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MS Confirms Six Different Versions of Windows 7

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the totally-learned-that-lesson dept.

Windows 758

darien writes "Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 7 will be offered in six different editions. In a seeming admission that the numerous versions of Vista were confusing to consumers, the company says that this time its marketing will focus on just two editions — 'Home Premium' and 'Professional.' But the reality is more complex, with different packages offering different subsets of the total range of Windows 7 features."

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758 comments

Obviously.... (5, Funny)

ArIck (203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724293)

Since Vista worked out so good for them they had to follow their 'success'. Seems like some people never learn.

Re:Obviously.... (4, Funny)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724477)

The selling point for all the versions would be the same, "Buy me, buy me, I'm not Vista."

Re:Obviously.... (4, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724717)

What's wrong with this though? It's standard practice that when companies release a new version, they tell you how much better it is than the previous version. Just as how with Apple, for years PPC was great, but as soon as they switched to Intel, it was "Buy me, I'm Intel".

The only thing that's a problem is if a company ends up urging people to buy a previous version of their product, not a newer one.

Re:Obviously.... (2, Informative)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724589)

XP worked out well, so did 98. Though I remember when XP came out people screamed (for over a year) "bloatware" "Suckware"....and now it is being touted as an great OS. The only issues I had with Vista are the constant nagging reminders (even as admin user) - the inability to permenantly remove the toolbar warning that I do not have my security settings on (well cause the inability to save program files annoyed me). Performance is fine for me.

I have windows 7 beta on my laptop - so far so good. When it comes out I will buy it for my desktop...My only annoyance is I will need to buy it twice (64 bit desktop, 32 bit laptop). Setting up the laptop to work with my wireless network was easy as pie actually. Least amount of configuration ever.

Re:Obviously.... (1)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724655)

I agree. Even if multiple versions had been a success with Vista, one might expect that they could see what happens to companies who release a lot of different products during a depression.

Original Sources (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724295)

I would hesitate to use the strong language of "confirmed" as the sites in the summary just link to other PCPro articles and it's all PCPro. I can't seem to find any really formal news release or website with Microsoft's official stance on this. I think this is a bad decision but they know their business better than I do.

From Paul Thurrott's [winsupersite.com] site (which breaks each version down by feature--don't ask me how he got them).

Here's the most reliable source [microsoft.com] I can find where it is revealed in a Q&A with the general manager for Windows at Microsoft.

The AP [google.com] has picked it and quotes passages from the Q&A session. So I think the majority of this is coming from a Q&A session with Mike Ybarra, general manager for Windows.

Which gives me pause and causes me to wonder ... are they really going to use the same marketing strategy they did with Vista?

Re:Original Sources (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724513)

Which gives me pause and causes me to wonder ... are they really going to use the same marketing strategy they did with Vista?

To reuse a meme from a few weeks ago.... "Well, I think you know the answer to that."

Re:Original Sources (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724539)

Which gives me pause and causes me to wonder ... are they really going to use the same marketing strategy they did with Vista?

Most likely. That 'strategy' is having the PC manufacturers preinstall it. That is how most normal people get Windows.

I am surprised that they didn't go with _7_ versions. They could have then called them Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy. Exercise to the reader to match them up with Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Fully Cracked editions.

Re:Original Sources (5, Funny)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724713)

I am surprised that they didn't go with _7_ versions. They could have then called them Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. Exercise to the reader to match them up with Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Fully Cracked editions.

There, fixed that for you.

...named as Sunday, Monday,...Saturday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724619)

will they codename the 7 versions as Sunday, Monday, ..., Saturday? and the marketing line to be "What do you want Today?"

Re:...named as Sunday, Monday,...Saturday? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724657)

I don't get it, so the OS only runs your programs one day a week? That's a huge improvement over some of their old OSes, Win 95 and Win ME, I'm looking at you.

Re:Original Sources (5, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724625)

but they know their business better than I do

Let's see...

"It's the guys who can touch us in multiple places that are Microsoft's top competitors rather than the guys who can touch us in any one place." -- Ballmer

"I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience." -- Ballmer

"I'm going to f****** kill Google." -- Ballmer

Er... maybe you actually DO know better.

