There is a lot more buzz as of late about Windows 7 since the Beta was recently opened and is now closing soon. I have it installed on one of my spare computers and so far, its like a much leaner, more friendly version of Vista, which is good.There are already dozens, if not hundreds of reviews out, so I wont write one on the Beta, I did however want to address one of the issues that I have been hearing about, and that is "How many version of 7 will there be?"
One of the biggest marketing issues I saw with Vista was how they sold the versions. Not only did you have the traditional full and upgrade versions, but you also had 4 consumer versions available (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate), this made a total of 7 SKUs for people to choose from, that's too many. So Today when Microsoft announces there would be 6 Windows 7 SKUs without including the upgrades, everyone basically freaked out. So lets just clarify right up front that when you go to the store, you WILL NOT have that many choices. The versions you will see on the store shelves are:
Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade and full versions)
- Includes AERO interface (like Vista)
- All Media Center functionality
- Windows Home Network Functionality
- Muti-Touch capability
- Premium Games
Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade and full versions)
- Everything in Windows 7 Home Premium
- Professional Network Capabilities (RDP, Domain Support, Offline files, etc)
- Mobility Center
- Presentation Center
That is it. Then what are the others you ask?
Windows 7 Starter Edition
- This will not be available to consumers, only to OEMs (manufactures) and will be used mostly for new netbooks as it requires very little resources and has several major operating limitations by design.
Windows 7 Home Basic
- This will be available to consumers...in emerging markets, not to anyone in the United States.
Windows 7 Enterprise
- This will only be available to Volume License customers, not for retail sale
- Includes all features of Windows 7 Pro
- Also includes Bit Locker Drive encryption
- Direct Access
- Branch Cache
Windows 7 Ultimate
- This will only be available in limited supply, it is essentially a home version of Windows Enterprise, and most users will never need to bother with it as those who need the technology will likely have access to the Volume License version for much cheaper.
So that is all, yes many version will be out there, but no, you will not have to worry about picking which one is right for you.
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