Windows XP Starter Edition is a lower-cost version of Windows XP available in Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay, Malaysia, and Venezuela. It is similar to Windows XP Home, but is limited to low-end hardware, can only run 3 programs at a time, and has some other features either removed or disabled by default.
According to a Microsoft press release, Windows XP Starter Edition is "a low-cost introduction to the Microsoft Windows XP operating system designed for first-time desktop PC users in developing countries."
The Starter Edition includes some special features for certain markets where consumers may not be computer literate. Not found in the Home Edition, these include localised help features for those who may not speak English, a country-specific computer wallpaper and screensavers, and other default settings designed for easier use than typical Windows XP installations. The Malaysian version, for example, contains a desktop background of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
In addition, the Starter Edition also has some unique limitations to prevent it from displacing more expensive versions of Windows XP. Only three applications can be run at once on the Starter Edition, and each application may open a maximum of three windows. The maximum screen resolution is 1024×768, and there is no support for workgroup networking or domains. In addition, the Starter Edition is licensed only for low-end processors like Intel's Celeron or AMD's Duron and Sempron. There is also a 512 MB limit on main memory and a 120 GB disk size limit. Microsoft has not made it clear, however, if this is for total disk space, per partition, or per disk. There are also fewer options for customizing the themes, desktop, and taskbar.
On October 9, 2006, Microsoft announced that they reached a milestone of 1,000,000 units of Windows XP Starter Edition sold. In the mass market, however, the Starter Edition has not had much success. In many markets where it is available, cracked or pirated versions of higher end versions of Windows are more popular than their legal counterparts. In these markets, cracked or pirated software such as XP Professional can be obtained at a mall. These stores typically charge only for the amount of CDs/DVDs the software takes up, not the actual retail value. Pirated copies of Windows XP Professional typically costs $0.70 USD (only uses 1 CD) compared around $30 USD for a properly licensed copy of XP Starter.