Windows 7 to come in same editions as Windows Vista

windows7editions.jpg

(Click to enlarge)

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 will ship in six separate editions… the same six editions, in fact, that confused and infuriated consumers during the Vista rollout. It’s not beyond parody, but it’s hard to imagine how Microsoft could fail to take on board the criticism of its last OS launch short of downright mental retardation. It would defy belief… except it’s Microsoft.

Note to Microsoft: at most, there is a requirement for exactly two SKUs of Windows 7: one for the home user and one for the enterprise. And when you’ve already given away the best version of Windows 7 for free? You can only blame stupidity at the top.

As Rob just said in editor’s chat: “Perhaps Ballmer has been promoted beyond his sphere of competence. This is totally the thinking of someone who sells enterprise-class databases.”

Above, a handy chart for understanding the announced different Windows 7 Editions, with equivalent prices helpfully provided by Engadget.

Windows 7 Edition Announcement [Microsoft]

Previously:

Microsoft announces 20 editions of Windows 7

Windows 7 going down the Windows Vista path with multiple versions …

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32 Responses to Windows 7 to come in same editions as Windows Vista

  1. RedShirt77 says:

    I’ll just take the Blue one.

  2. strider_mt2k says:

    Oh snap.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    Super Ultra Mega for me!

  4. Takashi Omoto says:

    Starter Edition, bringing the Atari ST experience to the undeveloped world.

  5. Dustin says:

    Exactly three of these will be available to any consumer in any first-world country.

    Home Premium
    Professional
    Ultimate

    Additionally, why the hell does anyone who frequents gadget blogs care how many versions Windows comes in? It’s not like it’s confusing.

  6. Coxswain says:

    Daemon @30 it’s a moot point anyways, because Windows Seven already runs fairly well in beta on netbooks, or at least that seems to be the prevailing opinions.

    I’ve got it installed on an MSI Wind U100 (1.6 GHz atom, 1 GB RAM, 120 gb HDD, Intel integrated graphics) and it runs at least as good as my copy of Vista on my dell E1505 (1.8 GHz core duo, 128 MB video Card, 2 GB RAM, 250 gig HDD), based on my totally not scientific “How many programs can I open at once before my operating system chokes?” test.

  7. Dustin says:

    @TUBMAN:

    It’s refreshing to see so many commenters casting off the shackles of political correctness by implying four fifths of the world’s population can go fuck themselves.

    While I realize it’s fun to do so on the internet, assuming motives that weren’t implied doesn’t really do anything to back up your points.

    I don’t see how the three versions generally available to first-world countries means the rest of the world can go fuck themselves. It just means they have different choices available to them.

    Or you can just fly off the handle and make accusations. Whichever suits you.

    I’d be curious to know what weighting you gave to non-first world people to reach that average.

    Oh cry me a river with your tears of political-correctness.

    Just because maybe, possibly, his use of the word average wasn’t completely accurate doesn’t mean his overarching point doesn’t stand.

    People in first-world countries will see only three versions, persons in other countries will see a different set of versions. Hardly a scheme to keep the people down.

  8. The Lizardman says:

    Echoing my comment in another thread: thus no money from me for MS again this time around.

    So happy I looked into a linux shift a couple years back

  9. BCJ says:

    @Tubman
    “I’d be curious to know what weighting you gave to non-first world people to reach that average.”

    My definition for average person buying a computer/OS is mean/mode. If you take all of the people who are buying a computer/OS (excluding bulk computer/OS purchases by companies, I think you can safely lump them in a different category), and pick 1 person at random, the person is more likely to be from a first-world nation, than from a non-first-world nation.

    This very well could just be ignorance on my part, but I’ve always sort of assumed that the way market penetration broke down (http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/12/26/global-computer-owne.html), the average person was from a first-world nation (I must admit, I am a bit shaky on the exact definition of terms like first-world nation (as well as what Microsoft deems as an “emerging market”).

    If you have any statistics on world computer sales I would love to see them, and am definitely willing to stand corrected on this matter.

