This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but there’s now evidence that Windows 7 will ship in multiple editions, following trends set by Windows XP and Windows Vista.
The latest version of Windows 7 beta, build 7025 (the public beta is build 7000), shows a screen during installation that asks the user which version of the OS he or she would like to install, according to a screenshot from PC Beta.
The five versions of Windows 7 are as follows: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate.
Considering that the public beta is clearly labeled as Windows 7 Ultimate, there was little reason to think that Microsoft would back off on the different tiers, despite what sort of difficulties or confusions they cause for consumers.
With all the advancements in Windows 7, especially the new taskbar, we can’t help but think that users of the lower-tiered versions of the OS would feel even more left out if such new UI changes were excluded.