Of Course they are... (1, Flamebait)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724719)

>Which gives me pause and causes me to wonder ... are they really going to use the same marketing strategy they did with Vista?

Microsoft has not learned. They think that Vista is good. They even have studies that they did internally that proved that Vista is fine. These were real user studies, no fakes. What they think is a problem is that Vista got a bad rep. And that is the flaw of their thinking. They are being mule headed.

Vista like Windows 7 will be a dud! I read in ZDNet how they have X versions, but more than 80% will be two main versions; Home Premium, and Professional.

This leads me to ask WTF are you doing releasing the other ones? So Microsoft is going waste money for less than 20% sales on 5 additional versions. Go for it Microsoft you guys are DUMB!

I have to admit once Bill G left Microsoft has had absolutely no tech vision or guidance! And Ray Ozzie is no role model...

Re:Original Sources (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724813)

I could not tell you how they plan to market it, however I do know for a fact, there are 4 distinct versions of windows 7. Naming scheme is similar to Vista.

I ran vlite (the vista version of nlite) to slipstream the drivers for my samsung nc10 notebook into the image, and when you first select the drive where you copied the CD files to, it pops up with a menu asking which version of Windows 7 you want to use. Obviously I selected Ultimate, but there are 3 other versions on the beta DVD.

How they plan to market, sell, or package, I could not tell you, hell I do not even know if any of these other versions on teh DVD will go into production, but as it stands right now, in the beta format, there are 4 separate versions of Windows 7 on the DVD

Get your lawyers ready! (4, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724309)

*TOTALLY* buying a 'windows 7' capable pc and suing when I can't run the most bells-and-whistles-ful version that exists. Anyone else game? We can start planning the class action lawsuit now!

Re:Get your lawyers ready! (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724543)

Any computer that is Vista ready is definitely Win7 ready. Most of the 32-bit programs and device drivers that are compatible with Vista are also compatible with Win7.

Of course, I am running the beta of Ultimate that was released by M$, who knows how the basic versions are gonna fare.

Re:Get your lawyers ready! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724675)

Kind of a dumb question, but what about 64-bit drivers? 64-bit is definitely the way of the future and it'd be silly to go 32-bit now. I know that you can run a 32-bit version on amd64 and presumably the intel equivalents, but that's kind of wasteful.

I suppose that would be a bit like when win95 came out saying that the dos 7.x that was bundled with it wasn't going to cause people any trouble.

Re:Get your lawyers ready! (4, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724723)

I'm already considering this. I just got a new laptop with Vista Home Premium. In numerous places, Microsoft has touted the security of Vista, yet Home Premium doesn't even include the Local Security Policy MMC snap-in.

Without the basic tools to manage my own local security, it is impossible to set up my laptop securely. This wasn't removed because Home Premium is incompatible, it was done as an up-sell opportunity. I've searched Microsoft's website extensively and there is little mention of the LSP snap-in being missing from Home Premium.

Re:Get your lawyers ready! (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724859)

Good luck with that, I currently have Windows 7 running on my Samsung NC10 netbook.. not exactly a powerhouse device, with all the bells and whistles, and while its not screaming fast, it is comparable to XP in most functions, I do get some slight delay on the fancy windowing minimize and maximize functions, but hey, its a netbook...

WOw (1)

madcat2c (1292296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724319)

That aught to clear things right up, thanks Paul.
I guess one will probably be stripped down for netbooks.
/sigh

Starter Edition (4, Interesting)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724325)

From TFA:

Starter Edition: A lightweight version for netbook computers, that will only be capable of running three applications concurrently.

Maybe someone can educate me here: are EeePCs and subnotebooks so underpowered that they can only run three programs at a time? It seems like a purely artificial limit repackaged as a "performance" feature.

Re:Starter Edition (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724417)

From TFA:

Starter Edition: A lightweight version for netbook computers, that will only be capable of running three applications concurrently.

Maybe someone can educate me here: are EeePCs and subnotebooks so underpowered that they can only run three programs at a time? It seems like a purely artificial limit repackaged as a "performance" feature.

Yeah, I don't know where they got that data point in the article. From the original source [microsoft.com] , Mike Ybarra mentions netbooks twice:

The second change is that we have designed Windows 7 so different editions of Windows 7 can run on a very broad set of hardware, from small-notebook PCs (sometimes referred to as netbooks) to full gaming desktops. This way, customers can enable the scenarios they want across the broad hardware choices they have.

