Windows 7 version rationalisation could have been another great feature

  Why has everyone been campaigning for Microsoft to reduce the number of Windows versions ? To avoid confusion of course. The news is no worse than Vista, but...

 Windows 7 versions

Why has everyone been campaigning for Microsoft to reduce the number of Windows versions ? To avoid confusion of course.

The news is no worse than Vista, but I think it bucks the trend of the rest of the Windows 7, which is generally a positive movement in the right direction. This really could have been a positive announcement had they rationalised, yet they’ve decided to continue with a large variety of Windows versions.

The complete list of Windows 7 versions:

  • Windows 7 Starter Edition (for emerging market and netbook users)
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for emerging market customers only)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (the main “Media Center” equivalent)
  • 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)

    I still struggle to understand why more than 2 versions are needed. Whilst any Windows version needs to appeal to a billion + people, these fundamentally fall into 2 main categories. Those who use it in the workplace (Business version) and those that use it at home (Home version).

    My main problem with the versions, despite there numbers is actually with the Starter Edition. It’s already been proven that the Windows 7 beta runs great on low-powered machines like netbooks. It looks like Microsoft is planning on pushing a cheap, limited Windows 7 to Netbooks.

    Netbook Netbook

    Over time they will naturally evolve to be more powerful, yet be handicapped by a software restriction in Windows Starter Edition that prevents them from running more than 3 applications simultaneously. What does this include exactly ? Does your virus scanning software count as one ? Then you’ve got your IM client, that’s 2. Then your browser, that’s 3. So if you want to play music, your out of luck. This is ridiculous!!

    It looks like Windows Ultimate Extras has been killed off.

    The official press release is available here, although I much prefer Mary Jo Foley’s explanation over at ZDnet.

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    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.