Tag Archives: X86

Windows XP Starter Edition

Diet Windows XP

A very crippled version of Windows XP intended for use in developing countries and for users new to desktop computers.
One of the limitations is you can only run up to three programs at a time, and Windows Explorer will prevent you from opening more. So what counts as a program?
Well, it seems anything that has an icon on the taskbar. Background programs or programs that hide in the system tray don’t seem to count until you click on them. One example is MSN messenger which will run in the background, but we cannot get to the main window if we have three programs already running.
Also because of this, it likes to group applications into the same icon on the taskbar even if we only have one instance running. Opening Internet Explorer and creating a new window is a good example of this.

The screen resolution is limited to 1024 by 768, not a huge issue since that screen resolution was common back when this was released, although it seems a silly limitation to implement. I’m also not sure how it handles widescreen resolutions. After installing the Vmware tool and trying to resize the resolution by expanding the window, Windows just restored the resolution back to 1024×768.
There probably are ways to get around this, via the use of registry modifications but then you might as well install a properer version of Windows, not Diet Windows XP

Install

The installer is the same as every other Windows XP installer and even identifies as Windows XP Home Edition

Desktop

Well, it looks like we’re stuck with the Windows Classic theme, no Luna themes here. In face we don’t even have the ability to customize the classic themes, all colour schemes and even the theme tab of the display properties has been disabled.
I even tried to install the Royale and Zune themes but they have no effect. The only thing you can customize is the background (Only ships with one) and the screensaver, which included two exclusive screensavers.

Another annoying thing is the removal of context menus, the ones that come up when you right-click. Why they removed that I have no idea.

Programs

There are a few bundled programs that are exclusive to this edition of XP:

Getting Started

A user guide of sorts for new and inexperienced users which goes through the basics of using Windows, and how to perform common tasks like browsing the internet, Email, listening to music and importing photos from a digital camera. All of this runs within the Windows HTML help engine

Video Help

A more interactive version of the Getting Started program, complete with sound and visual demonstrations. Some of these would be presented in a different language

My Support

Very similar to the Getting Started program, but resembles a knowledge base website and provides more information on using the various applications on the computer. Also includes a glossary.

Change Language

A utility to change the systems language is likely intended to be used by a system builder since the average user won’t use this often.

Control Panel

Seems we are stuck with the category view, with no option to use the traditional classic view

Also, there are a few options here that are non-functional, like the option to set up a windows workgroup or a home network since it does not exist in this version, but the link to it still remains. You would think Microsoft would remove the link to it at least.
This does make it difficult to share files other a network with the lack of direct Samba support, FTP seems to still be functioning.

Windows Firewall is set to be always on and cannot be directly controlled.

Screensaver

Image Spiral

Wind Silk

Conclusion

In terms of compatibility, it seems to be a regular version of Windows XP, with support for DirectX 9.0 that gives 3D gaming support.

16bit programs will also run without any issue, although DOS compatibility will be the same as Windows XP

You have to wonder why this even existed, as Windows XP was already a few years old at this point & PCs of the time shouldn’t have too much trouble running it, and even if it did you would prefer to install an older version like Windows 2000 or ME.
Possibly Microsoft wanted to curb piracy in these developing countries and fend off competing Linux distributions. But again why would you prefer a legal but crippled version of Windows over a pirate copy that has little to no restrictions for the end user?

Microsoft would also make starter editions of their successive operating systems, Windows Vista and Windows 7 starter editions but would ease up on the restrictions

Version Information

These version numbers will change once later service packs are installed.

ComponentVersion
Internet Explorer6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158
Outlook ExpressSame as Internet Explorer
Windows Media Player9.00.00.3250
Windows Messenger4.7.3000
Windows Movie Maker2.1.4026.0 (This build brings up the Windows version in Help, About)
DirectX9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)