Sometimes Microsoft adapts freakishly fast. Sometimes, however, it moves at a snails pace. One thing I wish they would catch on to is that releasing an OS in multiple versions leads to consumer confusion. It did it with Vista and it’s doing it again with Windows 7.Here’s the breakdown of how it’ll be released to market:
Windows 7 Starter Edition
The Starter Edition (SE) is mainly aimed at emerging market and netbook users. With SE customers will be able to run only 3 applications at the same time but will benefit from user interface (UI) improvements such as the new taskbar and JumpLists. Also, users will be able to join a Home Group (to share media files over a local network).
Windows 7 Home Basic
The Home Basic Edition (HB) is basically the equivalent of Vista’s Media Center edition and will allow the use of unlimited applications at the same time, while bringing further UI enhancements such as live thumbnail previews and ‘enhanced visual experience’. Additionally, HB also enables advanced networking support like Internet connection sharing (including over wireless) and brings the Mobility Center (power management for laptops).
Windows 7 Home Premium
The Home Premium (HP) version will bring all the visual goodies of Windows 7 like the Aero Glass UI and the advanced window navigation. Besides touchscreen implementations (handwriting recognition, multi-touch), the Home Premium edition also brings improved media format support and enhancements to Windows Media Center and media streaming.
Windows 7 Professional
The Professional edition of Windows 7 brings along more security and networking features like the Encrypting File System, advanced network backup and joining managed networks with Domain Join. Also, the Pro version brings location aware printing – whether at home or work.
Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate
Whether you’re a home user or a business, the Enterprise and Ultimate editions (probably differentiated by price in the end) will bring a similar set of advanced features like bitLocker data protection for internal and external drives, DirectAccess for corporate networking based on Windows Server 2008 R2 and lock unauthorized software from running with AppLocker.
So, how it breaks down is this the primary version for consumers will be called Windows 7 Home Premium, and the one for businesses will be called Windows 7 Professional. Home Basic is intended for sale in developing countries. Starter Edition can be installed by PC manufacturers anywhere in the world. If you want everything there is then Enterprise is for big corporate customers and Ultimate is for consumers and those versions have everything there is including the kitchen sink.