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All XP upgrades will require a clean installation

Many had feared that Microsoft would release seven editions of Windows 7 and confuse consumers with too many choices. Those fears are only somewhat unfounded, as Microsoft has now disclosed that there will be six editions of Windows 7. However, not all of them will be available to consumers.

The six editions are Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. All editions will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. There are also plans for at least 34 localized language versions as well.

DailyTech previously reported that 64-bit versions of Windows 7 will be the most popular, as moving from 32-bit to 64-bit versions will require a clean installation. All upgrades from Windows XP will also require a clean installation, due to the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) introduced in Vista. You won't need a clean install to upgrade from Vista, but that will be the preferred option for advanced users.

The Starter edition is targeted almost exclusively at netbooks and ultra low end computers, as it has a limit of three applications running at the same time. It will only be offered pre-installed by an OEM.

Home Basic, on the other hand, is what most low end computers in developing countries will be using. It lacks the Aero interface, Live Thumbnail Previews, Internet Connection Sharing, and other features, but has no limits on the number of applications. As such, it is not likely to be sold in North America or the European Union.

The majority of Windows 7 shipments will be the Home Premium edition. It comes with the Aero Glass interface, touch screen controls, a new Mobility Center for laptops, and improved media codecs, as well as several other features. The HomeGroups networking system is something in particular that Microsoft has been highlighting.

The Professional edition has additional features, such as location aware printing, domain joining, group policy controls, a presentation mode, and offline folder access.

The Enterprise edition adds Branch Cache, DirectAccess and Bitlocker hard drive encryption for both internal and external drives. It also has improved support for virtualization. Branch Cache is a file caching option for branch offices of large corporations, designed to reduce access times to centrally managed files. DirectAccess is designed for corporate networks based on Windows Server 2008 R2, which is the server version of Windows 7. AppLocker is a centrally managed, rule-based group policy program for specifying which applications can run that is sure to annoy corporate users, but it will make admins happy.
The Ultimate edition includes all of the above features, but not much else. Microsoft is still considering what features to add to it in order to justify its price, since it is basically the Enterprise edition with a few extras. There are a few good options here, such as building in Windows 7 Sysinternals, or adding Windows 7 PowerToys.

Microsoft is pushing Home Premium for consumers and Professional at SMBs (Small & Medium Businesses). OEM licensing is expected to be key, as over 75 percent of Windows sales are based on OEM installations of new computers. Home Premium and Professional will also be the key Windows 7 products on retail shelves.

The Enterprise edition is targeted more at Fortune 1000 companies through its Volume Licensing program, and will not be available at retail. The Ultimate Edition will be available at retail, but will also boast a corresponding price. OEM sales of the Ultimate Edition will likely be limited to high-end systems targeted at the prosumer market.

Each edition builds on the previous edition. For example, the Enterprise edition contains all the features of Home Premium, as well as Professional. Because of this, all of the data for all editions is contained on one DVD. This allows an electronic upgrade to be accomplished quickly. Theoretically, you can upgrade from the Starter edition to the Ultimate edition within fifteen minutes, once Microsoft sends the electronic authorization to your computer.

No pricing information has been announced.

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what it should have been
By vapore0n on 2/4/2009 8:51:22 AM , Rating: 4
In my opinion there should be:

netbook version - lightweight, able to install and run fast on 2gb of HD space 1GB ram. No dumb total apps limitations.

home - everything needed at home. Media center, Aero2, directx11, etc. Able to select which apps you want and don't want at install time, like media center, IE, media player, etc.

business - packed with business useful apps and utilities, made to work on domains, etc.

That simple. 3 versions, all serve its own separate purpose. No overlapping features.

RE: what it should have been
By Ryanman on 2/4/2009 8:53:17 AM , Rating: 4
The app limit is so that people who get it won't bit# about how slow it is, and give it scathing reviews on newegg. Smooth move on MS's part.

RE: what it should have been
By rudy on 2/4/2009 3:10:57 PM , Rating: 1
Ya true, btu personally I think there should only be 1 version. You get a DVD with everything on it, during installation you pick which of the seven installation profiles you want cause after all the differences are all in features. M$ could still make money and they would piss off alot of people.

RE: what it should have been
By othercents on 2/4/2009 6:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate on my netbook and I consistently run 8 or 9 apps without a problem. The lightweight version isn't really needed. Plus how many people actually know how to launch more than one app at a time?


RE: what it should have been
By Parhel on 2/5/2009 10:45:57 AM , Rating: 2
Plus how many people actually know how to launch more than one app at a time?

What? How about everyone who has ever used a computer before.

RE: what it should have been
By Jedi2155 on 2/8/2009 4:18:45 AM , Rating: 2
That is a complete lie. I was once asked to help a person learned to use his computer. When I first went there I noticed that one of the active processes had been running for over 13000 hours! Apparently, the user did not know how to shut off the system.

Note that he was not a complete idiot as he owned his own successful business making more than most engineers. But common technical sense does not always apply.

RE: what it should have been
By rburnham on 2/5/2009 10:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
I imagine people that would go for the "light" version are people that are not hardcore users with dozens of windows and programs open. They are probably people like my parents, who either browse the net, check email or type things in word. So the application limit is probably unneeded.

RE: what it should have been
By Parhel on 2/5/2009 10:55:19 AM , Rating: 2
I almost never have more than 3 apps open at once unless I'm at work. Even so, I wouldn't want that limitation, even on a cheap netbook.

RE: what it should have been
By bodar on 2/6/2009 5:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
Just buy a not-so-crappy netbook? It does sound like a bit of a problem though depending on what counts as an app to them. Do AV or other systray programs count?

Re: apps, I'm the same way. At home, usually it's just a game and browser window, or just browser. At work, it's email, browser, RDP session, Word/Acrobat, dock, screengrabber, etc. I could not work without 2 monitors.

RE: what it should have been
By DNAgent on 2/8/2009 10:32:19 AM , Rating: 3
Plus how many people actually know how to launch more than one app at a time?

