Microsoft believes Windows 7 will be tight and speedy enough to run on netbooks. Are PC makers buying it? Yes, at least in HP's case. PC World reports that the world's biggest PC vendor intends to offer "at least three different editions" of Windows 7 on upcoming revisions of its Mini netbooks.
HP is currently eyeing the Starter, Home Premium, and Professional versions of Windows 7—essentially all editions available for retail PCs outside the developing world with the exception of Windows 7 Ultimate. As we learned last week, the Starter edition will lack most of the other versions' functionality (including the Aero graphical interface), and it will limit multitasking to three concurrent applications.
According to HP's Kyle Thornton, however, Mini netbooks shouldn't have any trouble with more upscale editions. The company has been testing the Windows 7 Ultimate beta, and Thornton comments, "we see it running very well on the [Minis], even with Aero turned on."
To be fair, HP may be a little more adventurous than its competitors as far as netbook OS choices go—the firm already offers Windows Vista Business and Windows XP Professional on Mini 2140 netbooks for businesses. Nevertheless, PC World says Microsoft officials expect "the majority of netbooks" to come pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium in the future.