    Even if I am wrong about what constitutes the average computer buyer, I don’t think that mulple versions of the OS are overly confusing. Whoever is buying a computer will no doubt have to make more confusing choices when it comes to buy, and even in the places where Starter and Home Basic are offered, it’s not like Microsoft won’t sell the other versions to people who want them.
    Microsoft is in it to make money, so they are going to try and sell the best (most expensive) version of their OS that they can get away with.

  10. RedShirt77 says:

    Can I have a Venti with soy and a shot of espresso.

  11. Tubman says:

    It’s refreshing to see so many commenters casting off the shackles of political correctness by implying four fifths of the world’s population can go fuck themselves.

  12. BCJ says:

    @The Lizardmand
    “Echoing my comment in another thread: thus no money from me for MS again this time around.

    So happy I looked into a linux shift a couple years back”

    Because linux comes in only one version?

    I really don’t see why this is a big deal. As stated by many others, the only two the average people will see are Home Premium and Professional (Microsoft’s comments seem to be that Ultimate won’t be widely available, so only those who are specifically looking for it will deal with it).

    Considering how happy everyone seemed to be (myself included) with things like Ubuntu Netbook Remix (or whatever it is called), it’s odd that there is so much hating over multiple editions of Windows.

    The two major problems with Vista’s editions are both fixed. Home Basic won’t be an option for the average user, and there is a proper hierarchy, with everything in Home Premium being contained within Professional (unlike how media stuff wasn’t in Vista Business).

    As someone who has really enjoyed Vista (which I’ve been running problem free since the beta), loves his Macbook, and enjoys using Linux, I don’t really understand the antagonism.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well, XP used to be Home and Professional;

    but then came XP MCE (=>vista home premium), XP Starter (=>vista starter); the real new addition were ‘ultimate’.

    So, same for 7.

  14. classic01 says:

    @BCJ & @Dustin: Well, if they can buy the other advanced versions, I completely agree. Cheaper options would curb piracy.

    On the other hand if they can only buy crippled versions of the OS. It would curb productivity and make a strong case for piracy.

    Do you know if all 7 versions will be available for third world countries or just the bottom 2 and enterprise versions?

  15. BCJ says:

    @Tubman

    “It’s refreshing to see so many commenters casting off the shackles of political correctness by implying four fifths of the world’s population can go fuck themselves.”

    But they aren’t, the average person buying a computer will have the 3 options (and really only 2). Those who are buying computers in locations where Starter and Home Basic are an option will be buying computers that Starter and Home Basic are (atleast theoretically) optimized to run on. What’s wrong with that?

  16. dimmer says:

    $320 bucks for an “upgrade” to an OS that never left beta honestly? That’s almost robbery. Yes, Apple brings out new OS releases more often, and they cost $129. Or $179 for five computers. If you have more than one computer to deal with, the math is appallingly simple.

    Best way to buy Windows? Buy a new PC.

  17. canes816 says:

    Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.

    I guess they haven’t figured out why Linux and Apple are successfully stealing a way so much of their market share. It’s not that those two systems offer vastly superior things, its that they offer a better user experience. No one complains about paying 2 grand for an Apple box, but people have a reason to complain about what they pay for a MS box. The reason is the user experience provided by each. Microsoft has lost sight of this (if they ever had it). Oh well, I guess I don’t need to install the beta then, since I won’t be switching anyways. XP FTW!

  18. cyklo says:

    Your article is slightly inaccurate. Starter and Home Basic will only be available in “emerging markets” – with Home Basic presumably being the upgrade from starter. Additionally it seems Ultimate will not be sold as an SKU, and primarily available as an upgrade.

    This leaves just Home Premium and Professional to be sold on shelves to users, much like XP used to be.

    Ref: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2340311,00.asp

  19. DTPhantom says:

    Yes there are 6 versions but it is far less annoying and confusing than vista. I don’t know why Boing Boing didn’t break it down but here’s the deal.

