Windows 7 Starter is being sold to users on new netbook PCs only, so it will not ship in a retail version you can purchase individually. Unlike with Windows Vista, it will be sold worldwide to mainstream markets like the United States, and not to developing nations. Despite this, I expect Windows 7 Starter to be pretty rare, even on netbooks. As with previous Windows Starter Edition products, it is limited in some ways: You don't get Windows 7's full mobility capabilities, for example, and can participate in but not create a Home Group. Also, there's no Aero Glass. But unlike with Windows Vista Starter, you can run more than three applications at a time.

These shots depict the final, shipping version of Windows 7 Starter.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Windows 7 Starter will only be delivered via new PCs and, unlike other mainstream Windows 7 versions, only in a 32-bit version.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Welcome Screen.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
The Windows 7 Starter desktop, with final wallpaper that is unique to this version.


Windows 7 Starter RTM
Even the Start Menu is simpler, with just three items displayed by default (PC makers will add more).

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Start Menu: All Programs.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Start Menu: Accessories.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Start Menu: Games. Starter Edition ships only with basic games, and not the so-called premium games.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Start Menu: Maintenance.

Windows 7 Starter RTM
Yes, Virginia, Starter edition really does ship with system image backup. What's missing, of course, is automatic, network-based backups.

Continue to Part 2...