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Now table-tastic!

When Windows Vista first came out, there were many complaints about its price. Then there were complaints about how Media Center was included in Vista Home Premium, but missing from the more expensive Business Edition.

Compatibility problems and misleading hardware specification led to Microsoft being sued over its "Vista Capable" labeling.

Microsoft claims to have learned from the Vista experience. "We broke a lot of things. We know that, and we know it caused you a lot of pain. It got customers thinking, hey, is Windows Vista a generation we want to get invested in?" said Brad Brooks, Corporate Vice-President for Windows Consumer Product Marketing.

With its new "Russian Doll" model of linearly progressing features, Microsoft thinks its new lineup of six editions will meet a wide range of consumer usage models. All versions of Windows 7 include Internet Explorer 8 and DirectX 11, as well as improved multi-core processing.

With improved boot times and overall system responsiveness through all versions, Microsoft believes these engineering investments will allow small netbook PCs to run any version of Windows 7, and allow customers the flexibility to purchase a system which meets their needs.  It has also improved support and optimizations for Solid State Drives, targeting both netbooks and notebooks.

Expanded features were requested by corporations for the Enterprise Edition. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure allows Windows 7 to be run as a virtual machine. 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. Enterprise Search was designed as a highly secure, manageable, server-based search system. It enables users to search remote document repositories, SharePoint sites, and Web applications.
 
Windows 7's Search Federation uses an Open Source standard named OpenSearch. Users can select which sites are available for searching, or the IT department can populate the list by using Group Policy. The search results are presented in Windows explorer much like local files, with rich views, file details, and previews.

The data for all editions is contained on a single DVD. This allows an electronic upgrade to be accomplished quickly, once Microsoft sends the electronic authorization to your computer. Theoretically, you can upgrade from the Starter edition to the Ultimate edition within fifteen minutes.

Microsoft sees the sales of the Windows 7 product lineup in a bell curve. The vast majority of sales will be Home Premium for consumers and Professional for businesses and enthusiasts. The majority of Windows sales will be 64-bit, with over 75% of total sales through OEM installations.

However, the true value of Windows 7 can only be determined when compared against its cost. Microsoft has not yet released any pricing information.

Update: The table should now show properly for most browsers.
Update Feb 10: Added Advanced Network Backup

Windows 7 Version

Starter

Home Basic

Home Premium

Professional

Enterprise

Ultimate

Sales Channels

OEM  (Global)

Developing
Countries Only

Retail and OEM (Global)

Volume License

Retail/OEM (Limited)

64-Bit Support

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Concurrent Applications

3

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Mobility Center

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Aero Features

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Home Groups

Join Only

Join Only

Create/Join

Create/Join

Create/Join

Create/Join

Premium Games

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows Media Center

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows Touch

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advanced Network Backup

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Domain Joining

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Encrypting File System

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Group Policy

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Location Aware Printing

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Offline Folders

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Presentation Mode

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Remote Desktop Host

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

AppLocker

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

BitLocker

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Branch Cache

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Direct Access

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Enterprise Search

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

MUI Language Packs

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Virtual Desktop Interface

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Virtual Hard Disk Booting

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Unspecified
Features

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

 



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Its the Pro edition for me....
By Doormat on 2/9/2009 11:10:30 AM , Rating: 3
Remote desktop host! When I'm downstairs with my MB I can remote into my desktop upstairs and check on that handbrake encode...

At least I wont have to shell out all the money for ultimate. I don't see any interesting specific features that I would need at home that ultimate would provide.

I'm figuring it'll be $199 for the upgrade. A little much if you ask me, but MS is a monopoly so I would expect them to be able to get 25% more than they would otherwise be able to in a competitive marketplace.




RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By Motoman on 2/9/2009 2:18:33 PM , Rating: 4
www.RealVNC.com


RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By Doormat on 2/9/2009 2:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Meh, RDP is far more robust. Automatically changing screen resolutions for example - thats useful because my desktop is 19x12 and my laptops and other displays are all much lower.


RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By AnnihilatorX on 2/10/2009 6:06:06 AM , Rating: 3
I have always find Remote Desktop Connection or Remote Desktop Web Connection better than VNC in terms of functionality and connectivity.

VNC tends to fail at low bandwidth environment quicker than RDWC. VNC is more convenient if you just want to see and move stuff on the screen and not bother with logging people off (because you have to log in remotely). RDC/RDWC however allows you to connect to printers, listen to the computer audio etc.


RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By blyxx86 on 2/13/2009 11:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
I would suggest checking out this piece of software. I have it running on my parents computers as well as a couple "troubled" users.

http://www.logmein.com

At least for most remote tasks. I realize there are better things out there, but this is very nice and web based. No need to install special software on the machine you are connecting from, just a small app that runs on the client machine.


RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By Uncle on 2/9/2009 6:15:07 PM , Rating: 3
Right on especially when the larger oem's pay around $15 per instalation.


RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By yacoub on 2/10/09, Rating: 0
RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By x86 64 on 2/16/2009 10:02:14 AM , Rating: 2
Meh... I'll stick with XP Pro. I mean here we are two years later and their are still only a handful of DirectX 10 games. What is DirectX 11 going to fix this?

Besides I'm using Windows 7 x64 and it's slow, unimpressive and there are still bugs left from the XP days. People are fooling themselves if they think because Windows 7 is still in beta that the finally product will somehow magically be wonderful.


RE: Its the Pro edition for me....
By Kary on 2/16/2009 12:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
The pauses in explorer (copy large file... double click folder...wait 30 seconds...NO, I'm not using an SSD..this is a hard drive..not even my C: )..Windows 7 really does show that it is based off of XP


The article
By crystal clear on 2/9/2009 8:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
Very impressive presentation & layout indeed.




RE: The article
By V3ctorPT on 2/9/2009 8:35:22 AM , Rating: 5
Yep... Specially W7 Ultimate with Unspecified Features... I like surprises...


RE: The article
By michal1980 on 2/9/2009 9:27:31 AM , Rating: 2
more like 'lack of'


RE: The article
By Blight AC on 2/10/2009 9:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
"Yep... Specially W7 Ultimate with Unspecified Features... I like empty promises..."

Fixed! :D


RE: The article
By FaceMaster on 2/11/2009 4:37:47 PM , Rating: 5
I hope that Paperclip is back, along with real time damage modeling and metal bending features... all in DX 11, of course.


