Tuesday, February 3rd 2009

Windows 7 SKUs Made Official

Microsoft has had patchy success with its Windows Vista series of operating systems, and is banking on its next major addition to the Windows franchise, Windows 7 to turn its fortunes for the better. After having generously released beta versions of the operating system to the public, the company is gearing up for a product launch schedule. In the process, it made its SKUs (variants) of the operating system official today. The lineup consists of three variants in particular, suited for domestic deployments, with three variants aimed more towards commercial deployments, and then of course, there is an Ultimate variant that lets one have it all. The lineup for Windows 7 is as follows:
  • Windows 7 Starter Edition
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate


The Starter Edition variant is an entry-level OS for available through OEM/OEI channels. Like the Windows XP Starter Edition, it supports up to three open applications concurrently, along with restrictions on the kind of hardware that can be used in the system. For emerging markets, the Home Basic variant serves as a mainstream platform sans all the paraphernalia of a fancy, animated Aero UI. This variant will be available only in emerging markets. The Home Premium variant adds Aero UI, multi-touch HID capabilities, and the ability of creating workgroups or home networks, along with premium applications such as Media Center. It will be available world-wide through OEM and retail channels.

The Professional variant is a super-set of Home Premium and has enhanced networking capabilities such as Remote Desktop host, domain support, offline folders, etc. It adds features such as Mobility Center (that provide system management for portable machines) and Presentation-mode making PCs boardroom-friendly. It will be available through OEM and retail channels. The Enterprise variant is available only in volume-licenses and serves as a client OS in large networks. It is a super-set of the Professional variant, and adds to its feature-set with Branch Cache, Direct Access, and BitLocker features. Finally, there's the Ultimate variant that lets you have it all, it is a super-set for all the variants.Source: Engadget
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55 Comments on Windows 7 SKUs Made Official

#1
Lillebror
They make it 32 bit 64 bit cause of loads of people still have hardware for 32 bit, that dosent have 64 bit drivers.

And why is it, that most people that complaining that win7 ultimate is gonna be expensive, have big computers and stuff? Here in denmark a vista ultimate oem licens costs about the same as a ati 4850 does - You cant use your computer without either one of em. Sure, i can find a cheaper os or go linuxfreeware. But i could also just get a gfx card from a friend.

If you cant afford it, you dont need it.
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#2
mtosev
by: PVTCaboose1337
Starter edition sounds like fail. 3 apps at once! I need to watch movies, play MP3s, browse TPU, and play games. GOSH!
i think some of you don't get that: Starter isn't avaiable in the USA, EU, Australia,...

it's for India, Bangladesh, Somalia, Brazil,...
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#3
blueskynis
by: mtosev
i think some of you don't get that: Starter isn't avaiable in the USA, EU, Australia,...

it's for India, Bangladesh, Somalia, Brazil,...
Poor they....
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#4
Mussels
Moderprator
magma: have you lost your mind?

XP had home, pro, MCE, corporate (Volume version of pro), x64 and server 2003. They were all the XP flavours.

To most users, thats all there is here. Its not like you'll ever see anything on shelves thats not home premium or ultimate - the rest arent available to the average consumer.
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#5
CrAsHnBuRnXp
Ill get professional jsut for the sheer fact of remote desktop.
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#6
buggalugs
they should make all versions 64 bit only....
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#7
Mussels
Moderprator
by: buggalugs
they should make all versions 64 bit only....
except for the starter edition, i completely agree. there is no reason to have two versions - nearly every CPU these days has 64 bit support. Perhaps they left 32 for the netbooks, does atom do x64?
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#8
mtosev
the reason why is very simple:

15% of the companies that buy windows relay on Athlon XP and Pentium 4 cpus that aren't 64bit capable. if M$ wouldn't make 32bit windowses the companies would swich to linux or stay on their current windows and M$ would losse a lot of money.
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Starter Edition is more of a move to encourage buying a genuine copy, for those who don't understand piracy. System integrators simply install a pirated OS and buyers don't realise that. Those who end up using Starter Edition don't quite feel limited by the restrictions it has.
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#10
DaveK
Although I'd like Ultimate just because it's got it all, I'll probably get Home Premium 64bit, upgrade at that, if they still do it and if I'm able to upgrade from XP MCE 2005. I hope I can because it costs less :D
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#11
BrooksyX
Too many SKUs. Two would be perfect. One for the business world/servers/power users and one for home users. I guess a much cheaper version of the home version would be okay as well. So I would consider that like 2.5 versions of windows 7. However, 6 versions is just way to many.

Anyways, I am yet to be impressed with windows 7. It does really offer anything that Vista doesn't have and the small performance gain isn't worth going out and dropping $200 for it. Hate the new GUI too, please bring back Aero. I have Vista Home Premium on my Desktop and Laptop and I have zero problems or complaints. Can't wait for Vista SP2!
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#12
Nick89
Whats the difference between these?:confused::

Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise
Windows 7 Ultimate

Why are they different? what makes them different?
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#13
alexp999
Staff
FFS MS, I was really hoping they were going to thin out Windows SKU's this time. I dont want Media centre, but I do want aero. So now like Vista Im stuck with buying Home Premium, when Basic has all the features I want.
IMO, it should have been:

Windows 7 Home - Aero Glass, Aero Background, Windows Touch, Home Group creation, DVD playback and authoring, premium games

Windows 7 Professional - Domain join, Remote Desktop host, location aware printing, EFS, Mobility Center, Presentation Mode, Offline Folders, BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, AppLocker, Direct Access, Branche Cache, MUI language packs, boot from VHD

Windows 7 Ultimate - Everything including Media Center.

