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Windows 7 scaled back to five editions

updated 02:15 pm EST, Tue February 3, 2009

Windows 7 Editions

Microsoft this afternoon revealed that its editions of Windows 7 will be slightly scaled back from the company's existing lineup and will also be more logical. The software developer now says it has dropped Home Basic entirely and will change its strategy such that each improved version will be a superset of the other rather than pull some features out for others, as it has for Vista. Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions will have Media Center and all the other features of Home Premium.

The aim is to prevent users from having to give up certain features without having to purchase Ultimate, Microsoft argues. The company expects most users to only have a decision between Home Premium and Professional and with Ultimate an option only under certain circumstances.

However, the launch mostly leaves the Windows 7 lineup with the split it sees today. Developing regions the feature-limited Starter version, which limits users to running three programs and disables significant parts of the interface, including Aero Glass, touchscreen support and the "peek" feature that lets users see just certain windows without first switching to them. Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate users also get relatively modest feature additions, such as the ability to connect to workgroup domains, host Remote Desktop Connection sessions, and (in Enterprise and Ultimate) BitLocker for encrypted user data and AppLocker for the ability to restrict software on an app-by-app basis.

The company also has yet to address concerns for Windows 7 licensing with netbooks, which often run Windows XP to take advantage of less expensive licenses in addition to the reduced processor overhead.

by MacNN Staff



  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    well too bad...

    that macNN can't write a competent article that can be readily followed while reporting on M$ trying to out a reasonable product structure.

    ALSO - MacNN - how does Micro$oft discussing their OS plans have ANYTHING to do with Apple or Macintosh based News ?

    Did I miss the memo?

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Do you use a Mac?

    UberFu, you can run Windows in a Mac. By all recent accounts Windows 7 flies on a Mac. Why wouldn't a Mac user be interested in this story? I guess it would be due to the fact they might use it? I've run both OS on my Mac for a number of years now.

    As for the topic, I still think multiple versions of Windows is just a way to generate money. Gotta hate big Redmond for that.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    4 too many

    Five versions of 7 is still four too many!

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How can you claim it's a money grab? Couldn't it also be the opposite?

    Wouldn't Microsoft make more money if they only offered the most complete and highest priced option? By allowing for a cheaper, more limited version, couldn't you also argue they are losing money?
    Unless you consider the desire to sell more product as a way to generate money... in which case I think any business is guilty. Do we have to hate them for that?

    I'd enjoy hearing an explanation of your comment.

    P.S. the real reason MacNN talks about Windows is not because Macs can run Windows... its because Mac Users love to join together to criticize Windows. Drives traffic!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is from Electronist

    The reason we're reading about Windows has nothing to do with the fact Macs can also run Windows, but with the fact that this article is not from MacNN, but from the Electronist blog, which is not Mac oriented.

    As for the different versions it's not only a way to confuse users, but it's a dumb marketing strategy as people don't see the strength of one product as it gets split in this manner. One day Microsoft may get it, but until that day I'll just observe from a safe distant.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not a money grab

    Since most users get the OS that comes with their computer, they'll just end up with Windows 7 Home Theater Media Killer edition, and just stay with that. Most users just don't care, nor will they realize they're missing out on some useless features of Pro or Ultimate (I installed Ultimate on my MacBook Pro and can't say I notice a difference between it and Professional - I'm sure there is somewhere...).

    I can see the IT people loving the concept of Windows Pro coming with Media Edition features. Nothing you want more than having to disable a bunch of useless features from your collection of machines.

  1. martinX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Addon Packs

    If I was running Microsoft, I'd shut it down. But seriously folks ... what would be wrong with Windows 7, WIndows 7 Server and expansion packs that contain the extra apps? That's what's missing isn't it? Extra apps, not some fundamental part of the OS. Have a Media Pack (with MovieMaker and that abominable music maker), a Web design Pack (with Frontpage etc [shudder]), a Print Design Pack (Publisher and others. Also [shudder]) and an Office Pack. They already have the Office Pack, so this would be the same.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft doesn't' get it

    My house doesn't even have five different kinds of windows in it.

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Money grab plainly

    By authoring 5 editions of W7, MS is most likely to cull the most cash from the populous. In theory, good business. Yet, at the price point MS typically sets for any of the editions, it isn't a bargain OS that's for sure.

    With OSX, all editions are "premium" and typically less expensive than the equivalent MS offering. A Mac mini is loaded with the same OS at the highest end tower. That's more like it. The fact that MS has paired down it's offerings is a nod to the wisdom of this pricing model.

    Testicaludo, has a point, most users do stick with the OS provided on their machines. Yet, the ones who would care, like Mac users interested this article, likely move between the two. So, I guess that is one of those mute points we hear tell of.

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