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Windows XP Starter Edition Snubs P4, Athlon

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the for-starters-only dept.

Windows 705

Apu writes "CNET is reporting that Microsoft's Windows XP Starter Edition operating system specifically checks the result of the CPUID instruction on bootup and fails to continue if a Pentium 4 or Athlon processor is detected."

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Arbitrary marketing decision (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514495)

It is of course, an arbitrary decision manufactured by the marketing department as to my knowledge, there is no real functionality that is enabled on the "Pro" version of Windows with the Pentium 4 or Athalon chips. So, it seems like a fairly simple hack to get around this issue, as there is likely no real difference in the codebase of the Starter Edition other than some features that marketing has decided to disable and of course the above mentioned check, yes? (likely to violate the license terms)

So, quick question: Windows has appeared to evolved into a seriously fragmented OS. How many different versions of Windows are there? There is a Mobile, Embedded, Server, Pro, Home, Starter, Handheld......What else?

Oh, and Microsoft......If you cant make Windows more stable, you might want to do something about those error messages that crop up on computers running things like displays at airports. Almost every time I fly these days, at the airport, I see a computer running an information display that has crashed. Either a bluescreen of death (soon to be redscreen AND bluescreen of death in Longhorn), or a fundamental error message. This never looks good to customers and is bad advertising in large traffic areas. One of these days, one of these systems is going to get hacked and something truly embarrassing is going to be displayed on all of those big displays.

Perhaps a strange suggestion, but... (5, Interesting)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514528)

On your second point, I think that Microsoft ought to have an option for screens to go black on errors.

Microsoft Operating Systems are used daily in environments where it really isn't useful to display large blue screens with technical error information. Printing that information to a file crit_error.dat and displaying a black screen will be much less obtrusive and obvious in what you call "high traffic areas", and probably wont add much tech time.

Just a thought I had upon reading your post. It doesn't really *solve* the problem, it just makes it more "friendly" to these sorts of microsoft displays.

Re:Perhaps a strange suggestion, but... (0, Offtopic)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514559)

It doesn't really *solve* the problem, it just makes it more "friendly" to these sorts of microsoft displays.

Yes, of course the real solution would be to go to a more reliable operating system [apple.com] , but if I said that, the Microsofties would flame me. :-)

Re:Perhaps a strange suggestion, but... (0, Offtopic)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514592)

But the rest of us would love you (see nick above). No, not in that way! Sicko

Re:Perhaps a strange suggestion, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514693)

Linux doesn't fail to continue if a Pentium 4 or Athlon processor is detected.

So, running pirated Windows 95 OSR 2.5 using qemu is to hack the brain of Windows, hahaha.

Re:Perhaps a strange suggestion, but... (5, Insightful)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514578)

Unless of course the blatently obvious applies. I would have to say that close to half of the Windows machines I see on a daily basis (including my own!) use a blank screen as their screensaver. Also don't forget that all Energy Star-compliant monitors will turn the display off after a certain period of time. I would much rather see a user get a blue screen than arbitrarily giving their computer the one-finger salute every time their screen saver kicks in or their monitor goes into energy saver mode. I can just imagine the helpdesk tickets and support calls now: "My computer locks up every day while I'm at lunch!" or "Every morning when I come in my computer has locked up."

Re:Perhaps a strange suggestion, but... (5, Informative)

stevey (64018) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514698)

Of course when the machine is in such a mess that it decides to blue-screen you're probably not going to trust it to write a file.

After all it might have crashed because it encountered a strange filesystem error - and writing to it could trash your whole disk.

There have been similar suggestions for the Linux Kernel; write information somewhere when the kernel panics, but they are usually shot down for the same reason.

When a machine is in the 'panic' state writing to the local disks, or sending stuff across the network isn't usually feasible. (True some people have done it but its a hard problem - because you can't actually rely upon the kernel to do anything correctly when it's mid-panic).

Microsoft CEMENT (5, Funny)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514532)

Don't forget Microsoft CEMENT [tburke.net] . (Alternate link [google.com] )

Re:Microsoft CEMENT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514699)

You are a faggot.

