Gartner on XP Starter Windows writes that Gartner’s suggestion is to “steer away.”

Gartner analysts Dion Wiggins and Martin Gilliland noted that missing features in the Windows XP Starter Edition would frustrate users and claimed that its limited software upgrade path would “likely increase software piracy.”

Targeted at first-time users, the operating system has had some features removed, such as file-sharing, print-sharing and support for local area networks.

In its report, Gartner agreed that such home-networking functions have “little relevance” to Microsoft’s target audience. However, it chided the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant for imposing other restrictions, such as allowing users to run only three applications at a time.

The research firm also cited security as an issue, particularly the provision of patches and updates for users with slow and expensive Internet connections.

“Many citizens who do not own a PC are already familiar with basic PC use from cybercafes and schools,” wrote Wiggins, vice president and research director of Gartner Research and Advisory Services. “Windows XP Starter Edition is likely to frustrate these users, as it is not delivering the same quality experience due to the limitations imposed.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.