We had previously wondered how many versions of Windows 7 there will be. Now we know: Microsoft (MSFT) will offer six, count ’em six, different versions of 7.
And we couldn’t even track of Vista’s four versions.
The lineup is:
- Netbook-friendly Windows 7 Starter
- Windows 7 Home Basic, which will only be sold in emerging markets. (A place Microsoft has historically has crippling piracy problems.)
- Windows 7 Home Premium. This appears to be the typical consumer-grade offering.
- Windows 7 Professional. Offers a handful of networking add-ons.
- Windows 7 Enterprise. The corporate-grade, bulk-volume licence.
- Windows 7 Ultimate. Not too many details on this one yet. Looks to be similar to Enterprise, except geared for single-users.
We doubt this confusing line-up will scare too many would-be Windows 7 buyers away. But given Microsoft is trying to recover from Vista’s cluster of tone-deaf, annoying “features” like constant security pop-ups, this bewildering array of product offerings hardly represents Microsoft putting its best foot forwards.
UPDATE: A Microsoft spokesperson tells SAI that while there are six different editions of Windows 7 being released, for most consumers the choice will be one of two.
There will only be two primary editions: Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Professional. So most customers will only need to decide between these two versions as opposed to the whole line-up of options.