Windows 7 Starter Edition or Windows 7 Restricted Edition?

Confusing? Actually we are talking about "Windows 7 Starter Edition" here which should be better called "Windows 7 Restricted Edition".

Why? As we all know previous Windows Starter Editions didn't allow users to open more than 3 programs simultaneously and the same restrictions is found in Windows 7 Starter Edition.


But the most irritating and surprising thing in Windows 7 Starter Edition is the restriction over changing Desktop Wallpaper.

Windows 7 Starter Edition contains a grayed-out version of default Windows 7 beta wallpaper showing the fish on Desktop.


And the worst thing is, users are not allowed to change the wallpaper. There is no "Personalize" option in Desktop context menu:


Also no other ways to change wallpaper works like changing wallpaper using Windows Photo Gallery, web browser, etc. That's really strange and hard to understand why Microsoft restricted such a basic feature even free Linux distros allow to change wallpapers.

Also there are no extra wallpapers in Starter Edition.

Thanks to "Paul Thurrott" who installed Windows 7 and tested all different editions like Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate and found this interesting restriction in Starter Edition.

Also "Rafael" @ WithinWindows describes how this restriction works in Windows 7 Starter Edition. He posts:

In Windows 7, a new licensing bit was introduced – ChangeDesktopBackground-Enabled. On Starter Edition SKUs, this bit is set to 0, disabling background setting capabilities in Windows Photo Viewer and the Display/Theme Control Panel applets. The infection goes deeper into system files shell32.dll and themeui.dll too, hard-coding the wallpaper to %windir%\web\wallpaper\windows\img0.jpg.

He also posts a workaround for it:

1. As an Administrator, reset the permissions on img0.jpg, and overwrite file with any other picture
2. Use third-party software (note: changes will likely not persist, untested)

So what would you like to call it: Windows 7 Starter Edition or Windows 7 Restricted Edition?

PS: I can find only one reason behind it. Since Starter Edition is form OEMs, they might put their own customized wallpaper and lock it so that users can't change it and OEMs can have their branded wallpaper on all machines.

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Posted in: Windows 7

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  • I'm running Windows 7 Starter 32-bit (6.1, Build 7601) with 14 non-Miscrosft apps open at once on a Compaq 6910p Laptop with 4GB RAM and no issues :)

    I use Stardock LogonStudio and StarterBackgroundChanger_V081 and am not bothered by the plain blue Windows task bar.

  • Well, SOME program's say that they're not able to install in starter editions, so did you check the readme or something?

  • If any one could help I would appreciate it. All of my shortcuts are
    > the same type of file. I can change what type of program will open
    > them but its the same for all; I don't know how to individualize
    > them. Same for all of the programs under the start menu. Also, if I
    > try to create a new shortcut, it simply reverts back to being opened
    > by the same program as all of the other shortcuts. Any Ideas?
    > I,m using windows 7 starter
    > Thanks,

  • [Responding to Kitten S]

    Yes.I saw a program for w7 but it did not support starter.

  • it's more like Windows 7 Restricted Edition.

  • Fix the error when sending message

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