    Win 7 Starter is mostly for developing nations but also the possibility of netbooks. But since the beta of Win 7 runs so well on netbooks it probably won’t happen.

    Win 7 Home Basic is only for developing markets and won’t come to the developed world so you can forget about it.

    Win 7 Home Premium is going to be like XP Home its the standard consumer version with all the consumer features

    Win 7 Professional is like XP Pro it has all the Home Premium plus extra stuff for more demanding users.

    Win 7 Enterprise is the bulk license version which isn’t available to general consumers. So you can’t get it.

    Win 7 Ultimate is the consumer version of enterprise edition which has just about everything. It also will really only be available if you know about it and ask for it or buy the version online. It won’t be offered in stores.

    So while there are 6 SKU’s to the average consumer there are only 2, Home Premium and Professional. If you are techy enough to know about and acquire Ultimate then you are probably smart enough to chose which one is right for you.

  20. Halloween Jack says:

    The next time someone bitches that Apple stuff is overpriced, I’ll remind them that the latest version of OS X costs precisely half as much as Windows 7 Home Premium will.

  21. Narual says:

    @#9: Sure, but OSX has had how many new versions since XP came out? And to be fair, you need to compare the upgrade pricing, since any OSX releases are upgrades from the original that came with your mac.

    <3 my macbook, but let’s keep things fair.

  22. classic01 says:

    Is this the first time that Microsoft divided the world to sell handicapped versions of windows for who needs most?

    I wonder how will this segregation work to increase the amount of pirated copies of MS Windows on third world countries.

  23. Rodney says:

    I look forward to the commercials with Hodgman

  24. philipb says:

    It will be interesting to see the manufacturer’s position on this. Their wagons are firmly hitched to Microsoft’s OS and obviously the Vista debacle has left a lot of bad tastes all around.

    HP, Dell, Lenovo, Sony and their brethren are facing increasing challenges in the lucrative higher end laptop marketplace. No matter how fast/light/sexy they build their machines a public rejection of the OS nets them no sales. And as affluent mobile users flock to the Mac this is not the time to be further muddying the waters.

  25. Dustin says:

    Is this the first time that Microsoft divided the world to sell handicapped versions of windows for who needs most?

    I wonder how will this segregation work to increase the amount of pirated copies of MS Windows on third world countries.

    No, Vista has the same versions for third-world countries.

    MS credits the cheap price of Starter for lessening piracy, not increasing it.

    I’m not sure how you think making copies available for less would increase piracy.

  26. Parkingtigers says:

    The following comic is worth mentioning at this point, from back in the Vista days:

    [url]http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/2/2/[/url]

  27. Tubman says:

    @BCJ:

    the only two the average people will see are Home Premium and Professional

    I’d be curious to know what weighting you gave to non-first world people to reach that average.

  28. RedShirt77 says:

    Is there a refund for those of us stupid enough to buy a computer with vista?

  29. BCJ says:

    @CLASSIC01

    Vista had a starter edition that was ‘gimped’ (There was no Aero, and maybe other things. Only X programs running at once is new as far as I can tell). I am fairly sure there was a gimped XP as well (I recall people listing it as one of the 9ish versions of XP) I have no idea what the difference between XP and XP home was though.

    It depends on whether you can buy the more full versions of 7 in the third-world countries as well, or just the ‘gimped’ ones. I would hazard to guess that the biggest factor for piracy will be price. We complain a lot about OS pricing here, and I don’t think that it’s much cheaper anywhere else.

  30. MarkM says:

    Windows 7 Starter: “Limited to running 3 applications”!
    Imagine selling a house that “can have only 3 electrical outlets or maximum 3 rooms occupied, or 3, yes, windows open at any one moment or …”

    Windows 7 Crippleware. [Image of John Hodgeman in a full body cast]

  31. Rob Beschizza says:

    No.

  32. Daemon says:

    Windows 7 Starter has a bunch of resource-eating features removed to make posisble to run in netbooks… but that 3 app limit totaly kills it.

    Apparently they are really only plannin on advertising the two versions they expect that 90% of the users will go for.

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