Re:Microsoft CEMENT (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514701)

Looks like a good rule of thumb for developers.. when you can start spelling new words with your product titles, you have too many.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

kagemaru (881295) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514549)

Oh, and Microsoft......If you cant make Windows more stable, you might want to do something about those error messages that crop up on computers running things like displays at airports. Almost every time I fly these days, at the airport, I see a computer running an information display that has crashed. Either a bluescreen of death (soon to be redscreen AND bluescreen of death in Longhorn), or a fundamental error message. This never looks good to customers and is bad advertising in large traffic areas. One of these days, one of these systems is going to get hacked and something truly embarrassing is going to be displayed on all of those big displays.

Bad plublicity is still publicity. This could be considered a clever marketing trick...
When I see those my first thought is always to notice that they run windows.

There will be no RSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514552)

MS has said that RSOD are temporary and it will be a BSOD (BLACK screen of Death) for boot-loader failures.

http://winbeta.org/comments.php?id=2988&catid=1 [winbeta.org]

Not arbitrary. Calculated. (5, Interesting)

team99parody (880782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514560)

I think Microsoft is well aware of what it's doing.

It's the same as having MSDE being a crippled SQLServer that limits the nubmer of threads it can run. Surely the CPU could handle more threads; but they cripple it so that more people buy the bigger one.

This Pentium4/Athlon decision makes perfect sense - if someone can afford the higher-end processor, they can afford the higher priced OS.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514568)


So, quick question: Windows has appeared to evolved into a seriously fragmented OS. How many different versions of Windows are there? There is a Mobile, Embedded, Server, Pro, Home, Starter, Handheld......What else?


How about Windows Pizza Pie? or Windows Lunchables? :-)

Back to working on my Windows XP machine...

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (0, Offtopic)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514583)

That was my comment btw...I just mistyped my login and hit post by accident :)

Just thought i'd take responsibility for my own posts.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514570)

I travel about 4 or 5 times a month. I can only remember a few times that I've seen Windows error messages on any public displays. I submit that you're full of shit.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (2, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514685)

The current Whitehouse administration has made damn sure that Anonymous Cowards don't travel anywhere in Airports. Only people with identities can board aircraft, so you don't count. :-)

Seriously though, the last three or four times I've flown out of Salt Lake International, Ft. Lauderdale International, Auckland International and Los Angeles International, I've seen errors or BSODs on information critical displays. One person is an admittedly small sample size, but with that one person, the observations are becoming a trend.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514580)

So, quick question: Windows has appeared to evolved into a seriously fragmented OS. How many different versions of Windows are there? There is a Mobile, Embedded, Server, Pro, Home, Starter, Handheld......What else?

Windows XP Editions and Products [microsoft.com]

Oh, and Microsoft......If you cant make Windows more stable, you might want to do something about those error messages that crop up on computers running things like displays at airports. Almost every time I fly these days, at the airport, I see a computer running an information display that has crashed. Either a bluescreen of death (soon to be redscreen AND bluescreen of death in Longhorn), or a fundamental error message. This never looks good to customers and is bad advertising in large traffic areas. One of these days, one of these systems is going to get hacked and something truly embarrassing is going to be displayed on all of those big displays.

From discussing the Starter Edition limitation, to asking for Windows editions in general, to discussing Windows running on airports and RSOD's on Longhorn. Congratulations, I guess. :-)

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (5, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514584)

Blue screens in airports?? AAAA!!!!
Better than the "Core dumped" errors I've gotten now and then on linux I guess? and I really don't understand the fragmented argument... they have their technology adapted to many things, just like linux. Are you suggesting they should not even TRY to branch into new markets?

Back on topic, I think this is the lowest kind of trick. If this type of thing was intentional, MS is basically flicking off the EU while saying "we did what you asked". Although I'm sure it will have work arounds, you shouldn't HAVE to have a workaround.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514637)

Blue screens in airports?? AAAA!!!!

Recently when travelling through Chicago, I saw the screen on a baggage scanner: it was running DOS. What's more, the operators seemed to need to power cycle it quite freqently (I saw this happen a couple of times while in line to have my bags scanned).

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1, Troll)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514704)

Ok, that is NOT NOT NOT Microsoft.

That is whoever the Airport paid to make their baggage scanner. I work for a Govt Contractor that uses lots of MS technology. We don't hire decent programmers and our software (controls building control systems) comes back.. shall we say sub-par? Now we could write brilliant applications in C# and use other good MS technologies, but we don't for whatever management reason.

