Remember that notion that the cheapest version of Windows 7 would be hobbled so it could run just three applications simultaneously? Well, according to Microsoft, that crazy plan has been scrapped.

Writing on the Windows 7 Team Blog, Brandon LeBlanc explains that the Starter edition of the new OS will be free to run as many programs at once as it can handle.

Netbooks in the clear

In other words, the netbook users who are likely to get that version of Windows 7 will not be as lowly a caste as we had expected all along.

However, there are other restrictions, most of which we already knew about. LeBlanc confirms Starter edition won't have the Aero effects that make the OS look so smooth, nor will it be able to play DVDs, stream media to other PCs or support Windows XP mode.

And, as we've heard before, the littlest Win 7 won't allow users to change their colour schemes, event sounds or even the desktop wallpaper.

Windows roll back

At the same time, Engadget tells us that anyone who wants to downgrade from Windows 7 in future will, for some reason, be able to roll their licences back to Vista or a range of XP options.

Presumably, compatibility with business-critical software applications is at the heart of the arrangement, but we won't get too worked up about the news just yet.