Microsoft’s (MSFT) supposed plan for Windows 7 on cheap netbooks is a cut-down version called “Windows 7 Starter.” The forced limitation, according to reports, is that it will only let you run three or fewer apps at a time; if you want to run more, you’ll have to pay up for a full version of Windows 7.
As a Daring Fireball reader notes, “Doesn’t this encourage the browser to be the OS?” Yes. It does.
And we’ll take it further: It’s a big, wet kiss from Microsoft to Google (GOOG).
By making it harder to use Windows apps — like Microsoft’s Office suite — Microsoft is encouraging you to run more apps in your browser, which has unlimited tabs. Guess who’s stronger there?