Microsoft treats their operating systems like they are running an ice cream store and are always increasing the flavors they carry. Now with Windows 7 there are 6 flavors/versions of the operating system depending on where you live. If you are in the UK you will also be presented with additional K/KN which will have components removed to appease the government. Thankfully while they increased the versions it is unlikely that most consumers will be faced with more than 2 of them.
- Home Basic
- Home Premium
The first two, Starter and Home Basic are going to be reserved for developing countries. This is good for consumers as it will keep them from thinking they have features like Media Center only to get home and be disappointed.
The two that most users will see the most are Home Premium and Professional. Microsoft has decided to go back to the more popular version scheme for average customers that they had with Windows XP. While most people would prefer to see only one version of an operating system there is some logic to Microsoft’s scheming.
The only additions that have been announced so far for Professional are some networking and backup components. Enterprise is going to be just that, sold to enterprises in bulk . It will include the same things as Professional with the addition of Bitlocker and additional remote access features. Ultimate will be basically the same as Enterprise but with a higher price tag since it won’t be sold in bulk. More than likely Microsoft’s ability to sell Ultimate is hamstrung due to the “Ultimate Extras” fiasco that occurred with Windows Vista. People paid a lot of money for the Ultimate version with the hope that they would get additional features down the road. Unfortunately Microsoft never released more than a couple of small updates and customers were left very disappointed.
There is one version that many users were looking for that is missing from this list, a Netbook version. Personally I think that Windows 7 is well suited for Netbook’s and does not neccesitate a different version for it to operate.
Hopefully Microsoft doesn’t go over the deep end on pricing and misses the boat because they got greedy.
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