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Windows 7 to Ship in Multiple Versions?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 56 comments

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.

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  • -5 Hide
    Maxor127 , January 27, 2009 2:14 AM
    You'd think that after getting sued, Microsoft would think twice before doing that. But they're greedy fucks, so what can you expect? I'm sure Starter will be worthless and Ultimate will be a ripoff and it will follow the trend set by Vista with a ludicrous price on top of it all for a glorified service pack.
  • 6 Hide
    anonymous x , January 27, 2009 2:31 AM
    it gives people a choice, if you don't need all the extra features you can buy a cheaper basic version, and if you want more features you can get the ultimate version
  • 6 Hide
    Claimintru , January 27, 2009 2:33 AM
    It gives you the illusion of choice. When in reality the cheapest version is about how much an OS ought to cost.
  • 0 Hide
    ispyamoose , January 27, 2009 2:41 AM
    It is unfortunate that Microsoft dominates the operating system "industry" so to speak. They have really bombed everything in the last few years.
  • 3 Hide
    mdillenbeck , January 27, 2009 2:50 AM
    What?!? 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...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2009 2:58 AM
    W7Starter for the $400-500 laptops. Maybe we will see them in future netbooks? Don't know what the minimum requirements for W7 is yet so I'm just throwing that last one out as a possibility.
  • 3 Hide
    jhansonxi , January 27, 2009 3:23 AM
    MDillenbeckNo 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?
    Only if it came in a shiny commemorative tin box with a map showing how to find all the hidden system settings.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2009 3:24 AM
    @ MDillenbeck

    Win7 Server will have a core edition, just like W2K8 Server.
  • 0 Hide
    tayb , January 27, 2009 3:35 AM
    Screen shot doesn't look all that legit to be perfectly honest. You don't get to select which version of Windows you run... you did that before you made it home.

    I was under the impression that there were to be three versions...

    A basic version designed specifically for netbooks and not sold to the masses, Ultimate which would be what is on most machines, and Business.

    If this turns out to be true I sure hope that whoever made the decision behind this was one of the 5,000 employees canned.
  • 1 Hide
    Blessedman , January 27, 2009 3:48 AM
    I thought the whole idea would be sell us an OS cheap and slick without being bloated with stuff we may not want. Then with their live service you can "rent" features you want and download them and install... MS should get away from different feature set which you pay for. Allow us to pick and choose the service and software we want and stop cramming crap down our throats!
  • 2 Hide
    apache_lives , January 27, 2009 5:34 AM
    LOL its an improvement from all those idiots in the xp days thing pro is "faster" then home
  • 0 Hide
    michaelahess , January 27, 2009 6:03 AM
    tayb, that's the same install screen you get with w2k8 server, just gotta have the right license to register the right version. Probably will go away upon release though...
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , January 27, 2009 7:05 AM
    Will there be a Windows 7 Free Edition?
    I don't see why this worths a penny over Linux...
  • 7 Hide
    Chipi , January 27, 2009 7:11 AM
    The screen is legit alright.... But this is old news!!

    I saw this when I installed my copy of the Beta version... a few weeks ago! You get it only if you skip entering the CD-key at the beginning. Yes, you can do that.

    So now you have the option to test drive the OS and buy the CD-key afterwards...

    Good morning Tom's! Welcome to the real world!
  • 0 Hide
    JeanLuc , January 27, 2009 7:35 AM
    I can't believe there is going to be an even more basic edition then Home Basic. Aren't Microsoft getting sued for improper marketing of Vista Basic because in reality it wasn't really Vista?
  • 3 Hide
    bin1127 , January 27, 2009 8:12 AM
    What can they possibly take more out of home basic? I'd buy the windows without IE for even just $5 less.
  • -3 Hide
    caskachan , January 27, 2009 9:28 AM
    More proof than Mojave project is trolling people =D
  • 2 Hide
    Earthquake , January 27, 2009 11:19 AM
    If you download Windows 7 via MSDN, there is a note when you retrieve your Windows 7 Beta key, which reads:

    Quote:
    Product keys made available for the Windows 7 Beta program are for the Windows 7 Beta Ultimate edition which is the only real beta edition being made available. Please install Windows 7 Beta Ultimate edition and use the Ultimate edition with the product key provided. The SKUs you are seeing in the checked build are legacy SKUs of the Windows Vista SKU plan, and do not represent the Windows 7 SKU plan. We recommend and encourage you to focus testing and development on the Ultimate edition only.


    While I doubt that Microsoft will move to a single edition of Windows 7 (the note seems to imply that Windows 7 will ship with multiple SKU's), it does seem clear that Microsoft may be rethinking the ridiculous number of editions that Vista shipped with.

    Given the troubles MS has had with the whole "Vista Capable" program, I wouldn't be surprised to see some or all of the "Basic" editions (Starter, Home Basic, Business) disappear in Windows 7, leaving only the more full-featured editions (Home Premium, Enterprise, Ultimate). Of course, this is all just wild speculation at this point...
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , January 27, 2009 12:05 PM
    Doesnt matter to me. I get enterprise for free.
  • 2 Hide
    nekatreven , January 27, 2009 12:23 PM
    Maxor127You'd think that after getting sued, Microsoft would think twice before doing that. But they're greedy fucks, so what can you expect? I'm sure Starter will be worthless and Ultimate will be a ripoff and it will follow the trend set by Vista with a ludicrous price on top of it all for a glorified service pack.


    This had nothing to do with the fact that they had multiple versions, and everything to do with how they (based on Intel's crap and nagging) labeled the various hardware that ran those versions.
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