Is Microsoft Trying to Kill the Netbook Market?
It’s no secret the disdain Steve Ballmer and Michael Dell have publicly expressed for netbooks. Both companies make more money from bigger iron running bigger versions of Windows.

Leading up to the launch of Windows 7, Windows XP was the operating system of choice for netbooks. Now comes Windows 7 and what does Microsoft offer as a trim version of Windows 7 for netbooks? Microsoft offers Windows 7 Starter Edition, a low-end feature-starved version that lacks many of the features that make other versions of Windows 7 so attractive.

That fact that 23 out of the 28 netbooks we looked at on Amazon are shipping with Windows 7 Starter Edition, Retrevo was interested in learning what consumers know about Windows 7 and netbooks and how they felt about having Windows 7 Starter Edition installed on their new netbooks. So we asked 1100 of our users.

Are you planning to buy a netbook this year?
For users who plan to buy a netbook this year, we asked them further questions:
Do you know about the different versions of Windows 7 (Starter, Premium, etc)?
Do you know that Windows 7 Starter edition lacks some Windows XP features such as Multi-monitor Support, Desktop Personalization, DVD Playback?
Will you be satisfied if your new Netbook came with a Windows 7 Starter edition?
Retrevo was not surprised to discover that 61% of consumers intending to buy a netbook computer were not aware of limitations in Windows 7 Starter Edition. When Retrevo pointed out the differences 56% of those respondents said they would not be satisfied if their new netbook came with Windows 7 Starter Edition.

Here’s a list of some of those features missing from Windows 7 Starter Edition:

No Desktop Personalization
Got a picture of you and the family on vacation that you might want to use as the background on the desktop? Not going to happen with Starter Edition, you’re stuck with that wonderful Microsoft background.
No DVD Playback
Yes, we know netbooks don’t have built-in DVD drives but you can get an external USB DVD drive for around $50. Unfortunately Windows 7 Starter Edition won’t allow you to play DVDs even on an external drive.
No Multi-Monitor Support
Netbooks are great for taking on the road to access the Internet but there are times when you might want to hook up a second monitor. Yes, Windows 7 Starter Edition will “mirror,” whatever is on the screen of your netbook on the second monitor but it won’t allow you to have a different display on each one.
No Aero
It’s not as if netbooks don’t have the graphics power to run Aero, it’s just that Microsoft decided all the cool interface components on Aero including the new Aero Peek and Aero Snap are disabled in Windows 7 Starter.
The List Goes On
That was some of the more glaring omissions from Windows 7 Starter Editions. Here are a few more

  • No Multi-Touch
  • No Premium Games
  • No Windows Media Center
  • Presentation Mode
  • Windows XP Mode

Like it or Upgrade it
Don’t like it? Well you can always fork over $80 to the Upgrade Anytime program and move up to Windows 7 Home Premium which is probably what most consumers will do.

Retrevo is the ultimate electronics marketplace that helps people make decisions about what, when, and where to buy electronics like LCD and Plasma HDTVs, Digital Cameras, GPS, Laptops, Monitors, Wireless Routers, and even Air Conditioners, Vacuum Cleaners, and Refrigerators.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Jacobson
Director of Public Relations

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Netbooks w/windows 7 starter

I just tried my external DVD drive and it plays DVD's just fine. I have a Sony Vaio with Windows 7 starter.

That's because this site is

That's because this site is inaccurate. Windows 7 starter does not play DVD's if played through a Microsoft program. Install a 3rd party program (like VLC player) and it works just fine.

I installed Linux (Ubuntu), blows Microsoft away.

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Options for Netbooks

Anyone is free to solve the Windows 7 starter edition problem the way that I did (with no extra cost) buy a netbook with Linux installed. I just ordered a Dell Mini 10v with Ubuntu Linux installed. It's a great feeling to not be getting stuck win a crippled version of Win7, though for me I would chose Linux over any version of Windows

Congratulations! This is

Congratulations! This is what I did. And you have much more hard disk space now.

w7 starter en netbook


compre un netbook hp con w7 starter instalado y presento una linea blanca antes de entrar a windows, lo fui a cambiar, y todos los hp presentan lo mismo... asi que lo cambie por un netbook samsung (con w7 starter). pero por desgracia mia tambien presenta lo mismo .
estoy dentro de los 10 dias para cambiarlo... que debo hacer?
dato: el unico netbook que no presenta ese error es el packarbell ''dicen que es el unic netbook que posee procesador de notebook y por eso lo aguanta''

alguien me puede ayudar???

I sure hope they don't get

I sure hope they don't get rid of the notebook as I love mine.


Why didn't you even mention Linux as an option?

It was Linux that enabled the netbook market to develop. Microsoft then co-opted it and is now trying to kill it in order to switch users to more profitable machines. Google will soon save the day with Chrome OS.

Linux will ultimately enjoy overwhelming market acceptance on smartbooks and netbooks, as it does today with the latest generation of smartphones.

Is extrapolating smartphone dominance to smartbooks really that hard to see?