Ybarra: At beta we've had a lot of people running our most premium, full-featured offering on small-notebook PCs (netbooks) with good experiences and good results. So we're pleased to see that on this class of hardware Windows 7 is running well. And of course we will continue to tune Windows 7 for performance as we move through the engineering cycle.

Nowhere does he say anything about the 3 app limitation and you'll note he mentions that in beta their most full featured offering runs on netbooks.

I do not know where PCPro got their information but I think this Q&A session is what started it. He seems optimistic about all versions of Windows 7 being usable on netbooks but who knows without getting field results (Vista capable, anyone)?

Re:Starter Edition (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724607)

I believe it's inherited from the super-crippled version of XP that was released into "emerging markets" that could only load up 3 applications at a time.

I was under the impression that Home Basic was intended for netbooks, and Starter for "emerging markets." Although I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to artificially limit what a netbook can do out of the box, to give the impression of a lack of power to drive people to buy a more powerful laptop with more expensive copies of Windows on it.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724425)

It seems idiotic to me. What counts as an application? What about services? What if you turn on IIS? Does that count? How about SNMP? How about explorer? How about the windows login executable? Svchost.exe? Bluetooth tracker service? Rundll32.exe? It sounds impossible to me - and very easily gotten around. Suppose each of those are signed, just remove the signature check and boom, done.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

timster (32400) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724535)

I don't like it either. You just know some poor soul is going to have bad RAM, get some "Illegal Operation" errors, and start keeping the MS Office disk by his PC so he can uninstall Excel and install Word whenever he needs to write a letter.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724739)

That's possible, but my parents computer has 3 cores, and the next one that I'm going to have will probably have at least 4. Meaning that unless the multithreadiness of programs improves drastically that I'd probably not even be able to fill up all of the cores at once on that version.

Seems more of an antitrust MS tax than anything else. I can't imagine why somebody would really want that beyond feeling they have to have Windows.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

lwriemen (763666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724475)

I'd shine the spotlight on Windows, before I'd look at the subnotebook specifications. Windows has a long history of being a poor multitasker among it's OS peers.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724485)

Not to mention that "ony three programs" makes no sense whatsoever. Running iTunes, Microsoft Word and Firefox isn't the same as running WordPad, Calculator and Solitaire.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

glebd (586769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724755)

In addition to being limited to 3 concurrent applications, the Starter Edition also uses only 1/4 of the screen.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724525)

It is artificial - duh - but the price is also artificially cheaper then the bigger versions. You get what you pay for. It's like saying "Well his Nissan Maxima has leather seats and Bose stereo, mine doesn't - that's an artificial decision"...response "So is the price tag".

If someone doesn't like the 3 app rule then they can get the upgraded version and run more apps. 3 apps is actually decent. You can run an e-mail app, browser app, and document editor at the same time. Right now on my computer I have excel, outlook and IE. No biggie. Would this version work for me? No...then again I am a power user. I hardcore game, I work in IT and frequently have 6-9 apps open (Word, Excel, Photoshop, Outlook, IE, IM, Notepad is VERY common for me).

Re:Starter Edition (5, Insightful)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724709)

It's like saying "Well his Nissan Maxima has leather seats and Bose stereo, mine doesn't - that's an artificial decision"...response "So is the price tag".

I get your point, but my point is that they're taking out functionality that was already there and then charging less for it. So to rephrase your analogy as I see the situation, it would be if Nissan built all Maximas with leather seats and Bose stereos, but then at the dealership they stripped off the leather and replaced it with canvas (or whatever), and put in a crappy stereo using the excuse that only audiophiles really need nice stereos.

I don't mind paying extra to add extra features, but it seems silly to put in a artificial road block to make it seem like I'm getting more with the Home Premium Edition.

Re:Starter Edition (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724559)

Other outlets have been more reasonable- Starter Edition is for third-world countries, and is a cheap-as-shit OS with limitations for being a cheap-as-shit OS.
 
My favorite though has to be in the boingboing joke article I linked to above: It claims that Starter Edition is only capable of running TWO applications: explorer.exe and an advert for Ultimate.

