

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=844 [zdnet.com]

    Here are some selected quotes:

    "you can open as many windows as you want from a single program. So if you want to open 15 tabs in your browser, six images in your photo-editing program, and a couple of instant messenger windows, you can do it."

    "Windows Explorer windows don't count."

    "Basic Windows tools don't trigger the limit. You can run a Command Prompt window or open Task Manager"

    "Antivirus programs that run as a system service don't count."

    "In short, when I used this system as a netbook, it worked just fine. On a netbook, most of the tasks you're likely to tackle are going to take place in a browser window anyway."

    "If I tried to use this system as a conventional notebook, running multiple Microsoft Office or OpenOffice aps, playing music in iTunes or Windows Media Player, and using third-party IM programs, I would probably be incredibly frustrated with the limitations of Starter Edition."

  • by mikesd81 (518581) <.ten.nozirev. .ta. .1dsekim.> on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:19AM (#27660995) Homepage
    posted on /. a while ago [pcpro.co.uk]. It's also up to OEM's if they offer this or or Windows 7 Home Premium. How many times will this story be posted to Slashdot? The last one was in February [slashdot.org]. Editors, surely you would have known something like this was posted before, with a better article.
  • by Lussarn (105276) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:19AM (#27661001)

    If the price is bargain low I could see myself grabing a licence. I only use windows for gaming anyway. A game + web browser would be enough for me.

  • by PhysicsPhil (880677) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:22AM (#27661037)
    I wonder how long this will last when Microsoft finds out that users are only running one app--the browser--and using gmail, Google docs, etc to run all of their stuff. I can't see this sticking if it has the effect of driving users away from the other MS cash cow: Office.
  • The best part is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Temujin_12 (832986) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:26AM (#27661099)

    You know what the best part about this is? I DON'T CARE ONE BIT.

    When I first read the title my instinct was to get angry. Then suddenly I felt a wave of calm come over me as I realized that I haven't relied on windows for 5 years now.

    I simply just don't care any more.

  • by wiresquire (457486) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:32AM (#27661205) Journal

    This is an absolute farce.

    MS is now in such a dominant position that it is now artificially limiting features to introduce competition and introduce artificial price points. It's aimed at the hardware vendors, and at the price of other operating systems to drive them out of the market.

    It's still anti-competitive. It's still MS.

    ws

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @11:38AM (#27661309) Homepage Journal

    If I try to run more than 3 apps under Vista, I run out of memory.

  • by MikeUW (999162) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:13PM (#27661973)

    It seems that netbooks are the primary excuse for pushing this - "most people won't need to run more than 3 apps on a netbook" - or something to that effect. In many cases, the only significant difference between today's 'netbooks' and my 6-year-old laptop is size and weight. I can tell you that I regularly run more than 3 apps on my old laptop.

    Granted, I wouldn't want to be writing code or documents on the tiny screen & keyboard of a netbook. However, I don't think it's reasonable to dictate what I can do with my computer based on it's physical dimensions. I could easily find 4 things for my computer to do that don't require lots of typing/reading.

    Just my $0.02. I won't be affected by this anyway, since I just wouldn't buy a machine with that version of Windows (or of course I'd just install Linux).

  • by GregWebb (26123) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:41PM (#27662445)

    I've got a netbook, which gets used heavily as an ultraportable machine. As long as you're sensible, it's fine. It's far from unusual for it to be running:
    * Visual Studio
    * OpenOffice showing some documentation or notes
    * Web browser
    * DB program of some description, usually SQLite Admin. ...and I'm already over the limit while very plausibly doing a single task (albeit not a typical one for a netbook, but one that is surprisingly usable from experience). I'm working on some graphics software at present - perhaps I'm checking something in Paintshop Pro or similar. I use the Windows calculator a lot (lazy I know :-) - that would suddenly become unviable.

    Why, why, why? Anyway, as has been pointed out, plenty of apps seem to have already found ways round this. Annoy your customers in their day-to-day use and they'll find ways to stop the annoyance - if that means you're creating a group motivated to hack your security, that's just a terrible idea.

    Stay out of your users' way and let them work the way they want to. If I'm daft enough to want to try to host a commercial website or want to do serious software development on a netbook, that's my problem.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:34PM (#27663371)

    CreateRemoteThread, for the longest time the love child of malware writers everywhere, will finally become essential for benign applications. explorer.exe can be hijacked to run more than just malware, I tell you! :)

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

Working...