Concurrent Apps
By Alexstarfire on 2/9/2009 12:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
Is this supposed to be the amount of programs you can run at once or something, because 3 seems extremely low for a starter edition. It'd mean you couldn't run anti-spyware, anti-virus, and other such programs in the background. But maybe I'm wrong about what it means.




RE: Concurrent Apps
By SoCalBoomer on 2/9/2009 5:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
For the versions we will see, this will be irrelevant as we'll all get unlimited multi-tasking.

The bottom two versions are for specific areas - perhaps developing worlds where they need to use a more stripped-down version (old/donated/revamped hardware? whatever) but MS would prefer them to use a supported OS (easier to support instead of Win98/2K/XP even - centralize their support instead of spreading it out).

So we'll never see those. We will typically use Home Premium or better. . .


RE: Concurrent Apps
By Jansen (blog) on 2/9/2009 5:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
More on starter edition in an article tomorrow.

You can have three open windows at the same time, but you can have more minimized or in the system tray.


RE: Concurrent Apps
By Kary on 2/16/2009 12:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
sad, if they made the programs auto minimize when you open more than three I know of people who would appreciate it

Personally, I'm not one of them though :)

Would be interested to know if tabs apply (ala, 12 web pages in explorer...or better yet Firefox :)


RE: Concurrent Apps
By TheFace on 2/10/2009 12:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
It's a version that is supposed to be only for developing markets. If you're reading this website, you're probably never going to see it.


RE: Concurrent Apps
By Marlonsm on 2/10/2009 5:35:11 PM , Rating: 4
I'm from Brazil and I'm reading it.
It's just stupid to limit the number of applications, just like they've done to Vista SE.
I know, they say that's because people with SE don't have hardware good enough to run many things at once, but they do, I see here stores selling C2Ds with a 4Gb RAM with Vista SE, so locking it to 3 apps is just stupid, just think, you can't have an IM open while you're browsing the web, editing a text document and listening to music at the same time, something a normal C2D would have no problems with.

And what's funny(for more tech-savvy people) of it, is that in ads they sell Vista SE as being the best OS ever, even better that Vista Ultimate, same goes to Intel processors over AMD ones, most people here would buy a Pentium 4 with Vista SE over a Phenom X4 with Vista Ultimate.

Meanwhile... I'm still on XP, and trying Linux.


silly doubt: which one runs IIS???
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/10/2009 6:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Nice table and all, but I can't deduce from it which one will allow you to run IIS so you can develop web apps on your machine.

In Vista only the ultimate version allowed you to run IIS and host web sites with full support on your PC, and I'd really like win 7 to support it in its pro version instead of ultimate, which otherwise has a lot of features I don't really need at all.

PS: I think the media center should be an optional you pay ad hoc for, not an included feature. As well as the touch support, which is kind of pointless by these days on any desktop computer (would be great to had a multi touch capable monitor to use it, but by now I think you can't find any out there) and should only be included in tablet PCs.




By Jansen (blog) on 2/10/2009 8:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
Vista Home Premium runs IIS 7.0, and I think I heard of someone running it on Home Basic.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc75475...

It should have pretty much everything, the only thing that might be missing is Windows Authentication.

I'm considering a writeup of Server R2 and IIS, if I do it I'll get more info from MS.


By Blight AC on 2/10/2009 9:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting, I do like that the Pro edition has both Media Center and Remote Desktop now. That is very nice.


By Jellodyne on 2/10/2009 11:31:00 AM , Rating: 2
They all run XAMPP or whatever WAMP stack you care to run. Then you can develop real web apps.


So the real OS starts with Professional?
By greentech on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
By mindless1 on 2/9/2009 7:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
But they are saving money or hadn't you noticed that OEM bundled software costs quite a bit less than retail priced, and of course that in the end it really does cost more to get the same functionality from Apple on average.


By mechBgon on 2/9/2009 11:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft Works 9 is $39.95, and Microsoft will be joining other companies in providing a free antivirus product derived from OneCare.

If you have an actual need for Microsoft Office instead of Works, there's the Home & Student version for $80 (that's for three computers), or full-blown Office 2007 Pro is below $400 if you're a commercial/business user, in which case you can write it off as a business expense, not to mention it'll pay for itself over its 6-8 year lifespan.

As for the cost of upgrading from one version of Windows to the next, I think the increased cost is going to be easily offset by not paying Apple's price for their special, extra-expensive iHardware.


By TheFace on 2/10/2009 12:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
I like my mac as much as the next guy, but what are you talking about? Seems pretty capable in terms of the feature set, it's supposed to be lighter, more features etc.. There are parts of the Mac security argument that bother me. Considering that Microsoft is the 800lb gorilla in the market, they have actually done a reasonable job of security. They are constantly criticized (at least legally) for bundling, yet should the OS lack a built in browser there would be an uproar. Each iteration of windows is supposed to be more secure, and Vista has been proven more secure than XP. 7 should be more secure than Vista. Apple bundles Safari and other features right in as well, as they should. To me it's all part of the experience of using either PC or Apple. The key difference is that since Microsoft has the big target on their back as far as virus writers, people searching for loopholes/flaws/security lapses etc, there is a whole industry devoted to keeping PCs healthy, which has only somewhat translated to the Mac.

Anyway.. Your figures are way off. It's $60 or so per year for Norton, $80 or so for Office (costs the same on a mac). People don't generally go for iWork, since they want to have GUARANTEED 100% compatibility with office should they need to send and receive files between home and work. Even though the iWork suite may offer superior features. iLife IMO can't be beaten and is a fantastic software set, but you can function without iLife and use free/cheap internet apps for practically everything that iLife provides.

All told, if you get a PC or a Mac, you'll pay more up front for your mac, and pay more over time for your PC, so shut up when you want to spew any Anti-MS (or anti-mac for that matter for most everyone else) drivel.

Competition is a wondrous thing, and everyone should take a second to appreciate how far things have come in the past few years. Vista may have been a flop as far as sales vs. potential sales and in terms of PR, but it will be the stepping stone that allows 7 to be great. OSX wasn't always something to shout at everyone from the top of a pedestal either, but Tiger and Leopard have been fantastic and Snow Leopard MAY be the next best thing.

Ok... Gotta get off my soapbox. Don't want to scare the children...


DirectX 11!
By FaceMaster on 2/11/2009 8:46:06 AM , Rating: 3
Oh YES! This is exactly what we need! DX 10 is sooo out of date already.