My point is, dont blame MS for a bad implementation of their technology. Blame the airports for not requiring higher standards.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514588)

One of these days, one of these systems is going to get hacked and something truly embarrassing is going to be displayed on all of those big displays.

We can only pray that they "hack the planet" [imdb.com] and put THIS [mugshots.org] on all the displays on earth....

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514616)

shit, the link messed up,
it's supposed to be http://www.mugshots.org/misc/bill-gates.html [mugshots.org]

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514671)

You mean you fucked up the link. The link didn't magically fuck itself up. Fucktard.

funny (0, Troll)

scottnews (237707) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514610)

to read someone from a mostly Linux messageboard call windows fragmented

Re:funny (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514655)

Here, have an imaginary karma point :)

Strangely enough, I don't know any Linux zealots in meatspace, although many of us use it for various applications, but I do know two Microsoft zealots.

It would be highly amusing to put both groups in an arena and let them fight to the death, or at least until one cries. :)

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (2, Funny)

MasterB(G)ates (718264) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514615)

Totally agree. At Rome airport a big european trip with my fiance - we saw this.

http://img243.echo.cx/img243/6999/curiousindeed7ev .jpg [img243.echo.cx]

I wasn't going to either place thankfully. The error looks pathetic.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (2, Interesting)

dougjm (838643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514625)

So, quick question: Windows has appeared to evolved into a seriously fragmented OS. How many different versions of Windows are there? There is a Mobile, Embedded, Server, Pro, Home, Starter, Handheld......What else?

I'm not having a go but how many linux distro's are there? Before you stab me in the eye i'm a linux fan but the difference is that all the versions of windows work - for the end user - pretty much the same. In linux, there are so many desktop enviroments - and iterations of the the desktop enviroments - that it really (IMHO) turns people off - thats the key to why windows is world dominent, by having the market share everyone knows how to use the OS and feels comfortable in the "enviroment". If everyone had linux - that would of course be great but - when someone took a new job they'd have to spend ages getting used to the differnt desktop enviroments, never mind doing any work - of course thats asuming you'd let them have a gui...

Why this won't work (5, Insightful)

alphakappa (687189) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514638)

Having lived in India, I can tell you why this won't work. The users who pirate Windows are not people who need computers only for basic word processing - they are proper users who use computers as part of their lifestyle, much like people elsewhere in the world do. They do not like their OS to be crippled in any way.
Why then, you ask, do they have to pirate Windows? The reason is cost: A user can afford to spend $100-$200 for a legal copy of Windows in the US, but in India due to the exchange rate it becomes a huge amount! It's comparable to the actual price of the desktop, and note that people spend a large fraction of their income to buy a desktop in the first place. Microsoft does not price their software according to purchasing power, instead it does a straight conversion of $$ to Rupees.

If Microsoft offers a cheaper Windows for a lesser price, people will just keep pirating the 'proper' OS for free. And sometime later, they will migrate to Linux when they find that Linux can offer them pretty much the same functionality. If MS wants people to use Windows and PAY for it, all they need to do is offer an uncrippled OS for a price that is affordable in India.

Note to Microsoft: People don't want to buy your crippled software, even if it cheap.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514673)

How many different versions of Windows are there?

A lot less than Linux distros and a lot more than Mac OS versions, but I'll still stick to windows because unfortunately it's got the best app base.

Re:Arbitrary marketing decision (1)

The-Perl-CD-Bookshel (631252) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514702)

I run SMP under "Pro" - can't do that in "home"

Low-cost and entry-level (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514498)

it is designed for low-cost, entry-level desktop PCs running value-based processors

This is fine as long as MS provides a patch when P4 or AMD64 is considered low-cost and entry-level.

Re:Low-cost and entry-level (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514540)

I like how the invisble hand has been replaced by the guy in that cubible over there.

State set prices, corprately set prices .. whats the diff?

Sure they have the option to do this, but holy shit, that venerable Honda car on a Toyato road argument, when all it is is just rubber tires on a concrete surface, strengthens by the day.

Re:Low-cost and entry-level (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514563)

PS. I plan on selling very low cost beer, but only if you drink it from a glass from a partner who hooks me up with suckers who pay MILLIONS for beer, if I pass him business.

Its market collusion if its true. How can it not be?

