Microsoft to Limit Performance of Netbooks Running Windows 7

Microsoft to Restrict Hardware Specs for Low-Cost Versions of Windows 7

by Anton Shilov
05/26/2009 | 01:17 PM

In a bid to restrict sales of entry-level versions of Windows 7 operating system (OS) to netbooks and others types of ultra low-cost personal computers (ULCPCs), Microsoft Corp. has reportedly announced performance limitations for systems running Windows 7 Starter Edition and similar flavours of the OS.


Apparently, far not all systems can setup Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Starter for Small Notebook PCs and Windows 7 Home Basic For Small Notebook PCs (China only) operating systems. In order to install one of the aforementioned operating system, computers makers will have to ensure that their computers are based on single-core microprocessor with thermal design power of no higher than 15W, have no more than 1 GB of memory, 250GB hard drive and no larger than 10.2” display, reports TechARP web-site. At present Microsoft allows to install up to 12.1" displays.

Microsoft believes that limitations will help it to clearly understand the difference between traditional laptops and netbooks that are supposed to be very inexpensive and are not intended for commercial tasks.

Key Specifications

Windows XP/Vista

Windows 7 Starter

Display diagonal

Not to exceed 12.1"

Not to exceed 10.1"





160GB HDD or 32GB SSD

250GB HDD or 64GB SSD


DirectX 9 or lower

No limitation


Resistive touch only

No limitation


 Single core processors that do not exceed 1 GHz frequency, or:
- Intel Atom (N270, N280, 230, Z500, Z510, Z515, Z520, Z530, Z540, Z550)
- Intel Celeron 220
- AMD Turion MV-40, 1050P, TF-20, Geode LX, Athlon 2650e, Sempron 210U
- Via Technologies C7-M ULV, Nano U1700, U2250, U2300, U2400 or U2500

  Single core processors that:
- Do not exceed 2 GHz frequency
- Have a CPU thermal design power that is less than or equal to 15W, not including the graphics and chipset