Are you kidding? Amongst inexperienced users, I find that the opposite problem is common...they end up running 20 programs at once, because they don't realize programs can run in the background without being visible.

RE: what it should have been
By jmurbank on 2/4/2009 11:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Microsoft should make one Windows version for desktop and notebook. This will cut down packaging costs and minimize confusion for users. I think their OS can easily fit on a CD instead of a DVD if Microsoft writes programs that requires a smaller foot print. Any additional components or programs that a user wants can be provided by Microsoft through a download service. Microsoft could provide the download service for free and/or at a price.

Apple does this. One for servers and one for desktops and notebooks.

RE: what it should have been
By KeypoX on 2/5/2009 1:21:15 AM , Rating: 2
apples leopard disk is about 8.5GB... what are you talking about?

RE: what it should have been
By fidelissemper on 2/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: what it should have been
By Tsuwamono on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: what it should have been
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 9:52:04 AM , Rating: 4
I agree... now we will both be rated down and scolded by the hypocrites and those who have too much money and too little brains.
Oh you mean those with common sense... Yes I agree people are lacking this ability these days. As I have already explained, how on earth is having one version in which you would have to pay more for features you are not going to use better than multiple version in which you get what you pay for. Also with the removal of home basic edition, one would assume that MS will drop the price of Home premium(just a guess).

RE: what it should have been
By reader1 on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: what it should have been
By StevoLincolnite on 2/4/2009 9:25:39 AM , Rating: 5
When another company can be competitive to Microsoft Windows in every aspect that meets my requirements, then sure I won't buy Windows Anymore.

However MacOS and the different flavors of Linux do not support 3D gaming on a level that I am accustomed to.

Plus the Drivers, Older games (Think DOS, Win95, Glide, Direct X 6 and 7 based games), and various software around are usually not compatible with competing operating systems.
Sure I could always do a Dual-boot but whats the point when I can use one Operating system to rule them all?

Operating Systems are highly complex pieces of Software, I'm amazed that Windows has such great compatibility with the thousands of different combination's of Hardware and Software Configurations.

If you don't like it, that's your choice, but for me Windows is the only Operating system of choice.

And no I won't do any form of "Emulation" - It always reduces performance, it's an additional software layer after all, consuming addition resources.

RE: what it should have been
By omnicronx on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: what it should have been
By StevoLincolnite on 2/4/2009 10:47:18 AM , Rating: 5
Wine although cool, is essentially adding an additional software layer between the software I desire to run and the operating system, hence depending on the program it may suffer from performance penalties.

However there are cases that using Wine+Unix is more efficient than running it on Windows and you will gain more performance, but at what cost?

Compatibility: It's not just Install and go, you may end up waiting for a few months for an API to be supported under WINE.

Reliability: Some Applications may Crash unexpectedly, that is the nature of the software unfortunately, especially when the software may be reliant on other 3rd party software. (Like Java or something).

Performance: Performance may improve, it may decrease.

Hence my original argument still stands in the previous post.

RE: what it should have been
By Solandri on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: what it should have been
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 12:20:59 PM , Rating: 4
Windows suffers from a single input queue. If it crashes, it's unable to accept any more mouse or keyboard input. ... For this reason, most programmers (who occasionally goof in their code and crash the input queue) prefer to test-run their Windows app via WINE or on Windows running as a virtual machine.
What in the heck are you talking about? "Single input queue" - huh? No, what you're talking about hasn't been a problem since Windows 3.1 or so.

I've been developing for Windows for many years, and the only time I use a VM for testing is when I want to test deployment, i.e., setup programs where you want to make sure your installer detects and handles missing dependencies. Also it makes sense to test with different operating system versions...

I can't say I've ever "crashed the input queue" in my many years of Windows development.

RE: what it should have been
By freeagle on 2/5/2009 10:27:13 AM , Rating: 2
Wine although cool, is essentially adding an additional software layer between the software I desire to run and the operating system

Just like Win32 API and .NET are under windows - software layers between the OS and your app. Wine is just linux implementation of Win32 API, for .NET, there is MONO.

RE: what it should have been
By danrien on 2/6/2009 12:32:53 AM , Rating: 2
Wine although cool, is essentially adding an additional software layer between the software I desire to run and the operating system, hence depending on the program it may suffer from performance penalties.

No it's not. It takes windows api calls and calls similar ones in linux. software overhead is non-existent.

RE: what it should have been
By majorpain on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: what it should have been
By Homerboy on 2/4/2009 9:40:45 AM , Rating: 5
what exactly "doesn't work" in XP or Vista? I've been using Vista since launch day on multiple PCs... I buy my OSes... and haven't really had a single complaint, nor crash since then. I've installed XP and Vista on HUNDREDS of work PCs without issues besides the inevitable user errors. So explain to me what is SO horrible about either OS and what "doesn't work" for you.

Using "M$" doesn't make you too cool. It makes you look like a sheep.

People pirate (myself included) because we are cheap and stingy. Not because things "don't work". I, and millions of people download 360 games and those "all work just fine. Call a spade a spade and be honest.

RE: what it should have been
By icanhascpu on 2/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: what it should have been
By Targon on 2/5/2009 6:30:28 AM , Rating: 1
Some people pirate because they want to do a "proper" evaluation before they spend their money on something. While it is illegal, there is a valid concern that a $100-$300 investment may cause some significant problems.

For example, there are a number of people out there who still run DOS programs in full screen mode. Finding out that you need DOSbox to run these apps in full screen mode under Vista would cause these people to stick with Windows XP, or to hope for driver support under XP for new computers.

Some client/server applications also broke under Vista, so knowing about that problem before paying to upgrade would also be a good thing.

People LIKE being able to test a new OS with their configuration BEFORE spending the money, and with the economy being bad these days(I see it from personal experience, not just from the news reports), people and businesses do NOT want to spend their money on things that will not work properly for them.