Re:Low-cost and entry-level (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514602)

The story doesn't say AMD64. It says Athlons won't run but Durons will. So I wonder when my secondary box with a 600 MHz Athlon will be considered entry-level? (I would have figured that its time had been and gone, but it runs quite well non-Windows.)

They just don't want it to compete with Longhorn (1)

team99parody (880782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514624)

Now that all the Longhorn features were either delayed from Longhorn (WinFS) or backported to XP (Avalon, and whatever that "third pillar of Longhorn" was), they're probably just afraid that this product would compete successfully against Longhorn. Since Longhorn's only remaining distinguishing feature from XP is that can only run on the most expensive hardware, this is a nice way of avoiding the compitition.

Re:Low-cost and entry-level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514628)

Ahh, let them do what they want. They're offering a crappier version of XP with deliberate limitations, at a reduced price. Apparently this is to compete with a perfectly adequate version of Linux (or even a pirated copy of XP), with no limitations, for free.

I just don't see why anyone would want the software in the first place. It's hard to see who's losing out here.

Re:Low-cost and entry-level (4, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514668)

This is fine as long as MS provides a patch when P4 or AMD64 is considered low-cost and entry-level.

Well the report actually mentions Athlon not AMD 64.

Early Athlon 32-bit processors are low end now.

Re:Low-cost and entry-level (1)

Blittzed (657028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514705)

The early SDRAM based P4 CPUs were absolutely low end. Ran like a dog and high end PIII outperformed them. Low end then, lower now...

Fuck (-1, Offtopic)

hardcorebuttsecks (871562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514499)

You

Re:Fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514553)

Here, here. MS can fuck themselves hard, deep, and long for trying our patience with their "software" and greed. I say, chaps, off we go to Linux. Tally ho!

Let me be the first to say: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514500)

LOL. And fp.

That's nothing! (5, Funny)

DuranDuran (252246) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514509)

That's nothing! My copy of WinXP fails to continue if any kind of CPU is detected!

Re:That's nothing! (-1, Offtopic)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514606)

Ok, seriously... +5 Funny?? That comment was NOT that funny. Go watch The daily show or southpark or something, jesus christ people.

Funny (0, Flamebait)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514512)

Really funny that they would think someone would want to pirate a crippled OS.

Re:Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514627)

But that's precisely the point.

Low end only (5, Funny)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514513)

But will it run on a 386?

But ummm... (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514636)

does it run on Linux?

oops

Wrong section? (0, Offtopic)

kickabear (173514) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514515)

Shouldn't this be under "Your Rights Online [slashdot.org] ?"

Re:Wrong section? (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514539)

What rights have any of us got to run a commercially produced operating system on an Athlon or a P4 though when the OS in question is designed for low budget PCs in less-privileged countries?

Re:Wrong section? (1)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514618)

You've entirely missed the point. Nobody is saying that you have a right to run the OS on this chip, that chip or the other chip. They are saying that Microsoft is stupid/evil/corrupt for implementing this policy.

Re:Wrong section? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514658)

Haha, what an apologist.

Nobody said we have a RIGHT to run the software under a processor of our choosing. If you're happy paying $160 for something that with more man hours of coding costs $35, knock yourself out, you're a credit to your species.

My hope is that this underscores the absurdity of supply and demand when applied to software. For instance, they could sell this for $0.10 per copy and still break even on the CD cost. $0.01 per ISO distributed via bittorrent would make them a profit. Now, how much did you pay for your copy?

How would Microsoft know... (2, Insightful)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514516)

what "low cost" means anyway?

Ah, so now I finally understand (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514517)

The value that proprietary software can offer than F/OSS can't.

You would think (4, Insightful)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514518)

You think Microsoft would have learned after the games they played with Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and DR. DOS. This will not make the anti-trust crowd any happier, and just serves to tick off the opponents of Microsoft more.

Microsoft is essentially creating a market for Linux by doing this. It's all about standardization and if companies have to purchase two different versions of Linux to use their hardware, they are going to look hard at the decision before doing so.

Re:You would think (1)

response3 (751852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514590)

This OS is not intended for a business environment, hence the name "starter edition". Any business that uses Windows would be using XP Pro specifically because it is the only one of the XP based OS's that support domain login.

Re:mod parent down! (2, Funny)

sneakers563 (759525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514593)

Microsoft is essentially creating a market for Linux by doing this.

