Microsoft caves on Win 7 app limit; Via Nano chief talks chip design

Headlines: Microsoft waives app limit on Win 7 Starter edition; other IT channel news.

IT channel news in brief for June 1, 2009

Microsoft waives app limit on Win 7 Starter edition

Microsoft has decided to let Windows 7 Starter edition running on netbook machines run as many apps as the user would like, the company said late Friday. The previous plan restricted netbook users to three applications, which had been the practice with earlier Starter editions running on inexpensive, small form-factor machines.

The change, outlined on the Windows Team Blog, could well be a reaction to the availability of viable non-Windows alternatives for netbooks, including Google Android and now an Intel-backed Moblin operating system.

Microsoft would not comment on whether it would allow Windows Starter edition to run on bigger-than-netbook screen sizes. Several reports said that Microsoft, Intel and perhaps other hardware players would prevent the use of the Starter edition on larger machines. A Microsoft spokeswoman said such details are part of "NDA conversations with OEMs that Microsoft doesn't share."

Via Nano brainiac talks turkey on CPU technologies

The Via Nano chip that's going into new Dell servers was developed by Centaur Technology Inc., an Austin, Texas-based subsidiary of Via Technologies Inc. Centaur is small, with 101 employees including the 35 engineers who designed and launched the new low-power chip in just four years. SearchDataCenter.com talked to Glenn Henry, the former IBM fellow and Dell Inc. chief technology officer. Henry founded Centaur in 1995 with other Dell defectors who shared his vision for lower-cost, lower-power x86 chips.

Check out last week's IT channel news briefs.

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