Yeah I know it always takes a long time for new graphics technologies to come out but come on, I don't think that half of DX10's features have been used yet. Come to think of it, have any of them been used? *Looks at Crysis hack*




RE: DirectX 11!
By FaceMaster on 2/11/2009 4:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and unspecified features. I've always wanted them.


Software Prices
By Grumpy1 on 2/9/2009 11:25:04 AM , Rating: 2
If the feds forced a break-up of windows into three or four OS. The cost of add on software would go through the roof. I'm sure Adobe would be thrilled to develop three or four different versions of Photoshop. The cost would probably double.

I wonder how long it would take for the best one of the OS to be supported and the other two or three OS to die.

Back to where we are now.




RE: Software Prices
By xRyanCat on 2/9/2009 4:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
The feature differences aren't like the ones you're describing. Most people don't need the extra features, and if they do, they most likely know to get the version that has said features.

The versions aren't separated by different API's that require a total rewrite or recompilation of a program. They are all Windows 7 and 99.999% of all programs will run similarly across the all versions.
And in case you were unaware, Vista has vaguely similarly spec'd differences in its versions.


USB 3.0
By tallcool1 on 2/9/2009 12:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
Anybody know if USB 3.0 will be out when Windows 7 is released?




RE: USB 3.0
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 1:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
No, I believe I read somewhere that Windows 7 is too early to support USB 3.0. They'll probably add USB 3.0 support in a later service pack.


Advanced Back-up
By ATC on 2/10/2009 2:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
I like the table. It's great to be able to easily reference the various editions but I don't see a mention of Advanced Backup.

In Vista I think you had to get either Business or Ultimate to get that feature. I'd be surprised if it is but I'm still hoping that 7 Home Premium has it so I can dump Norton Ghost.




RE: Advanced Back-up
By Jansen (blog) on 2/10/2009 3:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, looks like I missed it.

Advanced Network Backup is Professional and up. I've added it to the table.


A single DVD!
By defter on 2/10/2009 3:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
"The data for all editions is contained on a single DVD. This allows an electronic upgrade to be accomplished quickly"

This is probably a best feature of Windows 7. I need only download a single DVD ISO from Bittorrent, and then I can experiment with different versions easily.




RE: A single DVD!
By Spivonious on 2/13/2009 2:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's the same way with Vista. The key is what determines what version is installed.


Chart goof up
By Etern205 on 2/11/2009 12:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
What is it under Start Edition is says Global and For Developing countries under Home Basic, isn't it suppose to be the other way around?

And what does limited mean under Windows 7 Ultimate?
Doesn't all non developing countries get the Ultimate edition?




Windocated
By kyleb2112 on 2/9/2009 4:57:27 PM , Rating: 3
"We broke a lot of things. We know that, and we know it caused you a lot of pain."

So, is it officially OK to feel vindicated for skipping Vista?
Too soon?
OK, I'll wait another month.




Only 3(4?) Editions
By coyotedawg on 2/10/2009 1:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
I only see 3, maybe 4 editions for the home user in America. Starter, to keep Linux from owning the netbook market. Home Premium, which should drop the premium name as there is no lesser home full version available here. Professional, which should be re-named Professional/Small Business. And last, for the I got the best and you don't crowd, Ultimate. And by the way.......Why can't they make a version of Windows you can run from a Live CD? I was forced out of 98 into XP because Microsoft wouldn't support it anymore. When I get Windows 7, I will get the "Pro" version, just like I did with XP.




Why....
By Dianoda on 2/10/2009 4:50:46 PM , Rating: 2
Are multiple UI language packs restricted to the Enterprise and Ultimate editions? Seems a bit unnecessary to me....




Windows 7 could used better names
By Belard on 2/11/2009 6:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
Also, since MS hasn't gone to print with the packaging, a naming adjustment WILL LOOK BETTER and require less typing an space on print/websites.

I like that Business and been changed to "pro" and that it allows us to type in PRO rather than Professional.

Anyways... do we really need Home Basic and Home Premium?

Adjust these name, Microsoft - it'll make life easier on us.

Home Basic > Basic
Home Premium? > Home

Wow, isn't that simple!? There is no confusion as to which "home" version someone is talking about if theres just one... like with WinXP. Remember, people like XP... give us better naming. And don't ever go Nvidia on us with GTX, GTS, 98, 88, GTX-120, etc etc ;)

Recommended Windows 7 naming.

Starter
Basic
Home
Pro (Professional)
Enterprise
Ultimate




Memory limits
By anartik on 3/4/2009 7:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm... I've read multiple W7 articles, including this one, and don't see any mention of what max memory limits are for each version. As I recall, based on version, MS had a hard limit on the max memory supported by each version with Ultimate being unlimited.




Prices
By reader1 on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Prices
By hcahwk19 on 2/9/2009 8:59:37 AM , Rating: 1
You sir, have no clue what a monopoly is. Microsoft, while having the largest share of the OS market, is NOT a monopoly.


RE: Prices
By reader1 on 2/9/2009 9:32:04 AM , Rating: 1
Wrong.

A monopoly, by definition, is a company that dominates because it has an unfair advantage. A monopolistic company succeeds regardless of the quality of its products. Today's computers are designed in a way that allows a company to dominate the OS market regardless of quality. The quality of Windows does not effect Microsoft's dominance. If people don't like 7, like Vista, they will keep using XP until they're eventually forced to upgrade.


RE: Prices
By noirsoft on 2/9/2009 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 1
Nope. There is no "unfair" qualifier in the definition of a monopoly, in either the common or legal definitions. A monopoly is an entity that has complete control over some market. Not even just dominant, but complete/exclusive control over a market.


RE: Prices
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 11:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
The control doesn't have to be complete or exclusive. For example, Microsoft's 90% market share in desktop operating system is enough for it to be subjected to anti-trust scrutiny.

In other words, the presence of OSX, Linux, and other alternatives in the market does not help Microsoft avoid anti-trust regulation. It has a monopoly in Windows, and so it has to play by different, more restrictive rules compared to, say Apple.


RE: Prices
By noirsoft on 2/9/2009 4:56:27 PM , Rating: 3
Not so, according to the U.S. government (Judge Jackson) in the antitrust suit. MacOS, Linux and all other Unixes were counted as being in different markets, and the Market in which Windows was found to be a monopoly consisted entirely of Windows and OS/2.

