Microsoft – Netbook Owners to Test Windows 7?

Windows 7 According to Mary Jo Foley over at, Microsoft maybe looking for netbook owners outside of the United States who would be willing to try Windows 7 on lower-end computers. The testing would involved users in Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Jordan, and Lebanaon (all of which have apparently been good markets for netbooks). Keep in mind “netbook” wasn’t explicitly mentioned, as access to an optical drive was a requirement (and the requirements could also cover “nettops”), but the requirements were 1GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage space, and DirectX 9 support, along with internet and optical drive access – all of those requirements could be handled by a netbook – USB optical drives are easy to come by.

After some clarifications with Microsoft, it turns out that this isn’t for a netbook-specific version of Windows 7. Quoting Microsoft: “The email mention(ed) in your article concerns Windows testing, but it is not netbook-related.”

As she points out, it could have something to do with a Windows 7 Starter Edition (or whatever Microsoft chooses to call it). Having used Windows 7 on a Lenovo S10, I don’t see them needing to offer a netbook-specific version, but I could see them wanting to offer some kind of version to differentiate a netbook-flavor from what is shipping on lower-end conventional laptops and notebooks, since they would be dealing with licensing (money) issues.