Re:Starter Edition (2, Interesting)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724745)

are EeePCs and subnotebooks so underpowered that they can only run three programs at a time?

Nope. I have a 1000H and it's fine with excel, word, a few pdf docs & browser windows open. Seems to switch snappier than my aging stinkpad T40 for good measure.

WHAT?! (1, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724333)

There's no Windows 7 Core edition for those of us who want to go back to a command line interface? No Windows 7 Ultimate Plus 100 that cost $100 more than Ultimate and includes the very useful feature of being allowed to download any one installation only digital copy of any Microsoft game valued at $25 or less? No Windows 7 Diamond that comes in a box with lots of bling and has a diamond screensaver unique only to that version for only $500 more than the Windows 7 Ultimate Plus 100 edition?

Come on Microsoft - how can I show that I like to spend tons of extra money for promised but never delivered features. Maybe they could try a new tactic - sell Windows 7 Beta for half the cost of Ultimate (but the license is only good for 6 months) and Windows 7 Metered (charges you for every second of time you use the Ultimate version - say 1 cent per minute. That's only $14.40 per 24 hours of use (so remember to shut down).

Why am I hearing The Who's song "Won't Get Fooled Again" all of the sudden...

=Smidge=

Enter the Balaclava light regiment...... (3, Insightful)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724741)

from TFA:
"[...]Windows XP users will have to perform a clean install of Windows 7, however, while Vista users will be able to keep their existing applications and data with an upgrade install."

I guess many CIOs/expert users will balk at this... In the office, I am perfectly productive on a 3 years old AMD processor, 512MB ram and a 120 MB hard disk....why should I spend money on a new (...) operating system, more ram, more processor, a new version of office, all to do the same things as before, just not any faster?
Add to this that I cannot upgrade and pray, but I must Fdisk and install....then recover all the other programs, wait for them to say "sorry, no compatibility",restore old settings, rinse/lather/repeat.
...Oh wait....I cannot register XP anymore......$%&/£%@Â#!!!!!!!!!

Do not tell the redmond guys, but IMHO their onlt chance is working hard at a version that not only looks like XP, but WORKS exactly like XP. No use trying to impose a change for change's sake, people might say bad things like "Ubuntu" or "wine".

They are selling six versions..... (0, Troll)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724369)

...and I will be buying none of them.

Re:They are selling six versions..... (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724721)

I think that a lot of people will wait till XP support dies before wanting to switch.

I was just thinking about the Ubuntu family of versions Desktop, server, AMD64 desktop, AMD64 server, Kubuntu and how many more? Yes, I know some are based on Ubuntu like Ubuntu is based on Debian. I wonder how much confusion there is over Linux distros for end users, and can they see any difference between the Linux distros and the Win7 and Vista family trees.

I look forward to Ubuntu desktop, home premium media center edition. NOT! But wait, there's more! [debianadmin.com]

All this bitching about MS and then see that page of Ubuntu versions, hmmm... they must have a large supply of chairs 'handy' in Redmond.

Sounds like another win for Apple (-1, Troll)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724375)

Say what you like, but at least Apple keeps it simple for the consumer. Everybody gets the same version, and they can customize which features get installed. You get to choose if you want to install BSD or Developer tools, language packages, etc. I know there's also Mac OS X server, but the difference in price tag still helps to make it an easy choice for consumers.

Re:Sounds like another win for Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724423)

Way to inject your fanboi-ism.

Re:Sounds like another win for Apple (1, Interesting)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724637)

Because grandma is going to know the difference between BSD and Developer Tools or how to set that up? If MS lists their version description just like in the article then it will be VERY easy for people to figure out. More then likely grandma will stick with Vista and only upgrade if her grandchild tells her to and then he will make the decision on which version.

I am pretty sure nobody here on /. wil be confused.

Re:Sounds like another win for Apple (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724707)

Why are there going to be different 32/64 bit disks? How is it that Apple can make a installer DVD with 4 different platforms (Intel/PPC, 32-bit/64-bit) but the 800 lb gorilla still has a different "64-Bit Edition"? Are fat binaries that hard to work with?

Re:Sounds like another win for Apple (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724767)

I know there's also Mac OS X server, but the difference in price tag still helps to make it an easy choice for consumers.