This situation might be different today, since MacOS runs on Intel processors (the reason for removing it before) and Linux has the ability to run Windows apps on the desktop (the reson it was removed) -- It has not been established in U.S. court that Microsoft holds a monopoly over the current OS market, since the market has changed quite a bit.

As I said, I think it warrants a re-visit (worth it intellectually, probably not in terms of the time & cost) Clearly the market as outlined in the original finding is no longer valid.


RE: Prices
By Klober on 2/9/2009 9:33:49 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You sir, have no clue what a monopoly is. Microsoft, while having the largest share of the OS market, is NOT a monopoly.
Really? I think you may be the one in need of a dictionary. Since you obviously can't be bothered with such research I've provided the definition for you - hopefully your reading comprehension is up to par.
quote:
Main Entry: mo·nop·o·ly
1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action 2 : exclusive possession or control 3 : a commodity controlled by one party 4 : one that has a monopoly
I believe the "command of supply" directly applies here. What would happen if Microsoft sent out a kill command to all the PCs running Windows which disabled Windows? Yeah, that's right, life as we know it would come to a screeching halt for months to years. Why? Because MS OSes run the majority of the world's computers and our society as it is today would have a very hard time dealing without all those computers.

So, after all this I'm curious...what exactly is your definition of monopoly?


RE: Prices
By Richlet on 2/9/2009 9:41:54 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
What would happen if Microsoft sent out a kill command to all the PCs running Windows which disabled Windows?


Now you have me all paranoid.. lol Downloading 3 diff't Linux distros now, thanks ;P


RE: Prices
By JPForums on 2/10/2009 8:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe the "command of supply" directly applies here.


Since when did MS control my ability to access to at least half a dozen distributions of Unix/Linux that will work on my hardware?

Back in the 90s, Microsoft and OS2 were the only alternative for most people with PCs. Microsoft controlled, or at least limited access to, the supply of compatible OSs for PC by cutting deals with OEMs to be MS exclusive. Thus they got labeled a monopoly. Keep in mind that due to incompatibilities with most common PC hardware, MAC OS, and the available distributions of Unix/Linux were not considered viable alternatives.

Today, MAC OS still wouldn't count as it doesn't work on common PC hardware, just the Apple variety. However, there are many distributions of Unix/Linux that can be used on the vast majority of PCs. Further, many of these distributions are free and easily obtained with no obstruction from MS. Functionality may be limited in some of these distributions, but that's a quality of software issue, not a monopoly issue.

I have five computers in my house. Two dual boot WinXP and CentOS/RHEL. One dual boots Ubuntu and Win98SE. It was actually preloaded with Ubuntu and I added Win98SE to play older games. One is a Win2003 SMB server. The last one is a FreeBSD Server/Gateway. Once upon a time I had Fedora core loaded on some of my machines as well. I only really use windows for gaming anymore. I've even forced my computer illiterate friends to use Ubuntu instead of windows when they use my machines. Ironically, none of them seemed to have any problems with it after the first few minutes of figuring out where things were. Also, they only install that was more difficult that a Windows install was the FreeBSD Server/Gateway.

The point is there exist several viable alternatives to windows that are readily accessible. Installing them on your system is no more difficult than a windows upgrade. Excluding gaming, they give you similar and often superior functionality to windows. So they no longer meets definition that the DOJ used to label them a monopoly.

Of course you could take the angle that MS is controlling the supply of all gaming OSs. But then, you'd have to narrow the definition to exclude the plethora of casual games that have been written and included in various distribution of Unix/Linux. You'd also need to ditch the OpenGL titles that actually made it to Linux. So lets call them a monopoly of games that require DirectX. Shame on them for limiting DirectX to windows. Oh ... wait, Apple has a ton of software that only works on Apple products. Also, you have to buy their hardware to run their software. Of course you can apply this example to a whole lot of Apple products outside of the computer, but we'll leave those alone for now.

MS got in trouble for being the only OS supplier for hardware that wasn't theirs, so how come Apple isn't in trouble for being the only hardware supplier for their OS? The answer is that the DOJ had to subjectively narrow the scope of the case (I.E. x86 only, compatibility with hardware that only had windows drivers, etc.) to make MS fit the definition. Until Apple makes them feel the need to take similar action against them, nothing will happen to them.

quote:
What would happen if Microsoft sent out a kill command to all the PCs running Windows which disabled Windows?


The same thing that would happen if any major source of a necessary product killed their supply. Those who were smart enough to seek out an alternate supply source will continue with the alternate product. Those who weren't will loose a lot of time a productivity while they try to transition to alternate supplies. There aren't many things in business that you can't get done with alternate OS's. Many (smart?) companies are developing their internal software on the Java platform so that they can run it on any OS that supports Java.


RE: Prices
By TomZ on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Prices
By noirsoft on 2/9/2009 10:45:30 AM , Rating: 4
I was unconvinced by the U.S. government's findings back in 99 (?) when they first found MS to be as monopoly, and the market has changed enough since then that it would certainly be worth reviewing if MS still fits the legal definition of monopoly.


RE: Prices
By Taft12 on 2/10/2009 12:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
So a judge found them to be guilty of abusing their monopoly, but because you are "not convinced", you would appreciate folks to please not point out MS are a convicted monopolist.

Just making sure I understand the rules Mr. Astroturfer sir.


RE: Prices
By JPForums on 2/10/2009 9:28:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wrong - Microsoft meets both the economic and legal definitions of "monopoly" when it comes to desktop operating systems. That's why the DOJ, many states, and the EU monitor and regulate them under their anti-trust laws.


If a company is found to be doing something illegal, you don't then monitor them. You penalize them. Monitoring is what occurs with every company of consequence to find such illegal practices are found.

To be fair, Microsoft has been penalized before, but at least some of these I find questionable. For instance, why should Microsoft have to strip an internet browser or media player out of their OS, when competing OSs like MAC OS and distributions of Unix/Linux bundle it with theirs?

I do agree that MS once met the legal definition of a monopoly in the States and probably still meets the definition of a monopoly according to EU. However, the monitoring you talk about occurs with companies that haven't met that definition. Also, I'm not really sure what an economic monopoly is, could you elaborate?


RE: Prices
By TomZ on 2/10/2009 10:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If a company is found to be doing something illegal, you don't then monitor them. You penalize them. Monitoring is what occurs with every company of consequence to find such illegal practices are found.
Having a monopoly is not illegal. It is some of the things that you do with a monopoly that can be illegal.

