"It's been rumored all week," said Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft. "I think it just makes sense. They've gotten the performance of Windows 7 on netbooks pretty good, and it was only going to cause confusion for people if they'd kept the [three-application] limit."
In an , Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc announced the change. "Based on the feedback we've received from partners and customers asking us to enable a richer small notebook PC experience with Windows 7 Starter ... we are going to enable Windows 7 Starter customers the ability to run as many applications simultaneously as they would like, instead of being constricted to the 3-application limit that the previous Starter editions," LeBlanc said.
Earlier editions of Windows XP Starter and Windows Vista Starter, both of which were sold only in a small number of markets outside the U.S., came with the three-app restriction.
Microsoft was roundly criticized by bloggers last month after the Wall Street Journal ran a story about the artificial limitations it was planning for Windows 7 Starter. One Computerworld blogger called it the " I can ever recall, while another officially dubbed Starter