Windows 7 improves on Vista’s artificial flavors

One of the annoyances that got Vista off to a rough start was Microsoft’s decision to package the operating system in six different versions with assorted feature sets that ended up contributing to customer confusion. While some had hoped that with the upcoming Windows 7, Microsoft would pare the offerings down to one or two editions, we learned today that is not to be. But while the new Windows menu will still feature six flavors, the lineup has been adjusted to make the differences clearer and the choices simpler.

For one thing, each edition on the ladder is a superset of the one below, which was not the case with Vista. Explained Mike Ybarra, general manager for Windows, “As customers upgrade from one version to the next, they keep all features and functionality from the previous edition. As an example, some business customers using Windows Vista Business wanted the Media Center functionality that is in Windows Vista Home Premium but didn’t receive it in Business edition. Customers won’t have to face that trade-off with Windows 7.” Most customers, Microsoft says, will find their needs met by one of the two primary editions, Windows 7 Home Premium, which will be the standard offering on consumer PCs, or Windows 7 Professional, which adds some features and functions useful to small businesses and home office workers. An Enterprise edition, with extra data protection and management features, will be available to Microsoft’s large corporate customers. On the low end, the less glossy Windows 7 Home Basic will be available only in emerging global markets, and there’s a hobbled Starter edition that original equipment manufacturers will be allowed to offer pre-installed on certain low-end hardware. And finally, for any individual enthusiasts who want the full enterprise-level feature set, there will be Windows 7 Ultimate. Still far from the elegant simplicity of the Apple approach (one OS to rule them all), but an improvement, nonetheless.


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  • Douglas

    When will Microsoft realize they will loose their Senior citizen base by not maintaining an Operating System they understand. Senior citizens do not have the financial resources to purchase new utility software since the old software can not be used in their new systems.

    But then I guess Microsoft has not realized the current economy crunch will minimize sales every where. I’m sure Apple will use this to their advantage and capture a good portion of the market.

  • Matt A

    Here’s my prediction – it will take 3 iterations to ‘get it right’ and get people to migrate from XP. This second iteration will represent an improvement, but likely not compelling enough to get the XP diehards (including me) to jump ship. My 2 cents.

  • Ed A.

    When is Microsoft going to learn to *KISS*–Keep It Simple, Stupid? Why not have the simplicity that the Apple software has?
    Also, what about going to Windows 7 from VIsta 32 or 64 bit? Are the Vista users going to have problems? And why not call this what it is, a clean up of Vista-SP2.

  • Steve N

    Woof, Woof!! Just can’t teach an OLD DOG new tricks. Here we go again!
    IMHO 😉

  • Joshua K.

    You wrote: “Still far from the elegant simplicity of the Apple approach (one OS to rule them all), but an improvement, nonetheless.”

    Just a pedantic point: actually Apple has two versions of MacOS X: one for home machines (Mac OS X) and one for servers (Mac OS X Server).

  • Bazza

    W7 looks and feels just like Vista, I’m having trouble learning to like it. And why oh why did they have to change ‘simplified’ networking yet again? Sharing and peering for home users was fine in 2K and XP.

  • Bryan

    The only thing more annoying than having to read the description is having to use the product.

    “We’re Microsoft. We don’t care; we don’t have to.”

  • ToNYC

    pleeeease put them out of their misery in six flavors.. the internal combustion engine is all it is…XP is fine… ne va plus…no va….Basta la Vista baby!

  • Markus Unread
  • SFGary

    Commenters Ed A and Bryan are spot on. If Microsoft gave free upgrades to us unfortunates who had to get Vista when we bought new PCs at the inopportune period they might make us believers again but that will come only when pigs fly, the sky rains blood or when Wall Street bankers return their bonuses or some other appropriate analogy…

    Anyway what does it take to run W7? A dual quad core, 16GB RAM and a TB of HD just for the OS? or they saying you can run it on a P4 with 512MB and a 100 GB HD?