I presume the Windows versions will be priced differently too - otherwise, what would be the point in buying an inferior version?

Re:Sounds like another win for Apple (0, Troll)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724835)

Not troll, just wrong. I learned the hard way that Apple doesn't quite adhere to the "all OS versions come with everything" standard. Recently, I was using my MacBook and I wanted to some quick calculations involving logarithms. So I looked in the Apps folder for Mac's calculator program. I opened it and set it to scientific. Then, thinking it would have the basic features on its bundled calculator that come with Windows, I opened the help feature and looked for the keyboard shortcuts (which I prefer using and which make a big difference when you're not using or don't have mouse availabe).

Nothing came up.

When I asked about that on a Mac help forum, first, they called me an idiot for claiming there are no keyboard shortcuts on Calculator. Then, after a while, I was able to convince them that there really weren't, partly because another poster confirmed that 10.4 doesn't have the Calculator shortcuts. Their solutions:

1) You idiot, if you need to calculate logarithms, you should have a real, pocket calculator.
2) You need to upgrade to a better OS version (10.5) ... exactly the dilemma Mac fans love to say you'll never have.

Yes, I can understand if I want a feature that's completely new to Macs, like Time Machine, but *keyboard shortcuts on the calculator*? Something available over ten years ago on Windows? Basic functionally typically found on all programs? Considering Mac users' insistence that all Mac apps have easy keyboard shortcuts?

Why? (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724377)

I have never understood why Microsoft does this. Well, beyond the "make more money" aspect but that's because they're a company in the business of making money. The thing is, I just don't understand _how_ this leads to them making more money. In my mind, having one-and-only-one version of your operating system seems so much more efficient and cost-effective. It reduces the cost of pressing the discs, packaging, marketing - everything. It reduces the headaches of support (it outright eliminates the question of which version of the OS a person is running and thus what features they have access to, for example). In every way, it seems like it would cost Microsoft MORE to offer different versions of their OS which surely more than offsets any additional money they may make from doing it so I just don't understand why they do it. I'd love for someone to offer a flash of insight to explain what I'm obviously missing but, on every level, it just seems like the wrong choice.

Re:Why? (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724489)

Great points. I have never understood the Vista marketing scheme. But by limiting home versions (no domain joining) you can jack businesses for some extra green. One thing I do know, Apple does it right.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724639)

I think they must just like to pretend that their revenue stream isn't tied to one product. If they have "six different versions" of one of your flagship products, maybe they can fool themselves into thinking they're more diversified. Alternately, maybe it's because they don't want to burden joe six-pack and jane grandmother with any "power-user" features confuse and befuddle them. Or maybe this is done at some marketing droid's insistence to make him- or herself feel like they're making a contribution to the company, I don't know.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724553)

So then what do you base your price for the product?

Do you base it on the "entry level user" that uses it for web/email/photos and toss in the Enterprise features for free?

Or do you base it on the Enterprise features, but then customers will complain "Why am I paying for enterprise features which I'll never use?"

To solve your manufacturing/distribution point above you could always package the full version, but only allow certain features to be enabled via licensing. However, managing license keys brings its' own set of issues.

Re:Why? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724811)

However, managing license keys brings its' own set of issues.

Why would Microsoft care? That's the customer's problem.

From what I've heard, it's not like they care about making licensing simple today. Why do you think they will change?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724555)

Aye, it's confusing. I'm guessing it's because, in reality, all versions of Windows aren't worth any more than a decent copy of MacOS (around $100), probably less, and having all these fancy "Enterprise" and "Ultimate" versions of things enable them to sell something for $300 which normally should sell for $100.

That make any sense? The packaging, production, and stuff included with "Ultimate" doesn't really cost any more for Microsoft to produce than the cheapest version (is BitLocker really worth that much?), so if they sell it for $300, they're making a nice bit of change.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724563)

It's called confusion marketing.

The same tactics are used for those complicated mobile phone deals where there are ten packages, each of which differs slightly.

The idea is that the consumer can't be bothered to analyze each option to see which is the best for them.

Therefore they go for the one more expensive than the cheapest option, as taking the average seems like a good way to cut through the confusion.

