A friend recently picked up a refurbished Asus EeePC 1005HAB at Factory Direct. This machine is, in my opinion, one of the better netbooks: Up to 8.5 hours on the battery, Intel Aton N270, 1GB of RAM easily upgradeable etc. The other interesting feature: Windows 7 Starter Edition. I haven’t played with it too much yet but I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised by the OS.
Windows 7 Starter Edition is basically the same as Home Edition but without a lot of the bloat: No Aero, no DVD Maker software, fewer options of changing the look. It’s basically a slimmer, faster version of Windows 7.
As with Windows 7 Home, the big drawbacks are: No Remote Desktop, No Windows Domain support.
From what I’ve seen, it looks, acts, and has the improved security of Windows 7 but seems to run even faster and more efficiently than XP on the same hardware. Seriously, I am quite surprised by how well this little machine runs in 1GB of RAM. Bravo, Microsoft. I’d use this version if I could buy/install it on all machines.
I’m of the opinion that OSs should be transparent. They’re there to facilitate and then get out of your way. From my limited experience with Windows 7 Starter Edition, it seem to do this better than any version of Windows since 2000 Professional.