Windows 7 SKUs unveiled, six versions to be released

By Justin Mann on February 3, 2009, 12:08 PM
For all that Microsoft has learned throughout the launch of Vista, they apparently have forgotten how confused their customers were by the tidal-wave of different versions of the OS. The upcoming release of Windows 7 will be no different than Vista in terms of SKUs, with at least three different consumer versions and three different business versions. The naming scheme is virtually the same, beginning with Windows 7 Starter and moving up through Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate.

Feature-by-feature, these different versions seem nearly identical to Vista's supported specs. The Starter edition supports only three concurrent applications, Aero doesn't appear until Home Premium and the ability to join a domain first makes an appearance in the Professional edition. Microsoft has confirmed that these SKUs are real for Windows 7. More will no doubt be added as the server versions of Windows 7 eventually make their way out. There's certainly a need for specialized versions of Windows, a version aimed at home users and a version aimed at business desktops, but does Microsoft really want to flood the market with six or more different versions of the same OS?

User Comments: 19

Got something to say? Post a comment
MichaelLS said:
Wow! Do you suppose its contagious?What is going on up at Redmond's Micro$oft campus these days? Or has everyone started loosing IQ Points after those TV Commercials were seen flooding the campus cafeteria? Or has the staff just lost all hope after Billy walked away and Steve started really sweating in public and throwing chairs and tables?They are certainly not students of history! Are they?'Gee that was frustrating to the customer base - I know - Lets do it again! - Maybe it will work this time!' 'Hey, any one for Chinese take out?' 'I'll have a number 3!'
Auldian said:
It's not the big deal for customers the media likes to make it out to be. People buy the least expensive version they need and for the most part know what that need is. As usual though, only the foolish or hasty have problems and make noise.More sales are made due to having these choices, not less.
MichaelLS said:
Yes, I am sure that is the idea. Still, watching the sheep, its not working around here. Worries me! Why can't these poor souls think this through?Still, this: 'If we can't sell you what we wanted, at the price we wanted, we'll try hard to sell you something!' That really peeves me for some reason.My observation? That little byte of Apple Tax is looking better all the time for the consumer. And they get software that works too! And full office package for $80.00! Wow! No security/malware worries too!Come on Micro$oft. Seriously?Nah! Linux - it just works right. Hee, hee!
windmill007 said:
I think having more than two versions is a bad idea. Just give us home ultimate and business ultimate. Less confusion = more sales.Who wants basic
Per Hansson said:
This is so lameI really like Win7 and beleived the first voices that there would only be 2 versionsThis really prooves MS has no idea what their customers want2 versions are needed, if even that;ProfessionalBusinessAnd really those could be one aswell, no reason for this stupidity MS, how do you reckon normal people will know what to buy!!?This just reminds me why I like Windows 2000 so much, ONE version, so simple and so functional!
aolish said:
wow, just when you thought Win7 was shaping up to finally be what vista should have been. This gets pulled off. Not that this is going to have any effect on 7s performance. It just makes things a lot more confusing for people that aren't tech savvy.
MichaelLS said:
Well said 'Per Hansson'.Looking back - the difference between Home and Professional was basically two small components. A lot of people bought Home and updated it to Pro. For the life of me, I still don't understand the difference in the price. What could they have possibly saved in cash flow between the two? What? Did one of these modules have royalties attached or something? But that can't be - those components were freely available at the time. Still are!Take Vista apart. Look inside! Strange - I've seen this somewhere before! FACT!!!Media Center was / is another example. You paid how much for those two files?Seriously, what are these Micro$oft people thinking? I really think it comes down to used car sales tactics. Buy something - please - and this price range gets you this - and for only a bit more you get this option! Oh please!That's like paying for caller ID and Texting. Yeah - this really costs them a lot more to produce or provide.Today's clients and customers alike just want a product to work. Now! Hassle free and always reliably. No additional costs!And most today just don't want to have to make any complex decisions.
Julio said:
I agree with Per, disappointing and simply not needed.The actual breakdown for retail sales consists of three versions only however:Home Premium, Pro & UltimateThe others:Starter: for emerging marketsEnterprise: volume licensingBut still, we could have done just fine with 2 versions and that's that.
TomSEA said:
Not sure why anyone would be surprised at this. Windows7 is just a souped up version of Vista. All they've done is follow the same release path versions as Vista.
fullmetalvegan said:
It's actually not too bad an idea to have three versions, unlike what anti-Microsoft mascots will have you believe. If there is some form of actual component differences between the three then it's fine; you'll pick the cheapest one for simple use, etc. How ever with Vista, Home and Ultimate were basically the same thing, but you did get a lot of added content in Ultimate - not that any of it was very useful.
fullmetalvegan said:
[b]Originally posted by MichaelLS:[/b][quote]Nah! Linux - it just works right. Hee, hee![/quote]Isn't simple enough for most users, on some distributions it's frustratingly annoying to just see what disk drives you have. It also can't run games, and isn't compatible with a lot of things you would buy from a store... so it doesn't just work right, in reality.Linux is for geeks what Apple is to trends. It's more the status than actual functionalirt. Not saying Linux doesn't have perks, but it isn't an everyday option for all-around usage.
eafshar said:
"but does Microsoft really want to flood the market with six or more different versions of the same OS? "correction to all of us in North America and Europe 3 is what we'd see.i think the article is missing important information about how the starter and home basic only appears in emerging markets... and how people will only know and hear about 3 of them anywhere outside tech websites.the article is also missing info that all versions come in one DVD and will be easy to upgrade from one version to another by simply going to microsoft website and purchasing a product key.and there is nothing wrong with having 3 versions of it. mac OS only targets high end of the market while the 3 versions have specific targets.home premium for all us average users.. professional for businesses and ultimate for people who just have to have it all even if they don't use it and people who actually use the extra features.and why is the article also missing how each version is a subset of another? isnt that the reason why vista versions where confusing? as business was more expensive and had missing features compared to home premium? this article lacks a lot of substance and has quickly judged and compared.. there is a lot of opinion added to the article which are simply unsupported. by simply looking at why people found vista versions confusing one would see that there is nothing confusing about this.
Deathstar17 said:
Ugh...I don't want to get stuck with some basic version or have to pay more for the real thing. Just make two versions!
9Nails said:
Microsoft, PLEASE, no multiple versions! Out here in the real world, you're causing a mess! People want Windows to work at home and in the office in the exact same way. In many cases, it's our home computers that we're learning from and the work computer that we're trying to emulate. And at Home we're creating project files and want to be able to use them in the same way at work. Having the computer behave different ways is just frustrating everyone. In all reality, it costs Microsoft more money to split out and support these different features. Looking between the features you're giving us the exact same version of Windows 7, but turning parts of it on and off. Just stick to one standard code base like you did with Windows 98 SE, and make that the one you sell. If you pick a fair price, people will buy it. You can find revenue streams in your Office suite of applications. But please listen and simplify Windows 7 - we really don't need another disaster like Vista.
Darth Shiv said:
Sounds like another money grab and PR nightmare. Microsoft is sending the message that they are just interested in throwing confusion into the market and causing as much support work as possible. I'm not a Mac person but I have to say Apple has done right by the customer by having one consumer version of their OS with everything included.
DarkCobra said:
What a mess . . .
yukka said:
Most people will buy Windows 7 with new machines and they will get home premium. Some people will fancy Ultimate. It would be good if home premium had the bitlock encryption stuff included but I doubt that will be the case.
spydercanopus said:
I hate scarcity tactics. ONE VERSION, ONE LOW PRICE!
Grimrocker said:
Two versions would've been great but even three would've been ok - home premium, business and ultimate. This once again shows the utter disregard of M$ in trying to confuse their custmers and make things hard for themselves...
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.