Why Microsoft continues to persist with releasing two different versions on Windows is a complex issue, as Linux and Mac OS X only has one version (or more in Linux, depending on the coding) – but it has been confirmed by Paul Thurrott’s website that it will sell multiple versions of the site.
So, here are the versions:
- Windows 7 Starter – The most basic version of Windows 7, with no Aero Glass, losing most of the desktop enhancements, Media Center, Live thumbnails, Home Groups creation and Windows Touch. This will be sold worldwide, suggesting this will be used for netbooks.
- Windows 7 Home Basic – this will be available to emerging markets only, but it lacks Aero Glass, Live Thumbnail Previews, Internet Connection Sharing, and other features.
- Windows 7 Home Premium – This will be mainly for consumers, but will have no features like Domain joining, Remote Desktop hosting, advanced backups, EFS and Offline Folders. It does, however, have Aero Glass, premium games and Media Center.
- Windows 7 Professional – Bringing back the Professional name from XP is a change, and this will be sold at retail. It will lose features like BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, DIrect Acces, Branche Chache, MUI language packs and booting from a Virtual Hard Drive; but will add the features that have been missing from Windows 7 Home Premium.
- Windows 7 Enterprise – Will feature anything that has been missing from Windows 7 Professional and Home Premium; but will only be available to business customers via volume licensing.
- Windows 7 Ultimate – The very high end edition of Windows 7, and contains everything (like Enterprise) but will be sold around the world, but it will have a limited availability.
On Windows 7 Ultimate, senior vice president Bill Veghte told Paul Thurrott that “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,” he continues.
It also looks like that it will still be a two-version game, not like Vista’s multiple versions of the same OS – as, while it looks like there are more than two versions of the operating system, they will only make Home Premium and Professional mainstream, as they fit the demographics of the typical consumer.