Shhhh! Someone mod this down. We don't want this to get out.

Windows ain't done. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514519)

> specifically checks the result of the CPUID instruction on bootup and fails to continue if a Pentium 4 or Athlon processor is detected.

Windows XP Starter Edition ain't done, 'til... umm... Wintel and AMD won't run?

OK, boys, time to haul ass over to DEC^H^H^HCompaq^H^H^H^H^H^H^HHP and dig out those Alpha chips! Anyone got an P-II or a K6-III we can borrow until then?

Re:Windows ain't done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514687)

You're funny!^H^H^H^H^H^Ha stupid fag! ^H jokes are hilarious^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hstupid as fuckin' hell.

Microsoft's reasoning (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514520)

If you can afford a p4 or high end amd in a third world country, you are a thief and a dirt bag and probably will steal the OS anyway.

Re:Microsoft's reasoning (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514571)

dick wad
in the third world whihc is real close to china anyway.

p4s and the like are RERAL cheap

EVEN cheaper than the USA.

just wages are fucking low!

ther are also givt subsideis

bill agtes charity stuff.

un levies to allow hardwrae to be affordable.
etc etc

any reason why the top end high spec proc is not used is causeth THEY get to damn hot!

everyone pirates the OS in the third world jerk

nearly as much as in the usa.

!!
fusktard]

Re:Microsoft's reasoning (1)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514581)

We still need a sarcasm tag ... the ultimate mod-down.

dumarses (3, Interesting)

dopeghost (107650) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514533)

thats stupid .. i mean atlhons started at, what, 500mhz? ...or what if someone ends up upgrading their machine from a duron/celeron?

Re:dumarses (4, Funny)

IthnkImParanoid (410494) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514661)

This is either a misprint or misunderstanding, or a one of the dumbest things I've ever seen a company do. FFS, I built an athlon 1800+ two or three YEARS ago. Does anyone still have K6II's?

Megadeth's latest album kicks ass (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514535)

I don't give a turd what anybody says, The System Has Failed is awesome. I mean, it's no Rust In Peace, but it's every bit as good as anything Megadeth did after Countdown To Extinction. The World Needs A Hero kicks ass too, but nobody bought it because it was their first album after Risk, which sucked petrefied testicles. That, and because the cover had Vic Rattlehead emerging from some dude's stomach, which is just fucking gross.

Re:Megadeth's latest album kicks ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514623)

Megadeth? That is old school. Mozart rules!

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514538)

You must use MAC for it!!

Windows and bugs? I don't believe it! (1)

bosewicht (805330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514543)

What do you mean a bug in Windows, next thing you know something is going to say they found a new vulnerability...I just don't believe the nerve of some people.

Re:Windows and bugs? I don't believe it! (1)

bosewicht (805330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514579)

ok, i know it's not a bug, but it makes for a better joke.

Does anyone else think... (4, Interesting)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514546)

...that users will try Starter Edition, find out it has all these restrictions and assume that all versions of Windows must suck and just load a free, non-crippled OS (mentioning no names!).

I think they would be wiser to give away this crippled version on the hope that as India's economy develops they will capture some market with the full price Windows XP at later stage.

Nope... (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514640)

They'll user starter, find out it sucks, use Home and/or Pro, find out it sucks, get bigger and better machines and find out that after all these years IT STILL SUCKS.

Then mumble something about "need Word and Outlook for work..." as they go to buy another copy.

/Why Yes, this WAS typed on a mac!

Re:Does anyone else think... (2, Insightful)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514647)

"...just load a free, non-crippled OS (mentioning no names!).

I hope you meant a pirate copy of XP Home or Pro. Although you did say non-crippled.

Re:Does anyone else think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514660)

Yeah, I've seen TONS of regular users just going and buying a linux distro when their Windows.... oh, no, wait! Right, I have NOT seen such happening.

Very few people outside of computer savvy pros and hobbyists even know of, say, Linux; and MacOS is not much of a choice if one already has the PC...

Not saying it wouldn't be nice, just that it ain't happening in this universe right now.