Either that or Media center should be available as an add-on to Windows, like you used to be able to get Windows Plus!

/just my 2p.
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#14
InnocentCriminal
Resident Grammar Amender
I'm interested in 64bit Basic - I don't care for Aero or any of that gubbins. I won't need touch screen/tablet capabilities. Remote Desktop I'll use a preferred 3rd party app. Don't need Media Center - but I would want a decent codec pack installed by default so different media types work straight out the box.

Networking wise, I wouldn't want that to be hindered, simplified but not cut down & limited.

Security (UAC can get ******!) I like how Security Center is, but once I've disabled what I don't need due to using my preferred programs I wouldn't want a constant freaking reminder that Security Center has been disabled.

Instead of adding in useless crap the average user doesn't need, they should work on making a gaming edition. Actually that'd suck they'd fill it full of Windows Live bs.
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#16
alexp999
Staff
From what I have just read, only the Home Premium and Professional will be widely availble to the public. Ultimate will be limited and I'm pretty sure the same goes for Basic too.

I just hope they get pricing right.
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#17
Triprift
If the pricing here with software is anything to go by my guess would be about double what ther states pays. =/
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#18
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Triprift
If the pricing here with software is anything to go by my guess would be about double what ther states pays. =/
go by previous OS prices.

XP home was $110 Au and XP pro was $200 when i last looked at prices (this was back before vista) so you'd assume approx $150 for home basic and $250 (max) for home premium

(in $au)

ultimate will be ridiculously expensive, but hell, 90% of the people using that have it cracked or pirated anyway.
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#19
Triprift
I actually thought ms would of learnt there Lesson from Vista and had just Home premium and Professional but no give us six flavours and keep the confusion going.
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#20
Mega-Japan
by: Mussels
magma: have you lost your mind?

XP had home, pro, MCE, corporate (Volume version of pro), x64 and server 2003. They were all the XP flavours.

To most users, thats all there is here. Its not like you'll ever see anything on shelves thats not home premium or ultimate - the rest arent available to the average consumer.
x64 and Server 2003 doesn't count as versions of XP. x64 was just an alternative to processors with 64-bit capabilities, just like MS is going to release W7 in both x86 and 64 versions as well. Server versions are a totally different thing, W7 won't be replacing Server 2008 once it's released. As for MCE, it was just an special edition added later on with "up-to-date" features and a different skin, that's all it was really.

So it was just Home and Professional Editions, Corporate being a volume license of Pro just like you just said.

These seem like the most reasonable way to go. Fine, perhaps just Home, Pro and Business. Enterprise being a volume license of Business, but Home Basic, and Ultimate are certainly not needed when all "significant" features in Ultimate can go right into Pro.
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#21
mtosev
by: Mussels
90% of the people using that have it cracked or pirated anyway.
i did buy it. a 1 year ago for 360eur. retail box/Fpp.
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#22
Mega-Japan
by: mtosev
i did buy it. a 1 year ago for 360eur. retail box/Fpp.
If I had the extra money to throw out the window, I'm sure I would too.
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#23
Jizzler
I like the move back to "Professional".

If you, like me, were using XP Pro in your home (for features that differentiate it from XP Home), then you basically had to choose from Vista Business or Ultimate. Business lacked some Home Premium features and Ultimate gets pricey when you have to buy for multiple machines.

I'll take a 3-pack of Win 7 Pro!
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#24
CrAsHnBuRnXp
by: Jizzler
I like the move back to "Professional".

If you, like me, were using XP Pro in your home (for features that differentiate it from XP Home), then you basically had to choose from Vista Business or Ultimate. Business lacked some Home Premium features and Ultimate gets pricey when you have to buy for multiple machines.

I'll take a 3-pack of Win 7 Pro!
Home Premium really did need remote desktop. Had I known it didnt have it, i would have spent the extra money for the business edition.
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#25
niko084
by: Lillebror
They make it 32 bit 64 bit cause of loads of people still have hardware for 32 bit, that dosent have 64 bit drivers.

And why is it, that most people that complaining that win7 ultimate is gonna be expensive, have big computers and stuff? Here in denmark a vista ultimate oem licens costs about the same as a ati 4850 does - You cant use your computer without either one of em. Sure, i can find a cheaper os or go linuxfreeware. But i could also just get a gfx card from a friend.

If you cant afford it, you dont need it.
Simply put... Making large moves like heh everything is 64bit now is literally stupid and causes MAJOR issues... Look what happened when vista was released, they could have done 100% backward compatibility with XP applications, but they didn't and look what it caused.

As a starting line I know people that are running P4's with 1gb of ram running Win 7 now and are enjoying it more than XP or Vista, we are still talking about 32bit chips here... It's like asking why do they still make boards with PATA ports, why do floppy disks / drives still exist... It's nearly endless, but in turn they exist and are continued to be made for VERY good reason.

*Let's just convert ALL new gas stations to server E-85 only!*
***FYI this would make sense too at that level, you can produce "more" power from "less" E-85 then from standard E0-E10 blends.

What they should have done was individual packages as they were saying they were going to do in the first place... 99.9% of users do not need anything over Vista Basic and really need less than it gives. So if I want support for more ram, I have to get Business or H.Prem, then I get a lot of other junk I don't need nor want. It's Microsoft continuing to be fat and lazy.

I have no doubt that Windows 7 will be a great OS, I just wish they would do it "right" for once.
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