There WERE(past tense) some major stability problems with the NVIDIA drivers(for NFORCE chipsets and video cards) that caused a number of issues under Vista(blue screens and such).

I personally find that Vista runs well on my system, but driver issues continue. Getting a 64 bit driver for a Linksys wireless card for example. Teleflora software(florists are stuck using the junk) may STILL not have a Vista compatible version(I need to check that, it's been a few months).

So, not all software gets updated properly, and networking code for some older applications just doesn't talk properly. For businesses, it isn't as easy as just buying the latest version when you are talking thousands of dollars to get a new version.

When it comes to pirating games, Spore is the perfect example of why a number of people want to try before they buy. I look at games with the 10 hour rule, if a game holds me for 10 hours, it justifies the $60 price for entertainment. The problem is when a game goes on a shelf after only one four hour session.

RE: what it should have been
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 9:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
What exactly is your point here? Linux is free! and thus is not on the same playing field. If Microsoft were to do what you are saying, then you would have to pay for a bunch of features you are not going to use anyways. Or are you expecting that MS sell its OS with all available features for the price Home Premium will cost. I understand many of people agree with you, but it seems pretty obvious none of you have thought of the repercussions, or the fact it does not make good business sense. A more expensive OS would also raise the price of new PC's.

I would also like to point out that Windows 7 is very customizable, and only installs certain applications upon request(for example the picture viewer).

May I ask what advantage does would this give you anyways?
I don't see how picking and paying for the features you want at the time of buying the product is any different than picking the features during install, except for the various reasons I have already gone over. Furthermore there is a cool little app integrated into windows called 'add remove programs', you can customize all you want after your windows install if you would like. Businesses can also make customizable windows images with only the features they want.(in fact this can be done with any version of windows via slipstreaming)

RE: what it should have been
By hameed on 2/4/2009 8:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
That's basically what they did, but then added a version at the top which has everything and one at the bottom which has nothing :)

RE: what it should have been
By retrospooty on 2/4/2009 9:01:21 AM , Rating: 2
I would say 2 like XP... Home and Pro. Then have the installation option out the features you you want.

RE: what it should have been
By VaultDweller on 2/4/2009 9:14:56 AM , Rating: 2
XP had three editions - you're forgetting MCE.

RE: what it should have been
By retrospooty on 2/4/2009 11:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
Not really, MCE came years later after XP was released.

On top of that, it should have just been a downloadable update when the media center software was ready.

RE: what it should have been
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 12:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
Make that Year .. MCE2002 was the first edition of MCE not 2005.

RE: what it should have been
By retrospooty on 2/4/2009 10:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
oh... Well, I never heard of it. =)

OK, I change my whole answer to "should have been"

RE: what it should have been
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 9:06:24 AM , Rating: 2
XP Home, XP Pro, XP MCE, XP IA-32, XP IA-64, and XP Tablet.

RE: what it should have been
By Master Kenobi on 2/4/2009 9:15:28 AM , Rating: 4
Actually XP had several editions.

XP Home

XP Pro

XP Media Center 2003 Edition

XP Media Center 2005 Edition

XP Tablet PC Edition

XP Enterprise Edition

Now the Media Center Editions were not available at launch, but all the others were.

Windows 7 should have about 5 editions.

Netbook Edition

Home Edition

Professional Edition

Enterprise Edition

Ultimate Edition

By Brainonska511 on 2/4/2009 9:25:23 AM , Rating: 5
And only 2 of those will truly be available to consumers - Home Premium and Professional. You'll have to really dig to get Ultimate.

The other editions will not be available through normal consumer channels.

RE: what it should have been
By mmntech on 2/4/2009 9:27:55 AM , Rating: 2
XP originally had two though, which is how it should be. The others came out later on. Actually, Windows 7 will have 14 editions since they're releasing each in both 32-bit and 64-bit. Of course I'm including OEMs where each architecture type is sold separately.

Brace yourselves Windows fanboys because I'm bringing up Apple. OS X has two editions: home and server. The basic home version is $129 for a single license and includes all OS X's features and works on PowerPC, x86, and x86-64 CPUs. All on the same DVD. Why can't Windows be like this? It used to be. All these SKUed operating systems do is confuse people.

RE: what it should have been
By mmntech on 2/4/2009 9:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
Correction: 12 editions if you include the architectures. I had 7 on the brain. :p

RE: what it should have been
By Spivonious on 2/4/2009 9:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
Vista Ultimate had x86 and x64 on the same DVD (or at least in the same box), so I'm hoping MS includes both codebases in all versions this time around.

RE: what it should have been
By theapparition on 2/4/2009 12:43:47 PM , Rating: 3
All on the same DVD. Why can't Windows be like this? It used to be.

There is only one Windows 7 DVD. Any version can be unlocked with the appropriate activation key. Same as OSx.

All these SKUed operating systems do is confuse people.

As stated before, only two will be realistically available, Premium and Professional. This still confuse you?

Windows has to cater to a much larger audience, and hence, that's why there are so many versions.

RE: what it should have been
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 2:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
There is only one Windows 7 DVD.
No, at the moment - at least for the beta - there are separate DVDs for 32-bit and 64-bit. But you are right that all the "editions" are contained on each DVD.

And of course, there are different DVDs for different geographic regions/languages.

By Master Kenobi on 2/4/2009 2:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
There is likely to be different DVD's for 32-bit and 64-bit once again.

RE: what it should have been
By mikecel79 on 2/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: what it should have been
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 12:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes there was, it was large volume licensing only though, and was mainly bought by large businesses. Windows 7 enterprise will be no different.

RE: what it should have been
By mikecel79 on 2/4/2009 1:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
It was not called Windows XP Enterprise edition. It was called Windows XP Professional. It was the same exact Professional version you got from an OEM or purchased through retail except it used Volume License keys from your Select, Enterprise, or Open agreement.

Vista was the first Windows version to have a specially tailored version for large Enterprises with different features than they other Vista editions. The volume editions of Windows XP Pro and retail/OEM editions are functionally identical.

