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Microsoft may lift application limit for Windows Starter

As part of shifting the product for use in Netbooks, the software maker may remove the restriction that users not have more than three applications running at a time.

With Windows 7, Microsoft may lift one of the biggest limitations of its Starter edition--the restriction that the operating system run no more than three applications at a time.

Blogger Paul Thurrott said in a posting Friday that Microsoft plans to remove the restriction, without elaborating.

Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied whether such a move will take place.

"We continue to work on developing Windows 7 and have nothing new to share at this time," a Microsoft representative said on Friday.

With Windows XP and Windows Vista, the Starter edition was sold only for use on new PCs sold in emerging markets. With Windows 7, Microsoft said it would also sell Starter in developed markets such as the United States as an added option for low-cost Netbooks.

Separately, enthusiast site TechARP wrote Friday that Microsoft plans to change its rules in terms of what hardware qualifies for the Netbook designation. Microsoft declined to comment on the report or its plans in that area.