Windows 7 will have six versions

Windows 7Microsoft confirmed that Windows 7 will have six different versions. Ok now I again wonder what is Microsoft doing? Didn’t they learnt something from the past? They purely messed up their repute with the Windows Vista so many versions and now they are trying it again.

  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

Ok seriously dude! a layman will get extremely confused that which one to try. Ok one more thing, Windows 7 Ultimate is the one which has everything in it. So why would someone buy the other versions? Come on, People need everything in one why would someone go for the Windows 7 Starter?

Following are the details I got Paul Thurrott’s WinSupersite about these versions:

Windows 7 Starter
Market: Worldwide availability this time but with new PCs only
Key features: Enhanced taskbar, Jump Lists, Windows Media Player, Backup and Restore, Action Center, Device Stage, Play To, Fax and Scan, basic games
What’s missing: Aero Glass, many Aero desktop enhancements, Windows Touch, Media Center, Live thumbnail previews, Home Group creation

This version will only be sold through PC makers to users, but unlike with Vista, it will be sold worldwide. This suggests that netbook makers will choose this version, even in the US. As with previous Windows Starter Edition products, it is limited in some ways: You can run only three applications at once, don’t get Windows 7’s full mobility capabilities, and can participate in but not create a Home Group. Also, there’s no Aero Glass.

Windows 7 Home Premium
Market:
Mainstream retail market
Key features: Aero Glass, Aero Background, Windows Touch, Home Group creation, Media Center, DVD playback and authoring, premium games, Mobility Center
What’s missing: Domain join, Remote Desktop host, advanced backup, EFS, Offline Folders

The volume Windows 7 offering for consumers builds on Starter and includes Mobility Center, Aero Glass, advanced windows navigation features like Aero Snap and Aero Peek, and multi-touch, as well as the ability to both create and participate in Home Groups. Home Premium will be sold at retail and be included with new computers.

Windows 7 Professional
Market: Mainstream retail market
Key features: Domain join, Remote Desktop host, location aware printing, EFS, Mobility Center, Presentation Mode, Offline Folders
What’s missing: BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, MUI language packs, boot from VHD

This volume Windows 7 version builds on Home Premium and adds features like domain join, Group Policy (GP) controls, location aware printing, advanced backup, EFS, and offline folders. Pro will be sold at retail and be included with new computers

Windows 7 Enterprise
Market: Volume-license business customers only
Key features: BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, MUI language packs, boot from VHD
What’s missing: Retail licensing

As before, Enterprise is aimed at Microsoft’s Software Assurance (SA) volume license customers. This time, however, Enterprise is a superset of Professional and adds much-heralded Windows 7 features like Direct Access, Branch Cache, BitLocker, and BitLocker To Go.

Windows 7 Ultimate
Market: Retail market, limited availability
Key features: BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, MUI language packs, boot from VHD
What’s missing: Volume licensing

 For those few customers who simply must have everything, Windows 7 Ultimate offers all of the features from Enterprise but loses the volume licensing requirement. So you can think of Ultimate edition as Enterprise for consumers (and other retail customers).

Windows 7 Ultimate is kind of a wild-card. It will be available at retail and with new PCs, but Microsoft suggested that it will not be heavily marketed and will instead be “offer-based” via occasional promotions and offers from both PC makers and retailers.

“We’re experimenting with the kinds of offers we can make for Windows 7 Ultimate,” Veghte said. “It’s going to be a low-single digit run rate (i.e. low market share) product. We expect retailers and OEMs to occasionally offer Ultimate with new PCs as part of special promotions. But in terms of run rate, it will be a tiny, tiny percentage of the volume. We will keep the marketing energy on Home Premium and Professional.”