We have 10s of thousands of these licenses deployed throughout our company, and trust me they all say Windows XP Professional.

RE: what it should have been
By Master Kenobi on 2/4/2009 2:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
They say "Professional" but the Media is physically different. As is the set of keys associated with it.

RE: what it should have been
By mikecel79 on 2/4/2009 2:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
But functionaly they are identical. The Volume license versions do not add or remove any features that are in the OEM/Retail versions.

OEM and Retail are different media. Do those count as different editions?

By wetwareinterface on 2/4/2009 7:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
But functionaly they are identical. The Volume license versions do not add or remove any features that are in the OEM/Retail versions.

OEM and Retail are different media. Do those count as different editions?

oem vs. retail are different versions and do count.
the upgrade scheme is what's different between the 2, oem will only allow a repair install if the version is an oem to repair. retail will repair either.
volume license version is also different from retail/oem in that it is missing the windows activation "feature".

also there are 2 more versions of xp not including the crippled asian market cheap version and european union forced version sans media player and ie. those 2 versions are xp embedded and windows flp. the first is a completely customizable version that is for targeting embedded hardware. the flp version is a lightweight version based off the embedded version F or L egacy P .c.'s. it allows an installation to be extremely tailored down to a basic desktop and allow either including or not including media player, ie, or direct x. it will also default down to a win 2000 gui if your video hardware is deemed uncapable of the rounded windows and animations.

RE: what it should have been
By vapore0n on 2/4/2009 11:28:27 AM , Rating: 1
Media Center was superseded by 2004 and 2005 editions, so count that as 1 version. XP MCE, which was OEM only.

Tablet was OEM only, which just added support for touch screen, speech recognition.

Enterprise never existed

What did exist was XP Starter Edition, which is sold in developing countries and is limited to run 3 apps at a time.

RE: what it should have been
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 12:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Media Center was superseded by 2004 and 2005 editions, so count that as 1 version. XP MCE, which was OEM only.
IT was OEM, but it was not Tier 1 OEM (i.e not only available to large system builders). You could buy it off newegg and many other stores. Tablet edition for example was Tier 1 and was not widely available.

RE: what it should have been
By segerstein on 2/4/2009 7:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
You are forgetting Starter and Embedded XP editions. Maybe some other...

RE: what it should have been
By VaultDweller on 2/4/2009 9:12:43 AM , Rating: 2
The editions are fine this time. There are only three versions that consumers can acquire, and only two that are expected to have any real retail presence. It's pretty simple - pick between Home Premium or Professional, and that's all the choice you need to worry about.

Vista's editions were annoying for reasons other than the number of editions available. They were annoying because some of the options simply shouldn't have existed - Home Basic was a sham. They were annoying because more expensive editions were not always a superset of cheaper editions - you needed to go Business for RDP, but Home for Media Center, making Ultimate the only choice if you wanted both.

Windows 7 doesn't have that same kind of BS that Vista had.

RE: what it should have been
By Aloonatic on 2/4/2009 10:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
Seems to be 1 version missing from the list.

Windows 7 EU edition

RE: what it should have been
By VaultDweller on 2/4/2009 11:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
And I'm sure that it will be just as successful as the N editions they have now :)

RE: what it should have been
By Bateluer on 2/4/2009 2:44:49 PM , Rating: 3
Whats the EU edition going to have? No IE, Live Mail, built in AV codecs, administrative tools, task manager, System Restore, Defrag, Sound Recorder, Windows Media Player, etc, just comply with the EU's BS?

While I don't want to support an MS monopoly or support anti-competitive practices, lets be realistic. People want their OS to be nearly 100% functional out of the box, and not have to fumble around the Internet to get a browser, Xvid, Thunderbird, etc. For a tech savvy person, this would take about 2 minutes. The average user would never accomplish it and either return the PC to the store or never use it.

By Moishe on 2/4/2009 9:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
Which Edition will have Windows Media Center in it? This will determine which version I get. I will be skipping Vista and going directly from XP to W7.

By VaultDweller on 2/4/2009 9:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
All of them (except for ones that won't be available for you to buy).

By Spivonious on 2/4/2009 9:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
I imagine they'll keep it like Vista does it. So Home Premium and Ultimate will have Media Center.

By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 10:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it sounds like any version above home premium will have it. This includes enterprise and professinal. Many people got miffed when they bought the business edition of Vista, paid more and only got a few extra features over home premium, and it seemed the features missing far outweighed the features gained.

By Solandri on 2/4/2009 12:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'll wait and see. I suspect the real reason that Microsoft made an Enterprise edition was because the volume license version of XP was the most popular version to pirate since it didn't need to be activated. By removing certain desirable features (Media Center) from the volume license version of Vista, they forced pirates to either live without the feature, or figure out a way to work around the activation.

By geddarkstorm on 2/4/2009 2:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, now all the versions are on the same disk it seems, just locked based on activation codes. It /sounds/ surprisingly easy to pirate, in the sense that you buy the cheapest edition then just crack the disk to install the Ultimate edition, or whatever you want. I guess we'll have to wait and see how it goes.

By Master Kenobi on 2/4/2009 2:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
It is. Installing without a CD key would allow you under Vista to select which edition you had. Once installed, providing you could hack the authentication portion, would allow you to continue running that edition indefinately.

Frankly, legitimate is the best way to go. Hacking a copy of XP was relatively easy, but you had to watch out for service packs. With Vista and IE7/SP3 for XP, it became more headache than its worth to pirate it.

I own legitimate copies of Vista Ultimate and Office 2007 Professional.

By geddarkstorm on 2/4/2009 3:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yes! I'm not advocating anyone do that in any way. It's just interesting to me that if Microsoft worried about pirating as much as people have been saying, then they sure have taken a step back in protecting their software; so it would seem.

