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Windows 7 Starter Edition

Updated on December 9, 2009

Windows 7 has been released by Microsoft as the successor to Windows Vista and prior to that Windows XP.

In most cases, consumers purchased their computers and notebook systems with Windows XP Home Edition preinstalled and then later when Vista was released they bought systems with Vista Home Basic or Home Premium installed. Some may have otherwise opted to have Windows Vista Ultimate installed.

There were other versions of Windows XP and Vista that were aimed at the commercial computer space much like what we have today in Windows 7.

This article will be an overview of some of the system requirements and included features of Windows 7 Starter Edition.

So with respect to Windows 7 in general across all of the editions, there is a base set of primary system requirements which are defined by Microsoft as follows:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Additional requirements that improve performance and / or the user experience include:

  • Additional system memory and advanced graphics hardware and additional video memory for high end system needs
  • A graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance may be needed for high end or gaming systems
  • A TV tuner and additional hardware may be required for some Windows Media Center functionality.
  • Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 is needed to leverage BitLocker
  • Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on.

Beyond these specifications there are the Windows 7 Software Logo requirements which shows that hardware and / or software vendors have passed the testing for this designation and meet all of the qualifying criteria (as outlined below from the Windows 7 Resource Kit):

  • Comply with Anti-Spyware Coalition Guidelines
  • Do not try to circumvent Windows Resource Protection
  • Ensure ongoing quality
  • Clean, reversible installation
  • Install to the correct folders by default
  • Sign files and drivers digitally
  • Support x64 versions of Windows
  • Do not block installation or application launch based on an operating system version check
  • Follow UAC guidelines
  • Adhere to Restart Manager messages
  • Do not load services and drivers in safe mode
  • Support multiuser sessions

There are two types of defined end user experience to be had running a system under Windows 7; the Windows 7 basic experience and the Windows 7 premium experience.

The hardware requirements for the Windows 7 basic experience are:

  • Current processor running at least 800 MHz
  • 512 MB of system memory
  • A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable

The hardware requirements for the Windows 7 premium experience are:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum), Pixel Shader 2.0, and 32 bits per pixel
  • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Audio output capability
  • Internet access capability

This is pretty much the standard across all of the editions of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Starter is the most limited version of the Windows editions and does not support or include the following features

  • Windows Aero user interface
  • DVD playback
  • Windows Media Center
  • IIS Web Server,
  • Internet connection sharing.
  • Domain join
  • Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • AppLocker
  • DirectAccess
  • BitLocker,
  • Remote Desktop Host,
  • BranchCache.

Windows 7 Starter Edition supports a maximum of one physical processor.

Additionally, Windows 7 Starter Edition does not have an x64 version; if you're going to go the route of Windows 7 Starter Edition it will have to be the 32-bit x86 version.

Windows 7 Starter Edition does supports the following list of features

  • Jump Lists
  • Windows Search
  • HomeGroup Join
  • Windows Media Player
  • Backup and restore
  • Enhanced Media Playback
  • Action Center
  • Device Stage
  • Home Media Streaming
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Fax and Scan
  • Credential Manager

As you can see, this version of Windows 7 is aptly named in that it is the basic set of features and will work well on systems with limited hardware.

As I mentioned before, most consumer users are going to purchase their desktop or portable computer with an operating system already installed.

Some people may have purchased or been otherwise granted the option to upgrade their system to Windows 7 if they recently purchased a system just before the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) date of Windows 7.

Additionally, they might have just decided to upgrade via Anytime Upgrade or might have otherwise purchased the DVD media to get upgraded to Windows 7.

While Windows 7 Starter Edition can be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate Edition x86 versions (only) there is no upgrade path from any version of Windows Vista to Windows 7 Starter Edition - it would have to be a clean installation (referenced as Custom (advanced) within the setup routine).

As previously mentioned, Windows 7 Starter Edition is only offered as x86 (32-bit) version. If you decide to go to x64 because the system hardware you're running supports x64 you cannot upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate Edition using the x64 software; you would need to perform a Custom (advanced) install of the x64 version you wanted to go to.

This concludes my Windows 7 Starter Edition overview article - I hope you found it a good investment of your time.

I am always interested in your feedback and hearing about other topics that you might like to read about so please feel free to contact me directly by email at


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    • profile image

      dee 4 years ago


    • profile image

      hamza 5 years ago

      window 7 starter is very Good window

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      Sarunas 5 years ago

      I would like to update xp to windows 7 starter pack but it says that starter pack requiers maximum of 1 core processor is that true? because i have only 1 core processor.

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      whackypc 5 years ago

      I'have always had a hard time figuring out the difference between the different versions of Window 7. This hub enlightens my understanding about the Starter Pack. Thanks for sharing.

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      lanoviadesfreud 5 years ago

      I think the purpose of Windows 7 Starter Edition is rather obvious. It is purposefully designed to be inadequate but to work just well enough to sell hardware to a computer user. Then the user realises how absolutely poorly it operates and discovers that they must pay $100 plus dollars more to upgrade to a version of Windows 7 which is stable enough to use on a regular basis without making the user crazy. Ergo, if you haven't figured it out yet, the purpose of Windows 7 Starter Edition is to sell Windows 7 twice instead of once. The first time it is purchased by the hardware manufacturer to sell the hardware, the second time by the hardware user. Double money is made by Microsoft! What genius!

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      Free Windows 7 Themes 7 years ago

      Im using Windows 7 Ultimate, it's amazing!

    • profile image 7 years ago from bear, de, 19701

      Good, detail explanation. I'll upgrade my Windows XP to Windows 7. how to do it?

    • CyberJoe profile image

      CyberJoe 7 years ago from North Richland Hills,TX

      Nice work, very detailed information on Windows 7. I am using Windows 7 Ultimate and I love it! It really makes you ask why or what was the point to a Starter version. I am running an Athlon X2 64 bit dual core with 4GB of RAM and it is very fast. Look forward to more from you.