For example, the fact that Microsoft has 90% desktop OS share is not a legal problem per se. There is no government body insisting they decrease their market share. But when they use that monopoly to "force" customers to buy other products/services, e.g., bundling - that is illegal.

This is why anti-trust regulators keep a close eye on Microsoft, but for the most part don't take any action. They don't take action because Microsoft knows to be careful.


RE: Prices
By zerocool84 on 2/9/2009 5:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
At least they give you options to run all different kinds of hardware/software on your computer unlike Apple. Apple is the biggest monopoly around but since they are "cool" no one says that they are. Is there any other company that closes off their hardware/software like they do?


RE: Prices
By TheFace on 2/10/2009 12:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
cell phone makers, automotive companies who build UI's into their cars, Televisions, touch screen digital remotes... Your question is absurd. Apple doesn't just "close" their software or hardware, they just aren't PC compatible. The other companies aren't necessarily inclined to program or create hardware for them. Both Nvidia and AMD/ATi have Vid-cards for Apple. You think they don't have the GTX280 or the Radeon 4870 because they didn't want it? They probably have to get a bit different hardware and go through driver development/testing. That costs money, and the gamer market on Apple computers is not clamoring for top of the line stuff. The high-end Quadro FX is out for Apple and that is what is important for AMD. You can put any HDD/SDD in a Mac and as long as you format it, you can do with it what you want. Macs are PCs by hardware standards now, and by software standards, it's all about money. Who wants to invest in creating software that only 10% of the user base of Microsoft Windows MIGHT use? The 10% number is GENEROUS too.


RE: Prices
By adiposity on 2/10/2009 3:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Come on, you really don't think it's intentional that OS X won't install on Intel PCs, even though hackers easily created a patch to the kernel that would allow it? They are deliberately protecting their monopoly on Apple compatible hardware by preventing Apple software from running on anything else.

However, since they have a small part of the computer marketshare, they are allowed to do this. There is no overarching need to buy something that can run Mac software. If you want a Mac that badly, you can buy one.

But don't pretend that Apple isn't deliberately stopping Intel-based PCs from running OS X when we all know it can be done with a couple tweaks.

-Dan


RE: Prices
By Fritzr on 2/10/2009 9:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
That is a reverse-monopoly. By restricting use of their copyrighted software to a small percentage of the available hardware they ensure that their copyrighted software will not have sufficient market leverage to qualify as a monopoly.

Microsoft on the other hand with 90%+ share of most parts of the desktop OS market can use their market leverage to force OEMs to limit what software they bundle with their non-Microsoft hardware.

Microsoft has an effective monopoly because of their market leverage. Apple can apply monopoly tactics for Apple licensed hardware due to lack of leverage in the overall market.

The company whose actions affect most of the market has to be careful not to abuse that power. The company whose actions will affect only a small portion of the market and whose actions will generally affect only it's own products has much more leeway.

Microsoft has a little more leeway in the server market since Linux has a very large market share in that portion of the market, but on the desktop they still have an effective monopoly.

The Starter Edition/Home Basic Edition is an effort to maintain that desktop monopoly by indoctrinating users of cheap entry level computers. Upgrades will tend to follow the path of least resistance. If a user learns MS Windows they will upgrade to MSWin ... let them learn and get comfortable with Linux and that will be the preferred upgrade path.

If Apple were to choose to become a pure software company then it would make sense for them to also offer a netbook compatible unlocked Starter Edition. However they are essentially a hardware company that also offers a fully functional OS that is optimized for their hardware. Allowing it to run on non-Apple hardware would cannabilize hardware sales.


RE: Prices
By techieman on 2/11/2009 10:09:11 PM , Rating: 1

Their monopoly isn't going to go away because a bunch of people didn't pay for their software; it's only going to go away if they start losing market share and manufacturers start supporting other systems.

If you really are morally opposed to supporting a monopoly, you should be running a different OS entirely, such as MacOS X or Linux/Unix.


Windows gouging edition?
By JAB on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Bateluer on 2/9/2009 8:16:54 AM , Rating: 4
And yet, you'll still end up buying Windows 7. Probably the Ultimate Edition.

I'm always willing to bet you run a Microsoft OS as your primary OS right now.

The consumer will pay for what they are willing to pay for. If MS prices 7 to high, more people will simply pirate it. And, as always, there will always be people who will pirate it regardless of the price.

I'm definitely a Linux supporter, but the fact remains, Windows has a MUCH greater range of software and hardware support. I can't go out and buy the latest video card, for example, and expect to have the same functionality in Linux that I do in Windows.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By AnnihilatorX on 2/9/2009 8:20:19 AM , Rating: 4
Unspecified Features for Ultimate

Sounds great! I should pre-order now
I can smell a 3D dreamscene package


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By GaryJohnson on 2/9/2009 9:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft Tinker II

But there's also all the enterprise stuff.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By theapparition on 2/9/2009 1:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, don't rag on Tinker....

Seriously, Vista Ultimate served a purpose. It was the only edition you could get that had all the features of Home Premium plus all the features of Business. Plus it included some extras. So the extras were worthless, but point being, Ultimate filled a role.

This ultimate? IDK, those extras would have to be particularly compelling.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By 67STANG on 2/9/2009 2:05:40 PM , Rating: 1
What if the "Ultimate" version was the only version that got Service Packs? =)


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By reader1 on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Screwballl on 2/9/2009 10:55:51 AM , Rating: 1
There are plenty of other choices... this is why Linux is the fastest growing OS out there today. Mac has pretty much stalled around 4-5% and linux has gone from 1% to 4% in the past few years and is expected to be around 10% in the next few years...


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 11:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you get your 4% figure from? According to Net Applications, Linux has not even acieved the 1% figure:

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=...

Linux users are like criminals - they assume everyone else is the same as they are. :o)


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By mindless1 on 2/9/2009 7:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
That may not show growth so much, remembering there can still be a lot of growth from systems like netbooks, but all those legacy windows boxes still running from past years of sales.

I just checked one site I maintain which doesn't have particularly tech-savvy visitors on average, and 'nix was at 1.1%, it would be interesting what the % is at Dailytech and elsewhere catering to the more tech savvy surfers.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Screwballl on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By JAB on 2/9/2009 1:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why your are making it into a simple Windows vs OSX. The real money is in proving value that people feel and are willing to pay for beyond the OS. Loss of mindshare can be the death of a tech company far more than simple sales numbers would indicate.

lunix and OSX is probably far better than you would guess but MS's biggest threat is itself and failure to overcome inertia. Apple is a risk but it is not their computers.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By gilboa on 2/9/2009 6:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And yet, you'll still end up buying Windows 7. Probably the Ultimate Edition. I'm always willing to bet you run a Microsoft OS as your primary OS right now.


