ManipUni said:
Windows 7 Starter Edition is the worst product ever made... 
I'd use Windows 95 before I used Starter Edition. The value add of Windows 7 is tiny anyway but when you contrast it against the value lost by the limitations imposed by these starter editions then you always wind up using something else. Linux, BSD, second hand Windows licence, pirated software, they all become better alternatives.

Try to be more cynical. Starter Edition exists purely so Microsoft can persuede OEMs in "emerging markets" (euphemism treadmill, here we come) to pay them to put a legitimate OS on there. Microsoft knows the users will install a warezed version of Windows so they're trying to capitalise on that by at least making some money on it. Before, when OEMs were installing the warez in the first place they weren't making any money, now they're making at least £20 or so on every sale.

I don't think anyone at Microsoft really believes people will actually use it on their computer, it's just a mitigation action.

The next step will be to eliminate the Windows Home Basic SKU and go back to the two-tier model and maybe retain Ultimate (but with a less barrel-scraping name)