Windows Starter Edition -- One Million Served and still growing

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We recently hit a bit of a milestone, passing the one million mark of installed copies of Windows Starter Edition, a version of Windows XP (and now Vista) specially designed for use in emerging markets. You can read more about the Starter Edition, and see a cool interactive map (IE only!) of where it is in use or you can click play on our video!

I interviewed two folks on the team about why this product was developed and some of the interesting things they learned about computing in emerging markets along the way.



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The Discussion

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    Humm, nice video but to me it was a bit short, how many people are involved, more tech details, demo on real hardware, more details about the beta user's feedback like what did they do when they found a problem? How do they know it is a problem and not a feature, since this is their first contact with that tech. Also, about the hardware, is there a line of custom-built PCs, are they a similar product to the OLPC, are they 2nd hand PCs, do they have a backup battery only to power it while it hibernates/shuts down in case of an AC failure? Why the cap on ram/storage?

    "Security. Windows XP Starter Edition users will be able to stay up to date and more secure with the latest security updates delivered in Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies."

    ? AST remains unexplained after reading this:

    "...Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies was designed by Microsoft explicitly to provide proactive protection for Windows XP.

    Stronger security settings. Service Pack 2 establishes stronger default security settings..."

    SP2 != SP2 w/AST?

    And how are the users of Starter dealing with IE's SP2 ActiveX click to activate behaviour? Because around here, novice users sometimes don't understand/notice they have to do anything for the object to run. So, are the updates customized and trimmed down to suit the users and their once-a-week dial up internet connections?

    Multiple users are disabled on Starter, do they run as admin? How are the beta testers dealing with UAC? Is there something like microsoft shared access toolkit that resets Windows and user settings at each boot to prevent misconfigurations and other problems?

    Do they get 'critical' updates like IE7?

    ( and why is this the first post. )


    humm, not that I want to but:

    *click: reply in ink*

    "You are not ink enabled!

    Please install the Tablet PC SDK (1.7) then come back and ink away!"

    Free Image Hosting at

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