OP post aside (cannot say the I agree with him), I'm somewhat amazed by your pompous statement.

Just to be clear:
I don't use Windows *, period.
Neither is my wife, brother, brother in-law and at least two of my friends.

In case you don't believe me...
$ cat /etc/issue | grep release
Fedora release 10 (Cambridge)
$ uptime
01:08:23 up 75 days, 4:12, 6 users, load average: 5.02, 5.06, 5.02

As for your missing hardware support statement.
A. The same can be said about each and every Windows release. (Back when Windows NT 3.5.1, NT4 and Windows 2K were released I had to buy Windows NT complaint hardware.)
B. Early Vista users faced the same problems. (nVidia anyone?).
C. Windows 2K3 and 2K8 users face the same problems. (Try installing Win2K3 on an ATI chipset based laptop - pure joy!)

- Gilboa
* At home. As I make a living writing cross platform code, I build/test my system on a Windows XP VM image.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By mindless1 on 2/9/2009 7:22:07 PM , Rating: 2
As always, most windows licenses to individuals come from OEM system bundles. The higher the system cost, the lower the % rise in total price to include a wealthier version of windows with that hardware.

The consumer does't generally think in terms of price with the OS, they think in terms of what the rest of the system is like and what that costs, then whether it has at least the minimum version of windows that supports their needs, particularly since most don't even know what the actual OEM OS change means in the price change of a system unless they happen to see it as a line-item when configuring the system or the OEM happens to offer two otherwise identical systems simultaneously.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By AntiM on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/9/2009 8:44:29 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
LOL. They will never learn. I don't see what purpose the Pro version serves. Won't businesses will be using the Enterprise edition?

Enterprise Edition is only available through a Volume License Agreement, and would likely not be a good idea for any corporation smaller than 1000 people give or take. Professional will be for the small/medium businesses.

quote:
What home user will have a legitimate need to join a domain?

Some would, but mostly this is for the small/medium businesses, see above.

quote:
And obviously, the Ultimate version is for those with more money than sense.

Ultimate is for those that want the features packed in Enterprise without having to deal with a Volume License Agreement. Software Developers, Techies, etc... will likely end up with Ultimate so they have all the features they might need.

quote:
If I didn't know better, I would swear that MS is doing eveything it can to compel people and businesses to consider using Ubuntu and other Linux distros.

Business that want to remain in business and not deal with a massive increase in support costs will stay off Linux. Contrary for popular belief, Linux is not a consumer Operating System for Home Users or Businesses Users. Linux has its place, and it isn't on a desktop.

quote:
Oh well, I too will be running Windows 7 sooner or later, resistance is futile.

Indeed it is.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Ryanman on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By michal1980 on 2/9/2009 9:13:20 AM , Rating: 2
linux has been going since I was in h.s.

in 1998. dont know too many people that use it. its MS, Apple, and then other. Welcome to the world of other.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2009 9:33:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The fact is, Linux has nowhere to go but up. And these "features" people "might need" in ultimate are ridiculous. Of course they're not useful, much less worth the money.


Oh it's being going "up" for years now, still isn't ready for the average Joe to use, Asus's support costs for using linux reflects that.

quote:
The day linux gets great graphics drivers is the day I stop seeing a 4-color flag on my desktop.


Compared to what the state of drivers used to be like on the Linux platform 10 years ago in comparison to now is actually rather massive, I remember your choice of Graphics card was basically nVidia and nVidia, and even then you had a long list of issues. (Multi-Monitor support not working right, gamma/brightness controls missing etc).

I'm running Windows 7 Build 7000 right at this moment, before that I was using Windows XP, performance wise there have been a few hiccups with a couple of programs I use but that may just be attributed to the Beta Build, otherwise everything is amazingly responsive, and compatibility is not really a major concern that I have ran into yet.

Still I'm impressed with the Operating System to be honest, some nice GUI changes I liked.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By reader1 on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By noirsoft on 2/9/2009 10:33:45 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
That's because it's not that different from XP.


And you aren't that different from a Cro-Magnon.

The kernel from XP to Vista/7 is quite different. What do you want? 100% app breakage?


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By reader1 on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Doormat on 2/9/2009 11:05:00 AM , Rating: 4
And you also get a host of new bugs to work out each time you do a full rewrite. When you think you need a rewrite, you're better off heavily refactoring the code first to see if that solves whatever issues you're having.

Yes, I develop software for a living.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By reader1 on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 2:11:40 PM , Rating: 3
If it were actually that simple, then successful software program managers wouldn't be earning six figures, would they?


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By JAB on 2/9/2009 3:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
And if it were truly simple then good program managers would not be out of jobs too.

Sometimes being the lucky is more important than being good. Lots of fat happy managers that thrived o never taking a risk. That is a very bad policy for a company though.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 3:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed... "Sometimes to have a little luck is the best plan."


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 11:16:02 AM , Rating: 3
Doormat is right - re-writing code generates a lot of new bugs. So the decision to re-write code is not as simple as you make it seem. Ultimately the decision to re-write code is an economic/business decision that involves a number of factors. Arbitrarily re-writing all your code every 5 years would be stupid.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2009 10:41:21 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
That's because it's not that different from XP. Microsoft's monopoly allows them to succeed without coming up with new ideas.


Not that much different from XP? The Operating System has MORE in common with Vista than Windows XP, I went from XP to Windows 7 Beta.

If you would *like* to help improve Windows, get new unique features added, bug fixes done, then why not try out the Beta yourself and send in Feedback?

Microsoft literally kick started 3D Acceleration with the Direct X API in Windows 95, before that developers had to program there games directly for the Graphics chip, and you would end up with developers released a game that will only run on that chip in Hardware 3D accelerated modes, that is innovation on Microsoft's part.

Operating systems are highly complex pieces of software, 99% of the "Innovations" cannot be seen by the average Joe, you make it sound as if Microsoft stole a Mac Operating system, slapped a windows Logo on it and called it there own, despite the Mac OS foundations being traced back to Linux roots.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By reader1 on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2009 11:21:21 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It's pointless. Microsoft's Windows developers have no incentive to be good. Windows will sell regardless of its quality.


There is "Selling" then there is "Selling well".

