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Windows 7 to mimic Vista's multi-version lineup

updated 02:10 pm EST, Mon January 26, 2009

Win 7 Multiple Versions

A leak of an updated Windows 7 beta build suggests Microsoft plans to closely follow Vista's approach of several feature-limited operating system versions. Although the publicly available beta has always suggested multiple versions by listing the software as Windows 7 Ultimate, the 7025 build gives users extra options for Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium and Business editions.

What would differentiate these versions is unknown, though Starter has in the past been aimed at the developing world and is limited to a low maximum resolution as well as no more than three simultaneous running apps. Home Basic has added those features back but strips out Aero Glass and Windows Media Center present in Home Premium, while Business allows joining Windows Server domains. Vista Ultimate has always carried the full feature set of every lower version and has also included Ultimate-only extras like DreamScene video backgrounds.

While the beta is still several months away from completion and potentially includes placeholders, the addition to the relatively stable test version suggests Microsoft is sidestepping criticism of the company's strategy for Vista, which observers have charged is potentially too confusing for buyers and which is meant to drive up the average price of Windows by pushing mainstream users to the more lucrative Home Premium edition.

By contrast, competing software such as Mac OS X Leopard is divided only into client and server versions, while Ubuntu Linux comes in one main distribution with sub-variants like Kubuntu for special conditions. [via Engadget]

by MacNN Staff



  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No KISS

    Although choice is generally good, I think that this is one of the bad points of Vista.

    Two versions would be fine. Home and Business. I know MS may make more users, and does have a "trapped" clientele (not everyone is going to jump ship to OS X or Linux), but they should still keep the user experience in mind.

    Why shouldn't the home version have all of the features of the media version?

    Although the need for 32-bit and 64-bit versions is very interesting. At some point MS needs to forgo 32-bit. If not now, when?

  1. jets

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows 7 many versions

    Nothing to do with latest build, this information is also in previous and older build. However I think this is a mistake for Microsoft. I know many "regular" people that did not buy Vista for the same reasons.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    More not always better

    If Linux has taught us nothing else it's that more versions are not always better.

  1. leonpro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not again...

    What's up with all these versions anyway dictating what features a "Home Basic" versus a "Home Premium" should have included. It creates so much confusion on what OS to buy for the regular consumer. Provide one for the home and one for the business/server market.

  1. tvalleau

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free for Vista owners?

    subject says it all...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Although the need for 32-bit and 64-bit versions is very interesting. At some point MS needs to forgo 32-bit. If not now, when?

    Why should they forgo 32-bit? Just so they can say "Look at us! We're 64-bit!". Or so you can come back later and say "Hey, look at MS! They've cut off so much of their existing base by making it 64-bit only".

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Leave it to Microsoft...

    ... to undermine themselves. As long as Ballmer is in charge, Apple marketshare will only keep going up.

    At this rate, the only ones that keep religiously buying Windows are large corporate behemoths, with IT departments that have developed cognitive dissonance to a fine science.

  1. archer75

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no official word

    Keep in mind that Windows 7 is built on Vista. This could simply be there by default and something they haven't decided if they would keep or not. It may very well be removed. We won't know for sure until an official announcement is made.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's about money

    Well, the reason Microsoft creates different versions is to get more money out of customers that have it. The business versions cost more because MS figures that businesses won't have a choice but to pay the higher prices. The home versions cost less because MS would rather get less money out of an individual than none at all. They strip out the features that the individual doesn't want and charge less for it.

    Now, their reasoning for having 15 different levels is to get people to say s**** figuring out the differences, just give me the best version. In theory, they make more money that way.

  1. jay3ld

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: It's about money

    "They strip out the features that the individual doesn't want and charge less for it.:"

    They strip out the features you need and force you to buy the more expensive version. Such as business is the only one that can join a domain, making it impossible for organizations to use home editions.

    I have installed server 2008 on machines. I did find this surprising coming from the fact I had to either get a Server 2003 Enterprise or Standard edition cd and key from IT. It makes it a lot easier for me to select what the server is going to need (Why would a standalone DNS server need Enterprise or Datacenter items when a standard works fine). I also see a downfall in that considering if I wanted the features of Datacenter or Enterprise, I would basically need to reinstall windows again (Guess it's a good time to pull out the laptop and watch a movie).

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