I just hope they have an easy upgrade system for the beta. If I bought the Home Premium of the release version, then I would hope the "ultimate" version of the beta wouldn't need to be wiped to be "downgraded" (upgraded?). Only a minor inconvenience if it does though; I've just become surprisingly attached to 7, and done an amazing amount of productive work.

By robinthakur on 2/5/2009 5:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the security of Vista was hacked pretty early on. By using the OEM BIOS hack (which still does work) one fools Vista into thinking its preinstalled on a specific vendor hardware and therefore it circumvents all activation etc and allows updates. There was no way for MS to kill this option unless they also killed off all the real OEM machines' licenses too. The bottom line is that Ultimate can be cracked within 5 seconds after which you'll never need to deal with activation again. VERY few people used that volume license hack you mentioned as it was too limited to be useful and only worked on certain versions i.e. not Ultimate. In short the machanism for pirating Windows changed, but ironically Vista is much easier than XP to pirate, I'm told.

Your reasoning is a little wrong, as the only people happy to live without a feature are people who pay for software, pirates expect and demand everything in a version. The most pirated version of Vista is Ultimate (even though they are all the same on the disc) Most did not bother with Vista until it was completely cracked, so I hear, as they have little patience for the "30 days grace" nonsense.

By VaultDweller on 2/4/2009 3:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
This is correct.

All editions of Windows 7 above Home Premium will have Media Center. Windows 7 is strictly linear with its upgrades - Professional has all of the features of Home Premium, Enterprise has all of the features of Professional, etc.

By Moishe on 2/4/2009 3:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's definitely a selling point for me. I use MCE every day and I won't go to a new OS without it.

Pricing will make or break this
By Bateluer on 2/4/2009 9:27:02 AM , Rating: 2
At first, I didn't like the fact that MS appeared to making the same mistake they made with Vista's editions. But, after, reading more about it, there's really only two editions that people need to worry about. People are stupid, though, and likely will still end up confused.

Pricing is what will determine my final opinion. I'd like to see Windows 7 priced competitively, meaning the top edition shouldn't be more than 200 USD for the full version.

The artificial limitation on 3 apps at the same time on the starter edition does kinda irk me. What exactly does this mean? Will there be a problem if a user wants to run the Steam client, Pidgin, Firefox, and Word at the same time? Do all the system tray apps that every runs count on this limit? I'm guessing there'll be a crack for this BS pretty quickly. Or people could just run linux on their netbook, as it should be.

RE: Pricing will make or break this
By troysavary on 2/4/2009 9:44:22 AM , Rating: 2
Who would be running Steam on a netbook?

RE: Pricing will make or break this
By Bateluer on 2/4/2009 10:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
I have Steam running on my netbook. Not every game on Steam requires the latest 3D hardware or a fast CPU to run well.

There are plenty of games on Steam that run great on an Atom and 945 IGP.

Either way, it doesn't have to be Steam. There are a lot of applications that could be ran simultaneously on a netbook. A 3 app limit is going to be crippling.

By VooDooAddict on 2/4/2009 6:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
I also run steam on my netbook.

I use it mainly for IM with friends, but once in a while break out an old classic or some of the newer casual games. I'm having far too much fun with Harvest.

Doom2 runs fine on a netbook :)

RE: Pricing will make or break this
By noirsoft on 2/4/2009 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2
Or people could just run Home Premium on their netbook, as it should be.

Corrected. Netbooks with enough RAM already run Vista, so why should 7 be any different?

RE: Pricing will make or break this
By Bateluer on 2/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: Pricing will make or break this
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 12:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
As I understand it, Windows 7 is being performance optimized so that it runs well on netbooks. It's kind of a black eye for Microsoft that netbooks have to run XP instead of Vista, and I'm sure they are very motivated to fix that problem.

RE: Pricing will make or break this
By Bateluer on 2/4/2009 2:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
And a limit of 3 applications at once is extremely tiny. Even on my 904HA right now, there more apps running then that. 3 apps is going to be extremely restricting for a lot of people.

RE: Pricing will make or break this
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 2:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that the version with that restriction is going to be very, very cheap or maybe even free. I think the point there is to compete with Linux in terms of cost without giving away the value of the more capable editions, especially in emerging markets.

But I agree with you, I'm not sure whether users will accept that limitation or not.

News or Blog?
By Spivonious on 2/4/2009 9:37:08 AM , Rating: 1
Jansen, you have to keep your opinions out of a news article. "Most users will", "Microsoft is searching for features to add to Ultimate".

Anyway, my thoughts:

Starter - are you sure this is a Netbook version? Vista Starter was only available in third world countries and was very stripped down and had the application limit. I imagine they're keeping it the same this time around. They've also demonstrated 7 Ultimate running on a netbook with no speed issues, so I don't see why anyone would want this version.

Home Basic - while I'd love to see MS abandon this, it does make sense for those who don't want to upgrade their machine to get the latest OS. I imagine it will be like Vista Basic and not sell at all after the first couple of months.

Home Premium - they should just call this one "Home" and get it over with. It's the version all but the most geeky users will need.

Professional - the article makes it sound like this version simply adds to Home Premium's features. Why does a professional need Media Center, DVD maker, and all the rest of the fluff?

Enterprise - This is interesting, as its features pretty much make Professional useless to all but the smallest companies.

Ultimate - This includes features from both H.P. and E. Hence it costs substantially more than either of them.

RE: News or Blog?
By tdawg on 2/4/2009 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
Professional - the article makes it sound like this version simply adds to Home Premium's features. Why does a professional need Media Center, DVD maker, and all the rest of the fluff?[/

This is just like with XP Home and Pro. XP Pro had all the features of XP Home with added features necessary for a business environment / need.

Windows 7 Professional will reportedly have all the features of Home Premium plus all the necessary business features, for those that use one pc for work and play. It makes people's choices much easier this go-round.

I always found the distinct differences between Vista HP and Business frustrating, as I wanted both the Media Center and the Backup system, but you couldn't get that without buying Ultimate.

