Yesterday on PCMag.com, Lance Ulanoff had a post stating that Windows 7 Starter Won't Open any Doors for Android or Linux. I have to agree with Mr. Ulanoff, but not for the same reason. Windows 7 Starter Edition won't open any doors because Windows Vista already opened the door.
The hardware required to support Vista's bloat flung the door wide open for Linux on netbooks. It wasn't until Linux based netbooks became the hottest buzz in the computer industry that Microsoft took notice and tried to slam the door shut by extending the life of Windows XP. Fortunately, Linux already had its foot in the door and stopped the door from completely closing.
Linux has certainly lost retail share to Windows XP as the netbook segment has rapidly expanded. I believe that this is due in large part to computer OEMs being afraid to stand up to Microsoft and install something different.
It's going to be very interesting to see how consumers react to the limited capabilities of Windows 7 Starter Edition on netbooks. The reason netbooks have become such a hit is because they have such great portability at a great price. How do you think consumers will feel when they take home their $300 Windows 7 netbook and find out they can only run 3 applications at a time. Sure, Microsoft will happily sell them an upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium. How much will that cost? Ten percent more? Twenty percent more? Perhaps we'll suddenly see high return rates for Windows based netbooks.
Sure, Windows 7 Starter Edition won't open any doors for Linux or Android, but it certainly won't close any doors either.