Athlons?! (1)

selfabuse (681350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514558)

This is slashdot, so of course I didn't RTFA, but going by the headline - XP Starter edition is supposed to be aimed at low end machines. I bought my first Athlon probally 3 - 4 years ago. I think it was 1.2ghz. That's not low end these days?

shoot(this.foot); (3, Insightful)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514561)

Apart from the fact that this kind of artifical limitation is really stupid, not to mention evil, it looks like Microsoft is really shoorting themselves in the foot here. From TFA (emphasis mine):
Microsoft hopes to use Starter Edition to familiarize these markets with its products. Plus, because these countries are also havens for piracy, the Redmond, Wash.-based software maker wants to use perks such as bug patches and alerts to demonstrate the value of legal software.

Microsoft claims they're using this software as a way to get pirates to start paying for the software. But tell me, what is the average person going to use: the "starter edition" that doesn't even work on their PC, or the pirated edition that does? The value of legal software indeed.

Re:shoot(this.foot); (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514629)

That is probably just their official position. Their real motive is most likely to discourage the distro since even making it was kind of forced on them. I think this is their way of complying, but still being... well... Microsoft.

Replace CPUID instruction system call? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514569)

If no special instructions are in use, can't somebody just find the right system call to replace and return whatever string is acceptable?

That was the old hack proposed for defeating CPUID in the first place.

Re:Replace CPUID instruction system call? (4, Insightful)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514692)

I imagine that most people who would use a cracked version of the Starter Edition would just choose to use a cracked Pro Edition anyway.

LOOK MA, I AM Microsoft! (1)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514572)

Picks up gun

Aims at foot

Pulls trigger

Screams bloody murder at the sight and feeling of the mess on the floor

It is doomed to fail as long as the asian black market doesnt go under...which is less likely than MS going under.

monopolistic practices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514574)

is it just me but does this seem to be a new way for microsoft to keep market share by only supporting processors that work best on windows (i.e. no 64 bit)?

Probably to prevent competition... (5, Insightful)

Xeroc (877174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514575)

It seems there doing this to prevent PC Manufacturers from bundling it with the cheaper end of the higher-end PCs - probably because buisnesses and others who need a lot but don't need all the full features, would want it, as it is about half as expensive as Home edition, and a lot cheaper than Professional.

If they let it run, then, it would effectively compete with their full versions, hurting their profits!

Re:Probably to prevent competition... (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514677)

More importantly, it would mean people would be getting copies of Windows with their new PCs that *gasp* dont have WMP and other MS products.

Other than that, you may be right that it would hurt their profits, but I don't know what their special prices to resellers are so I dunno. I do know the retailers don't pay $300 retail for each install, so any profit loss might be purely FUD or at least inflated.

This is what happens (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514576)

When a company has monopoly power in a market. Imagine Ford coming out with a car that will not start in certain supermarket parking lots, or a TV that will not show you a specific channel. Why is it Microsoft can get away with shit like this but other companies in other industries can't?

This seems odd to me.... (1)

Bluesy21 (840772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514585)

I though some P4's and Athlons were considered low-cost or entry systems at this point. The last time I built a PC was over a year ago and couldn't find anything that was under 1.8GHz. So I would think there are low-cost/entry systems out there that are running a P4 or Athlon.

Re:This seems odd to me.... (0, Troll)

77Punker (673758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514684)

A high frequency Celeron <i>still</i> costs less than a low frequency P4. It's because they suck that bad.
Trust me, I used to have one.

Hackable (1)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514586)

Sounds like a fun thing to try to disable.
Also pretty easy since you can search for the
instruction in question.

Product managers are clueless -- universal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514591)

Every engineer knows that.

It's a condition of employment, every last brain cell has to be destroyed before they're allowed anywhere near a product.

MS's product managers are no different to any others. Ie. all brain dead.

great.. (2, Insightful)

mindwar (708277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514596)

it doesnt run on athlon/p4 ant cant run/runs like shit on lower. gee. thanks MS

More Monopoly... (2, Interesting)

Spacepup (695354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514603)

This just reeks of some hush hush deal with a hardware vendor to keep people locked in to older hardware in a bid to get rid of over stocked parts.

I'll be the shoe thanks.

Upgrade cost? (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514605)

My question is, if someone finally gets the money to upgrade their low-end CPU to something faster, why should the OS stop working?

The point is to help poor countries develop, not to just "help poor people in poor countries do basic stuff".

What if those poor countries were given high-end computers as DONATIONS? Like for schools, universities, etc?