RE: News or Blog?
By Solandri on 2/4/2009 12:27:02 PM , Rating: 2
This is just like with XP Home and Pro. XP Pro had all the features of XP Home with added features necessary for a business environment / need.

Actually, it's more like XP Home had certain features of XP Pro artificially crippled. There was no programming reason for an arbitrary connection limit or to remove remote desktop. I am all for new features, but XP Pro did not "add" features, XP Home took them away.

I always found the distinct differences between Vista HP and Business frustrating, as I wanted both the Media Center and the Backup system, but you couldn't get that without buying Ultimate.

That was the point. To get people like you to pony up the extra $$$ for Vista Ultimate.

RE: News or Blog?
By tdawg on 2/4/2009 3:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
Only reason I bought Vista Ultimate was because I got it for $50 from a friend at Microsoft. Would never have dropped $400 for an OS otherwise.

RE: News or Blog?
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 4:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
Vista Ultimate isn't $400. For example, at Newegg, it is $160 for OEM and $236 for retail.

RE: News or Blog?
By tdawg on 2/4/2009 7:20:34 PM , Rating: 2
At release, which is when I got it, it was close to $400, if I'm remembering correctly, for the full retail version.

RE: News or Blog?
By Spivonious on 2/4/2009 4:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Vista Ultimate OEM was $160 last time I checked...$320 for a new retail copy, $220 for an upgrade.

As far as needing Remote Desktop server (since all versions come with the client) and the image backup, those are both things I don't need (FreeVNC replaces the first, and there are countless image backup programs out there). I'm glad I wasn't charged for something I'd never use.

I'm wondering what MS's reasoning is for including Media Center in Win 7 Pro.

RE: News or Blog?
By Fritzr on 2/4/2009 10:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
The reasoning is that each version includes ALL features and applications of the next lower version. That is stated in the article.

They don't do as XP did and say that #1 is basic, #2 has MCE, but is missing things needed for business #3 has things needed for business but no MCE, #4 has all features offered by MS and a promise of more goodies later.

With the W7 model, if a business needs MCE they have it, if they don't need it then they can ignore it or remove it. It is not necessary for a business to buy the Ultimate edition simply because they have a use for MCE.

As for buying things you don't need ... just buy the key for the cheapest feature set that you can live with and forget about trying to decide what to do when two features you want, are unique to each of two different cheap versions.

With W7 you can buy the key for Home Basic and get third source replacements for all the features. It's your choice. All versions are on the install decide how much you want :)

Less editionto choose then what you think.
By GoodBytes on 2/4/2009 10:22:12 AM , Rating: 2
There are less editions to select that what you think.
Actually there are only 2 version! Crazy? nope.. please let me explain why.

Windows 7 Starter editions existed in Vista and in XP!
It is for emerging markets

Windows 7 Home Basic is also for emerging market... (like the above one) so we won't even see it.

Enterprise edition is for group licensing.. so we won't see it.

Now we have 3 editions:
- Home Premium
- Professional
- Ultimate

The problem with Vista layout is that the Buisnes edition was more expensive than Home Premium, for an extange of feature. Based on the article, the Professional edition will NOT replace features but add them. So the layout it:

- Win7 Home Premium (XP Home edition + Media Center + tablet PC in one + more)
- Win7 Professional (XP Pro + Media Center + tablet PC in one + more)

What is is to be mad about?

RE: Less editionto choose then what you think.
By Bateluer on 2/4/2009 11:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
[q]- Win7 Home Premium (XP Home edition + Media Center + tablet PC in one + more)
- Win7 Professional (XP Pro + Media Center + tablet PC in one + more)[/q]

Explain this to your average user and you'll get a deer-in-headlights look. The average user is an idiot, I know, I work with them every day. Shoe laces are too complicated for some people, give them velcro.

By TheSpaniard on 2/4/2009 11:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
I saw these editions explained better else where

Versions available in US

Home Premium: Win7 + MC + Tablet

Professional: Home Premium + encryption + other misc busness features

Ultimate Professional + bitlocker

By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 11:18:52 PM , Rating: 1
The average user only knows that the new computer they bought comes with 'Windows'. I don't even think the average user knows there is more than one version of windows...

By salgado18 on 2/4/2009 11:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
I get mad for one simple reason: I live in Brazil. So, Starter Edition and Home Basic for us.

For european and american users, starting at Home Premium is in fact bad news, since you lose the option of a cheaper Windows 7.

And Starter Edition will feature on netbooks, so SE will be available for everyone.

I think the only reason for being Home Basic is making it cheaper, thus forcing everyone to pay more for Home Premium, which should be standard on every country.

By FITCamaro on 2/4/2009 3:21:37 PM , Rating: 3
Vista Business has features Home Premium does not and vice versa.

I have Vista Business x64. I love the built in back up tool. I could care less about Media Center. There are better free apps out there.

By Suomynona on 2/4/2009 9:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
The Starter edition is targeted almost exclusively at netbooks and ultra low end computers, as it has a limit of three applications running at the same time. It will only be offered pre-installed by an OEM.
Who in their right mind would pay for this? I've far from a Linux fanboy, but I don't understand why someone would pay money for a crippled OS when they could get Linux for free.

By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 10:04:20 AM , Rating: 3
In no way or form is Linux ready for the masses. Don't get me wrong, I have my laptop loaded up with nix, but it has a long way to go before it can replace Windows. Things are a lot better than they used to be, but in my experience, anyone who I have installed linux for loved it at first. Until they have a problem that only a linux guru can fix. At they point they go running back to windows with their tails between their legs.

I really think a lot more work should be put into WINE(compatability layer that allows windows apps to run in a nix environment), it has got a lot better over the years, but you still cannot install basic apps like Office . Until then, its going to be hard to convert the masses who are used to the look and feel of Windows.

By Fritzr on 2/4/2009 10:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Office is usable under Linux ... just pay for the commercial WINE offshoot Crossover Office.