Vista showed that Microsoft cannot shove an Operating system under everyone's noses and expects everyone to jump on the Pie, Windows 7 is basically to fix those shortfalls, Microsoft want to *increase* there profits, By having a product that is highly criticized is not the way to do that.

And now begins the next Chapter of Microsofts story, will be interesting to see peoples reactions to Windows 7.

Oh I agree about the Xbox as well, I love the console, has great games, great online gaming, great pricing, but this is technically there second console, not many companies can throw out a console and become a success on the Xbox's level as Microsoft have done. (Many have tried and failed).

I actually like the Xbox being in second place, Microsoft are innovating and giving the consumer some pretty cool stuff that the other camps can't match currently. (Like Xbox Live!)

Plus because it's the best selling "High Definition" console, developers are sitting up and taking notice, and are now making most games multi-platform in order to increase sales and hence profits.

It's a shame the Zune hasn't had the same success, I think Microsoft needs to aggressively advertise the product, revamp it completely, and price even more aggressively. (Seriously, I have NEVER seen an advertisement for it, if it wasn't for Anandtech/Dailytech I wouldn't know of it's existence).

Just remember one thing that Microsoft has in common with every other company, and that's to make money.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By sdsdv10 on 2/10/2009 9:46:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh I agree about the Xbox as well, I love the console, has great games, great online gaming, great pricing, but this is technically there second console, not many companies can throw out a console and become a success on the Xbox's level as Microsoft have done. (Many have tried and failed).


May I ask exactly how you measure success? If it means actually turning a profit, then the MS Xbox isn't much of a "success", yet. Since the original launch of the Xbox in 2001, the gaming division has loss billions of dollars (that's billions with a "B" , probably in excess of 6 billion over 7 years) in money for MS. Here are three links to articles stating such, from 2003, 2005 and 2007.
http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/200...
http://www.joystiq.com/2005/09/26/forbes-xbox-lost...
http://www.macobserver.com/article/2007/07/26.7.sh...

It wasn't until last year (2008) when the division actually might have started to make some money for MS. However, it will take many additional years to actually makeup for the multiple years of losses the group had to return a net profit to the corporation.
http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/news/robbie-bach...

That's not to say the Xbox is a bad or good gaming system (I don't really game at all), but to say it was a big success, at least monetarily is not factually correct. As you noted, many have tried and failed to make a competitive game console but I would say the "success" of the Xbox was due as much to MS huge bank account as to their engineering and software expertise.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Mindless Rambler on 2/9/2009 8:33:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Microsoft literally kick started 3D Acceleration with the Direct X API in Windows 95, before that developers had to program there games directly for the Graphics chip, and you would end up with developers released a game that will only run on that chip in Hardware 3D accelerated modes, that is innovation on Microsoft's part.

Can you hear that? It's OpenGL calling from 1992.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Jansen (blog) on 2/12/2009 6:53:08 AM , Rating: 3
OpenGL in 1992 was more for CAD work, it wasn't until the time of Windows 95 that gaming features were added.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By mmntech on 2/9/2009 10:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
Linux is kind of in OS limbo. I agree that it can be used for for home and business purposes. However, there's still a lot about it that's clumsy, such as trying to install software downloaded from the internet. It's not really ideal for home use. A proper front end can correct these issues though, as Asus has showed. Mac OS X has proved that Unix-like operating systems can realistically compete with Windows and be easy enough for a computer illiterate grandma to use. Linux still has a long way to go though before it becomes a realistic competitor to Windows.

On the original topic though, I still think the SKU-ization of Windows is ultimately a bad thing. It confuses people. Realistically, Home Premium and Ultimate are all that's needed. If Microsoft streamlined their product lines and priced them more competitively, more people would be willing to upgrade.


By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2009 10:53:44 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, not everyone wants to pay the same price for an Operating system.

Regardless, they are taking out a common strategy that's used in most markets to compete, CPU/GPU manufacturers use the same strategy for there products as well and has worked for years.
Why have one product priced at say... $150 that has features you don't want or need, and ultimately consumes additional install space, and consumes more resources through the additional services and is unable to operate properly on lower-tiered systems like Netbooks?

If you have an entire Product line, one targeted for each segment you are able to maximize your profits and sales numbers accordingly, systems like the netbooks needed a cut-down Operating system that can perform the basics, which the lower-tiered operating system achieves with a smaller foot print to boot, it's cheaper to buy, and hence will result in larger volume sales that will make-up for the loss in profit margin.

Then having a high-end product which may have lower sales, will still work out because of the higher amount of profits gained.

However I still miss the days where you only had "Microsoft Windows" and you chose what additional gear to install with it, either going for a smaller footprint or more versatility.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 10:16:40 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The fact is, Linux has nowhere to go but up.
That's political-speak for "it sucks." :o)

I agree with Kenobi - if your time is worth anything to you, then the small cost of a commercial OS is well worth it based on the time and hassle it will save you.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Ryanman on 2/10/2009 12:19:23 PM , Rating: 2
the problem is, it's NOT a "small cost". It's 100 bucks, and even on a dragon platform that's 10% of the system. Since when is one piece of software worth that much?

And I never said Linux is replacing Windows. Microsoft still is, as I said, the only operating system that can handle gaming. I do however, think that Linux DEFINITELY has a place on a partition. Kenobi said that it shouldn't be used on any desktops at all... which is ridiculous to say if you've ever actually used the software.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By rudy on 2/9/2009 12:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is when a consumer is faced with the choice and not very knowledgable they will just grab ultimate to play it safe. Then they know they can do every thing.

Personally I think they should ship one Disk all for the same price and just give you different install options. I think consumers are confused more then anything.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By AntiM on 2/9/2009 9:49:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Ultimate is for those that want the features packed in Enterprise without having to deal with a Volume License Agreement. Software Developers, Techies, etc... will likely end up with Ultimate so they have all the features they might need.


Which makes the point that the Pro version is virtually useless, except maybe to save $100. They could have put all the features that are in Ultimate and put them into Pro and done away with Ultimate altogether. So, it's nothing but a blatant money grab


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By noirsoft on 2/9/2009 10:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
They should just put all of the features into Starter and make it free! The fact that they are tailoring featrures to different segments of the market is a blatant money grab!

Now I should get from your "AntiM" name that you are probably beyond reasoning with, but is your problem that you cannot read or that you refuse to let the knowledge into your brain?