This ends up with them spending more then they intended to, just in case, and still preserves the feeling of not getting ripped off, as they did not choose the most expensive one.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

swilde23 (874551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724737)

If a user can't be bothered to check what comes in the version of a product they are buying (whether it is a cell phone plan or an operating system), then they deserve whatever they get.

I don't understand why it is so outrageous that Windows offers different packages at different prices... "Choices???? Won't someone think of the children".

If they decided to just package it up into 1 version (or 2 for the hell of it), people would be screaming about the option to opt out of things they feel they don't need.

Re:Why? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724609)

In a word: "OEMs"

If an OEM can save $20 by selling a machine with a cheaper version of windows, they will. Microsoft won't even be in the support/headache loop so what do they care about that?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724663)

Actually - it is the "charge less money". They charge less for the reduced versions. So if ultimate is $300 and they only sell ultimate everyone pays $300. But if grandma only needs Basic features then why have her pay $300? Why not have her pay $200 and get only what she needs. Also, the lesser versions - since they have fewer features - will be less of a hardware hog meaning the computer hardware will be cheaper since they don't need to get the best.

See it's not hard to think of the positive. We don't have to be negative nancies.

Re:Why? (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724749)

Firstly, there's one disc for every version of Windows (per CPU arch)...

Secondly, the different versions really represent the different usage areas of Windows.

Essentially, you've got:

- Netbook hardware (basic windows runtime)
- Home (all the multimedia bells and whistles)
- Business user (enterprise functionality)
- Ultimate (multimedia toys + enterprise + some extras)

Certainly, 1, 2, and 3 are quite distinct markets with very little cross-over. So that's why; it's a "more is less...unless you've got cash to burn" philosophy.

Re:Why? (1)

rocketPack (1255456) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724771)

You know, if they just delay releasing some of the versions it'll be just like XP (in no particular order):
  • Windows XP Home
  • Windows XP Professional (and XP Pro corporate edition)
  • ...some time after the initial two versions...
  • Windows XP MCE
  • Windows XP Professional x64
  • Windows XP MCE 2005
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

And so on...

It's just how they do things.

Re:Why? (1)

braeldiil (1349569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724791)

It's all about having different price points. See, some people are willing to pay $50 for Windows 7, some are willing to pay $100, and some are willing to pay $300. If you only have one price, then you're leaving money on the table - either you lose sales because the price is too high, or you let the people who'd be willing to pay more keep their money. So you make a few different versions, with a few extra features for the people with $300, and collect a lot more money. The counterbalance is that the more versions you have, the more confusing everything gets. So there's a lot of balancing that goes in to deciding how many versions, and where to price them. Notice that the feature sets don't really go into this balancing act - as long as you have some small differences, you can sell premium versions.

Re:Why? (1)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724793)

There are more things in heaven and Redmond, whisper jeff, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

For various reasons, people like choices. That's why everything, from computers, to TV's, to cars, to even package food, comes in different "editions". If Microsoft has the math wrong, then so does everyone else.

6 versions? (5, Funny)

Shome (621324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724391)

I was expecting 7 versions to justify the names?? :-)

Re:6 versions? (5, Funny)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724453)

I was expecting 7 versions to justify the names?? :-)

If that's how it works, Windows 2000 must have been a huge headache :-)

Re:6 versions? (1)

Shome (621324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724819)

I was expecting 7 versions to justify the names?? :-)

If that's how it works, Windows 2000 must have been a huge headache :-)

That naming was based on a completely different philosophy. MS planned to sell that version for 2000 years...

Re:6 versions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724469)

People always forget to enumerate the empty set.

Re:6 versions? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724533)

Nope. 6 x 7 = 42.

It's all making sense now.

Re:6 versions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724585)

No it doesn't - The question is what do you get when you multiply 6 by 8....

Re:6 versions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724659)

No windows 7 means that you can only open 7 windows at a time... but I think with Ultimate you can open 9.

Re:6 versions? (1)

severn2j (209810) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724685)

<quote>I was expecting 7 versions to justify the names?? :-)</quote>

If you include "Pirated Edition", there is..

6 versions - yea not hard to understand (3, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724427)

What's so hard to understand? First off, they list - in a concise paragraph - what each version is. Second off, grandma-sue who barely knows how to use e-mail is not goign to perform an upgrade so she doesn't need to understand. People who perform upgrades, a task that is timeconsuming, will either 1) research, 2) pay someone (or ask a friend), or 3) buy a new computer and take what it comes with.