Still not as compatible with all Win Apps as Windows is, but it does offer more support for Win apps than the FOSS branch. Just as with other parts of the Open
Source community...if you are willing to pay for design and support you can get more productivity.

There are a few other Win compatibility apps out there, but Wine and Crossover are the main ones.

By Spivonious on 2/4/2009 4:58:40 PM , Rating: 3
You do realize you just called Linux a crippled OS, right? lol

"Clean" install?
By SilentSin on 2/4/2009 9:37:20 AM , Rating: 2
What does Jansen mean when he says "clean" install? I sure as hell hope he doesn't mean XP users will have to buy the full version...

RE: "Clean" install?
By Hieyeck on 2/4/2009 10:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
No upgrading. Format/re-partition or dual-boot.

RE: "Clean" install?
By Spivonious on 2/4/2009 5:00:29 PM , Rating: 3
You can still use the upgrade version, but you'll have to reformat first. Given that they changed the video subsytem, audio subsystem, networking stack, user accounts, etc., trying to upgrade an existing copy of XP would be pointless.

XP did it right
By corduroygt on 2/4/2009 9:15:58 AM , Rating: 2
Home and Pro is all you need. Maybe add Ultimate as the MCE, but that's it.
Keep it simple MS.

RE: XP did it right
By Brainonska511 on 2/4/2009 9:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
They pretty much did. Ultimate is for those that want EVERYTHING and you'll have to really dig to find a copy of it since MS will not be pushing it.

Enterprise is only for volume license customers (ie: Business).

Thus, you're left with choices of Home Premium and Professional as the other starter editions will be limited to netbooks or emerging international markets.

RE: XP did it right
By FITCamaro on 2/5/2009 9:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
Ultimate is for those that want EVERYTHING and you'll have to really dig to find a copy of it since MS will not be pushing it.

Yeah a search on newegg is really hard.

still should have consolidated
By tastyratz on 2/4/2009 9:19:08 AM , Rating: 2
From what this article has it looks like professional and "enterprise" should have been consolidated. The extra features in enterprise aren't really worth a whole new edition of windows if you ask me. They are neat features but non essential to many in this economy - most of them can be achieved in other less elegant ways.

They might as well have released "home premium", and "home premium plus edition with paint and calculator" while they were at it under the same token.

RE: still should have consolidated
By tehbiz on 2/4/2009 9:31:21 AM , Rating: 3
which is why enterprise is targeted towards fortune 1000 companies... did you read the post or just skim it?

They is one edition missing:
By Oralen on 2/4/2009 9:29:59 AM , Rating: 1
What about the " We-f*cked-you-over-whith-Vista-Ultimate-and-it's-bo nuses,-so-you-get-this-one-for-free-edition "?

That's the one I want...

By 4wardtristan on 2/4/2009 6:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
haha! i do agree with part of what you said..

while being free would be lovely, they wouldnt do that...but i would love some form of reimbursement after the promises of ultimate "extras"

what did we receive? a crap edition of texas holdem, a sound pack, and another game.


cheaper windows?
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 9:36:36 AM , Rating: 3
Anyone else notice how there will not be a retail version of the OS below Home Premium?

Perhaps this could mean lower pricing for the Home Premium brand. This could possibly give OSX a run for its money, if they matched the price, in the long it it would be cheaper, as service pack releases are free from MS, unlike subsequent OSX 'updates'.

What the hell?
By Josh7289 on 2/4/2009 5:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
The netbook version is limited to 3 apps running at one time?

Looks like they'll still be stuck on XP for a while.

Really really stupid move, Microsoft.

Need Gaming Edition
By Scalptrash on 2/4/2009 5:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
I am quite surprised that Microsoft hasn't capitalized on all of the gamers out there. You can't tell me that an OS labled specifically for gaming wouldn't fly off the shelves and help to get a new OS off to a fast start.

It should be optimized and streamlined for gaming, keeping most unessential system resources off or to a minimum. Maybe even incorporate a "gaming mode" similar to safe mode. Hold a button down during boot and it only loads items for best gaming performance.

Most PC game companies are slowly and continually pulling away from publishing PC games, opting for the more profitable consoles. So much so that Microsoft started their PC gaming push two years ago with the "Games for Windows" campaign. With new packaging, store displays, etc. to emulate the consoles. It would be in their best interest to develop and promote a Gaming OS, which would not only help early adoption and sales in general for Microsoft, but for hardware manufactures and PC game developers as well.

Just an idea, my friends and I have talked about it since XP came out.

2 (maybe 3) Editions
By VooDooAddict on 2/4/2009 5:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
- Low Cost For Netbooks
- Yes to Aero GUI ... Netbooks are soon coming with better IGP.
- No Media Creation Tools, No Hosting Media files to PS3/x360, No Media Center, just the player.
- No advanced VPN/Domain business connection tools, No serving files, just basic Remote Desktop Client and connecting to shares.

- Everything that Windows 7 can do. Both home and business functions.
- Give everyone the full capabilities of connecting to the office! If you prevent interoperability at the OS level then people might as well be buying Macs for home use!

They can still have half a dozen SKUs because of:
- Volume License Key Versions
- Anti-Trust Versions

Also there's a need for:

- Extremely low cost Version of Windows 7
- No Aero
- UAC that can't be disabled (to help fight the creation of bot nets)
- Full windows application compatibility for .Net 3.5 / DirectX9 / ect.
- LIMITED to 3 programs running on the task bar at one time.
- Use in ALL markets to fight OS Piracy. Make the price low enough in each market that many people would buy it over pirating. (Not all, obviously, but many.)

By danrien on 2/6/2009 12:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
All upgrades from Windows XP will also require a clean installation, due to the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) introduced in Vista

And yet, the upgrade from XP to Vista didn't require a clean installation? Seems like a bogus reason to me.

By Lerianis on 2/9/2009 7:25:05 AM , Rating: 2
Just get a copy of Vista, install it first over XP, THEN install Windows 7.... no clean installation necessary! I already did that with the one older computer here in my home, and it worked great.