IMO Microsoft is asking for BIG trouble here. Key term: Discrimination.

Not The Way To Go (1)

excelblue (739986) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514608)

Technically, using a P4 or an Athlon would still make the Starter Edition function the same. If they just block the processors, it just prevents companies from using their previous models existing if they usually only using P4's or Athlons. The Durons are slowly being phased out, and the Celerons would seriously hurt the performance. If they allowed all processors, businesses won't be able to take advantages of it anyways. The limits just won't work out for any type of business, no matter how light. Even in schools and such, not even the home edition quite suffices. Even with the low-end only limit, that's still not going to stop businesses and such from using the Starter Edition. Many corporations don't need the performance of the P4s and Athlons anyways, and thus opt for Celeron and Duron because they're cheaper. Limiting the Starter Edition to the low-end systems will just limit the customers. Everyone would probably just look at it as a reason to just get a lower-end computer, and thus some new users might think twice before buying a system with the Starter Edition.

The funniest thing in the whole piece... (2, Insightful)

DigicamGuy (876393) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514611)

...is the part that says "Microsoft ... wants to use perks such as bug patches and alerts to demonstrate the value of legal software."

Interesting, that bug patches are cast as "perks." - Of course leaving unaddressed the value of software that doesn't need bug patches in the first place.

So maybe that's why there are so many bugs in Windows -- So we'll all be so dang grateful when we receive the bug patches!

This finally explains why I like Microsoft products so much...

Re:The funniest thing in the whole piece... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12514674)

"Of course leaving unaddressed the value of software that doesn't need bug patches in the first place."

software that doesn't need bug patches, eh? You have an example of an OS with similar functionality to windows that doesn't need bug patches? Come on, no codebase of that size can possibly be perfect. Even my beloved debian has security.debian.org.

This is actually good, from company point of view. (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514617)

If you're buying new hardware and you're forced to buy OS with it, and only option is the MS one, you can save hundreds of dollars by selecting this crippled version instead.
Naturally it won't be any use, but since your company already has volume license to Win XP Pro, you can just replace the crippled versions with the proper one.

Another brilliant marketing strategy (2, Insightful)

mpontes (878663) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514619)

People at Microsoft never can stop surprising me. Too bad it's in the bad sense most of the times.

Think about it. You live in India. You consider yourself lucky for being able to afford a computer, but still, you have a very limited budget compared to Americans / Europeans / whatever. What would you do? Buy a better system and get a pirated version of the OS or do The Right Thing (TM) and buy a worse system but with a legally acquired OS? Sure, you won't help your friend whose family is starving, but you're willing to give money away to the richest foreigner in the world.

Marketing Geniuses (2, Interesting)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514649)

At the risk of sounding new here, I am amazed at the mindset. Whatever happened to making the best product you can and trying to sell as much of it as you can? The idea at Microsoft appears to be to sell your product as much as you can by making it perform poorly compared to itself. Or something like that.

Imagine being the engineers tasked with writing the feature that disables the OS on "advanced" CPUs. What pride they must have in their work.

Then consider the conversation between the marketing guru and his twelve-year-old son. "So, Dad, what did you do at work today?". What pride they must have in their work.

Then consider the poor sap who buys XP Starter Edition and finds out that it won't start. He can't return it, having opened it. All he can do is put it on EBay and hope he doesn't get sued [slashdot.org] .

What am I supposed to run this on? (2, Informative)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514651)

I dont get this. EVERYONE (well, most) have p4s an athalons. What am I supposed to run this thing on?????

Re:What am I supposed to run this on? (1)

Devistater (593822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514676)

They say you are supposed to run it on durons, celerons, VIA cpus.

Low End. (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514679)

Frankly, considering the market their trying to attract with this version, it kinda makes sense. Although it would make more sense to drop the price of this thing to free and offer an upgrade to Home for $50.

This is basicially a crippled WinXP anyway, so anyone that's going to do any amount of mid to high end computing is going to go to home or Pro anyway.

Low end wise, they want something out there to make it look like Windows Isn't expensive, After all it's pretty sad when a company can almost build a low end PC cheaper than putting windows on it anymore.

Hey - stop being so tough (1)

Tired and Emotional (750842) | more than 9 years ago | (#12514689)

Don't be so hard on Microsoft. They are just looking to improve mean time between failure.
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