BTW - there will be 12 versions, not 6. They forgot to mention 32 bit vs 64 bit.

This is beneficial. Not everyone needs ultimate. Grandma who barely checks e-mail doesn't need every single bell and whistle. Emerging markets - those who can barely afford computers - I doubt they will be buying the latest and greater computers or the latest and greatest games...do you really need the latest and greatest in drivers if you don't have a video card for it? If 6 versions of windows is too complex I wonder what the author feels like when he goes to buy a car.

Im curious.... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724577)

How much extra does it cost MS to segregate the versions? Why not just ship the ultimate cd and ask, during installation or upgrade, whether the user wants a basic installation, a home media center installation, or a professional installation? There's already a widget in the control panel (or whatever they'll call it in this edition) that allows the installation of microsoft programs.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to simply send a single CD out?

(Yes, you'd miss the fanbois shelling out an extra $100 so they could say they bought "ultimate"; is it really that big a loss with most licenses going out through OEMs for nominal fees?)

Re:Im curious.... (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724775)

How much extra does it cost MS to segregate the versions? Why not just ship the ultimate cd and ask, during installation or upgrade, whether the user wants a basic installation, a home media center installation, or a professional installation? There's already a widget in the control panel (or whatever they'll call it in this edition) that allows the installation of microsoft programs. Wouldn't it be cheaper to simply send a single CD out? (Yes, you'd miss the fanbois shelling out an extra $100 so they could say they bought "ultimate"; is it really that big a loss with most licenses going out through OEMs for nominal fees?)

1) You don't know their costs, but CD pressing has been done for such a long time I doubt it costs them that much extra. Changing the label at the bottom of the windows logo from Basic to ultimate to... is not a major deal
2) Anyone potentially confused about 6 versions is not going to know what to install so will most likely say "install it all". And why not? if i paid for something I want it all....if their computer can't handle it all they now have to upgrade their hardware - or complain and return the product saying it failed. Those who don't understand will have someone help them with what to buy/install
3) Actually, you think MS would sell a one disk package and charge the Home Basic price or emerging markets price? They will charge the Ultimate price...meaning the price for grandma just went up.
4) netbooks or emerging markets pc's do not need the bells and whistles on gimped computers
5) Businesses don't need the bells and whistles and would rather save a few bucks from Enterprise to Ultimate edition...if its $10 per cd and your company needs to license for say 10,000 computers....that's a lot of money (no not exactly 100,000 due to enterprise license - but still a lot of money.

Versioning is fine - you wil either know what you want and will buy it (potentially saving money if you go for the reduced version) or you will get someone to help you who knows.

Re:6 versions - yea not hard to understand (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724611)

There is no benefit for anyone, but Microsoft. They could offer a modular windows and let everyone choose what they want for one price. In this way they want to squeeze more money from the market.

Re:6 versions - yea not hard to understand (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724697)

There is no benefit for anyone, but Microsoft. They could offer a modular windows and let everyone choose what they want for one price. In this way they want to squeeze more money from the market.

Ok MS gives only one version. They charge the Ultimate price $300. Now grandma, who only needs basic, is charged $300 because she has the option in this version to install everything...which she doesn't need. What a waste of money for grandma.

Versioning helps those who don't need all the extras keep their cost down. So there *IS* a benefit for people.

How about an ultralite version (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724431)

To me, at least, Windows has just become a front end. Windows - The welcome mat to the Internet, endless web services and a few essential applications. Frankly Windows deserves to be about 100Mb big and start in 0.33 seconds. I note this because I've also read that there will be a few versions of Windows 7, perhaps not as many as the silly number of Vistas available, but enough to cause concern. See, I'd be happy with the Windows 7 (insert real name here) Ultra-skinny-super-deluxe-lite version please. Price it around £30 ($42 - at this precise moment), please add your own browser, security and web apps. Think of it as going to Subways, choose the boring brown roll of an OS, then add all your own funky, juicy, meats, salads, peppers and sauces.

Re:How about an ultralite version (1)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724537)

Yes, but if Windows were SUCH a good operating system, what would the slashdot crowds and open-source fans (myself included) have to complain about?