By fidelissemper on 2/4/09, Rating: 0
Let Windows Explode billions of versions...
By greylica on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 10:49:15 AM , Rating: 2
What does this kind of drivel even mean?
64 Bit C++ inscipient and insuficient codes given to the developers, and access denied to essential system services for inovative coders
If you prefer Linux, that's fine, and if you want to state your case here, also fine. But at least give some reasons that make some kind of sense, like you don't want to pay for Windows, you don't like the features, you don't like the look, or whatever.

Otherwise, you're just wasting your time typing because we all know a troll when we see one.

By BansheeX on 2/4/2009 11:51:18 AM , Rating: 4
That's the dumbest thing I've seen all year. You don't even understand how consumer-unfriendly Linux is compared to Windows. And believe me, I WISH we had a truly free alternative as good as Windows. But we don't. Linux can't gain market share because it isn't authoritarian enough. There is no official distribution, there are no official APIs. There are literally like 5 audio APIs and 5 video APIs, all very different from how DirectX does things. Developers would have to support each one to support every distro, just to reach 2% of the desktop market share. Until they solve that problem, Linux will forever be looking up at Windows' 90%.

By amandahugnkiss on 2/4/2009 2:13:03 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, after 15+ years this is the push Linux has been waiting for! This will deffinatley push MS out of the picture and pave the way for Linux/Mac domination, glad you guys are so on the ball and ready to move.

Here goes my -1 rating for a useless little rant: To be honest, a lot of people no longer want Linux users having anything to to do with their OS, they are a bit of a bore to deal with and more like a group of 8 year olds than a group of tech enthusiasts. The useless (and redundant) posts made in news groups, the constant bitching and whinning about how much better the OS is and how unfair it is that it doesn't have greater market share (oh, but you're making progress every day). Please, enjoy your OS, but leave everyone else the fuck out of it, for the most part we couldn't give a shit, take your wine and go.

By icanhascpu on 2/4/2009 5:31:21 PM , Rating: 3
Dude, lets be civil. Give them cheese too.

By FITCamaro on 2/5/2009 9:08:20 AM , Rating: 1
If you're going to rant about how smart Mac and Linux users are, learn to f*cking spell.

By Larrymon2000 on 2/5/2009 7:17:06 PM , Rating: 1
Are you trying to be witty and sarcastic? Because it doesn't work when you can't convey the language properly.

Let's dissect your asinine points:
1) Great mess of codes and services? What does that even mean? Are you a Microsoft Programmer? No? Then don't act like you have the ingenuity and development ability to criticize from the outside, staring at a black box because it's the "COOL THING TO DO"
2) "but one thing is certain, it´s slower than Linux" - No comment.
3) "OpenGL in Vista 7 continues to be a shame, deceptive, 4X slower." Huh? Another brilliant point reinforced by clever yet completely baseless "facts"! Are you a video game or graphics developer? Because I'd like to hear that from somebody that actually worked in the industry.
5) "64 Bit C++ inscipient and insuficient codes given to the developers" I don't even know if that's a stab at 64-bit code, C++ or correct spelling, but that sentence just extinguished all hope I had in humanity surviving another 200 years.

Sorry C++ just isn't as nifty and cute as Perl and 64-bit makes you write in all those extra 0s for memory address extensions instead of the usual 4 bytes =(

Stupid Microsoft... with 32bit.
By Belard on 2/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: Stupid Microsoft... with 32bit.
By omnicronx on 2/4/2009 10:24:35 AM , Rating: 1
You do realize that you need 64 bit hardware to run in 32bit compatibility mode.. Making a version of windows that adds a compatibility layer for 32bit hardware to run 64 bit applications would actually slow down windows adoption.

RE: Stupid Microsoft... with 32bit.
By TomZ on 2/4/2009 10:38:21 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that. The only hardware that is truly 32-bit or 64-bit is the processor itself. And all processors sold the past few years are 64-bit capable.

Unless you're somehow referring to drivers...?

That said, I wish the original designs of the 64-bit system would have been able to load 32-bit drivers. I don't know what that would have involved in a technical sense, but it would have made the 64-bit transition a bit less painful and maybe a little faster. I'm sure a lot of people are getting hung up on hardware where the manufacturer only supplies 32-bit drivers.

By Belard on 2/5/2009 12:45:02 AM , Rating: 2
If the computer / CPU has the performance power to run Vista / Win7 - then it should be modern enough to have 64bit memory access.

RE: Stupid Microsoft... with 32bit.
By Larrymon2000 on 2/5/2009 7:06:18 PM , Rating: 1
Your 64-bit comment makes no sense. Compatibility? What the hell is that? Last time I checked, pretty much all 32-bit apps could run in a 64-bit environment, except for drivers. The x86-64 instruction set is just a super-set of the 32-bit one. If you're complaining that Microsoft can't make 32-bit drivers work in 64 bits, then maybe that's because you'd have a damn hard time decoding 4-byte memory addresses when you're looking for 8 bytes. Can't blame them on that. If you really need the support, you'd have to run the drivers through some kind of a emulation/software layer. That'd just be stupid.

They offer 32bit and 64bit flavors so people with older machines can still run it. Granted, it's a rarity that a processor would not have 64-bit extensions built in, but the choice is there. Why fault them for that? If you were so concerned about their business model then you wouldn't bash them. What are you even angry about? That MS isn't Linux and Apple?

By Belard on 2/8/2009 10:03:47 AM , Rating: 2
And yet... what OLDER computers do you think is out there that can run Vista/Win7 that is usable?

Try running Vista with 512mb of RAM... get back to me.

Point is, hardware is cheaper and faster. When Win7 poops out, Quad Core CPUs will be hitting $100, 4GB of RAM is $25 (we're hitting $35 nowadays). Considering the amount of people and business NOT willing to use Vista with current hardware - why would anyone want to run Vista or Win7 on old stuff?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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