I'm sure this is a money thing... (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724441)

Even so, why can't they just make one version, sell it at the cost that they'd sell Ultimate, and have an interface during install that shows the different "versions" and a quick explanation of the features included, the intended platforms, etc.

Beyond that, there should be a method to "upgrade" your install to one of the higher versions if you decide you need the added features and that your hardware can support it. Since you've already payed the price for a full Ultimate copy, there would be no need for extra costs to do this.

Granted, it would be nice just to have one version, plain and simple, but as a IT employee at a university, I'm going to want some sort of either version options or feature options so I can only install what I need on campus machines and not eat up disk space with things the students won't ever use.

a better idea (1)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724463)

I didn't really do the Vista thing, but it was my impression that everyone was really fucking confused about all the different versions and which one did what, possibly including Microsoft guys themselves? So the way this reads, Windows 7 will be pretty much the same in this regard, except they'll ignore most of the versions for the purposes of simplifying advertising, pushing the "fancy/expensive" versions while the lesser versions probably are what comes pre-installed on your pre-assembled computers. Or so it seems.

I think the (sarcastically) better idea would be if they let you buy something that boots into a browser-capable environment for $30 and then nickle-and-dimed you on everything else. Looks like you're trying to write a letter. To use the letter assistant, please have your credit card ready... Or something.

Completely different from GNU/Linux distros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724465)

Some people keep pointing out that these editions are equivalent to GNU/Linux having hundreds of distros. They are not the same, however.

The difference is: every edition, except the Ultimate version of Windows, is hobbled to make more money from the consumer. With GNU/Linux, none of the distros are hobbled. Generally distros are created to fill a particular niche, or just because the maintainer is doing it for fun.

Finally, there is no confusion for desktop-using newbies: simply use Ubuntu.

3 applications?! (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724467)

Starter Edition: A lightweight version for netbook computers, that will only be capable of running three applications concurrently.

Great, so one of the slots will be used by your Virus scanner, another by the Spyware checker leaving you with one slot left to run an app of your choice!

Re:3 applications?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724551)

Correction, leaving you with 1 slot for explorer.exe

Re:3 applications?! (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724667)

Starter Edition: A lightweight version for netbook computers, that will only be capable of running three applications concurrently.

Great, so one of the slots will be used by your Virus scanner, another by the Spyware checker leaving you with one slot left to run an app of your choice!

The Virus Scanner's stand-alone automatic updater?

6 Versions, let me think (-1, Troll)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724615)

So that would be:

1. Windows 7 Crappy
2. Windows 7 Pathetic
3. Windows 7 Mistake
4. Windows 7 Retarded
5. Windows 7 Total Shit Home
6. Windows 7 Total Shit Premium

Did I get everything?

Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724653)

Which one works?

Why does "ultimate" need to exist? (3, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724715)

Is there a reason Microsoft cant put BitLocker, AppLocker, Cornerstone, Direct Access, Branch Cache etc into Windows 7 Professional and then just have Enterprise be a volume license product (like XP pro corp was for XP pro)?

Is it purely a case of "those who need it can pay extra for Ultimate and get this stuff, those who dont shouldn't have to pay for it"? (i.e. money) Or is there more to it?

Microsoft Is Ridiculous (1, Insightful)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724735)

Windows XP Home
Windows XP Pro
Windows XP Starter
Windows XP Media Center
Windows XP Tablet PC
Windows XP 64-bit
Windows XP Embedded


Windows Vista Starter
Windows Vista Home Basic
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows Vista Business
Windows Vista Enterprise
Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows Vist 64-bit
Windows Vista Embedded


Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)
Windows 7 Home Premium (Media Center equivalent)
Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging market customers only)
Windows 7 Professional (the business SKU for home users and non-enterprise licensees)
Windows 7 Enterprise (for volume licensees)
Windows 7 Ultimate (for consumers who want/need business features)


So upon release, we could see TWENTY ONE different versions of 3 OSes floating around the IT world.

What a flipping nightmare.

Re:Microsoft Is Ridiculous (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724833)

...so in 10 years, that's 3 kernels & API sets (6 if you include x86 and 64bit) That's not so bad; the features different to each version are just the MS tools that come bundled.

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