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By AntiM on 2/9/2009 11:17:23 AM , Rating: 1
I can read and I can also read between the lines. I think you're missing my point. My main point is that MS could have had either a Pro version or an Ultimate version. They could have put all the features of Ultimate into Pro(or vise versa. They would have had one less version to worry about. The majority of people that end up paying the extra money for Ultimate will never need all the features; they end up buying it "just in case" or mainly because they don't know any better. (money grab!)

If MS were so concerned about their customers and ending confusion then they would have 4 versions... Starter, Home, Enterprise, Pro/Ultimate.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 11:30:14 AM , Rating: 2
It would the least confusing to customers have a single edition. But I don't think that optimizes their sales revenue, and I'm sure that Microsoft invested quite a lot of research time to figure out that the current set of editions will maximize revenue.

It's funny when you talk about "money grab" - like there's something immoral about profit. It's worth it for some people to have a "premium experience," and companies are well-advised to cater to people like that. To ignore it and leave money on the table would be dumb.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By JAB on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Windows gouging edition?
By mholler on 2/9/2009 3:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
The typical consumer will have 3 options: Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate.

What's so confusing about that?


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 11:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. I think there are readers here who don't seem to realize that Microsoft is company operating in order to create a profit for its shareholders. It is not some kind of charity.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By crystal clear on 2/9/2009 8:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
"We did a lot of research and talked to a lot of [hardware] partners and customers," Mike Ybarra, general manager for Windows, told Computerworld following the versions announcement today.

"Our biggest challenge is that we have over 1 billion customers," Ybarra said. "It's hard to satisfy all of them [with a single version]. There are vocal customers who want every feature, and more regular consumers who say 'I want a version that can grow with me.'"

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?com...


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2009 10:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
I wanted a "stripped down and low-end" version of Windows (that we got this time around) mainly for my Netbook and HTPC machines, the Netbook is understandable, but the HTPC I only wanted the bare minimums installed along side the Operating System so I can use my own Software of choice without the additional bloat.

A "Gamer Edition" would have been cool as well, where Windows turns off it's advanced features of the Graphical User Interface, disables non-essential services, and optimizes processes and caches when you launch a game.


RE: Windows gouging edition?
By Fritzr on 2/10/2009 10:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm I do that on my laptop ... all I did was go to the panels where you select those things and turn them all off ... Really improves the responsiveness when the OS is not trying to be pretty :D

The next step would be to use Add/Remove to strip out the pieces like Media Player that are not needed. Unfortunately there are a few of these modules that are integral to the OS and cannot be removed, but as long as their UIs & services are disabled then the extra load is just the files required by the OS.


Bunch of whiners
By zshift on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: Bunch of whiners
By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2009 11:09:14 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
and many of the netbooks offer an option to have linux pre-installed, along with dell that offers ubuntu on some of its computers.


There is more to that than you think, there is a higher cost involved with support, and the return rates are higher than in comparison to Windows based Machines.

quote:
Even though linux is not mature enough to be used by everyday people just yet, it will reach this point eventually, and with far better features than Microsoft can come up with.


Funny enough... I remember people proclaiming such an event 10+ years ago, still hasn't happened yet though! I would *love* for Linux to be competitive with Windows, but the average Joe either: 1) Doesn't know about it. 2) Doesn't care about it. 3) Will stick with what they know works and what they are accustomed to.

quote:
If Microsoft doesn't change in the right way or fast enough, Apple or *nix based OS's will take over


As long as Apple only sells it's Operating systems for Macintosh based computers, that will never happen, and if they did release there Operating system so it will support all available hardware and software, then they to will feel the wrath of companies with poor 3rd party drivers.

quote:
If Firefox can take over Internet Explorer (and EVERYONE I know, including both of my parents (which are completely NOT computer savvy), use Firefox


But Firefox hasn't won the market yet, Internet Explorer still holds a massive chunk of the pie, one thing I have learnt over the years is *never* to count out a Multi-Billion dollar company permanently loosing a market when it's still Goliath in several others and has the pockets to fight back.
I use Firefox and have done so for the past few years now, will I go back to Internet Explorer? Not until it offers something better and more enticing, then no I wont, mainly I want a Firefox styled plugin system for Internet Explorer.


RE: Bunch of whiners
By JAB on 2/9/2009 12:53:39 PM , Rating: 1
The thing to take home is that Windows is loosing mindshare. Windows is spending more for each sale and Apple and others are able to spreas the cost around more people.
Widows is becoming the economy package- a commodity. Even though they hate the idea the IT departments and CIO's are being pulled into support for other OS.

Yes business will continue to support windows but it will be harder to charge the premiums that they have in the past.

Not sure why everyone is fixated on OSX and Lunix and other legacy buisness models. Not that they wont compete but there is no point copying Windows. If the OS alone makes ore breaks you well sorry you have a serious challenge in the long term.


RE: Bunch of whiners
By CvP on 2/9/2009 1:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I use Firefox and have done so for the past few years now, will I go back to Internet Explorer? Not until it offers something better and more enticing, then no I wont, mainly I want a Firefox styled plugin system for Internet Explorer.


i will gladly switch back to IE right away if MS gives me these in IE:
- adblock plus
- tabmix plus
- webmail notifier
- more control over javascript (like FF)
- back/forward behavior like FF

Firefox is such a memory hog and slow as a turtle (and no, im not refering to page load time; one or two second extra time in loading page doesn't mean anything).

Looks like Chrome already has the "fastness" of IE
and going to have plugin system near future.


RE: Bunch of whiners
By greylica on 2/9/2009 7:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not until it offers something better and more enticing, then no I wont, mainly I want a Firefox styled plugin system for Internet Explorer


Which will became in Windows 7 Fluffy edition.


about your chart...
By MOONFIRE on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: about your chart...
By Jansen (blog) on 2/9/2009 12:40:14 PM , Rating: 6
The HTML may not have displayed properly depending on your browser. I've tried to fix it for non-standards compliant browsers as well.

I spent several hours making it, it's not like I'm trying to hide it from you.


RE: about your chart...
By TomZ on 2/9/2009 1:06:17 PM , Rating: 5
The issue is obviously the DT content management system. Creating tables in HTML, even for "non-standards compliant browsers" (whatever that means) is easy, almost trivial.

Obviously the content management system is weak in the area of tables, or else it imposes severe restrictions on the
types of standard HTML you can use.

In other words, don't blame the browsers!


RE: about your chart...
By johnnyMon on 2/9/2009 2:39:57 PM , Rating: 2
It looks great in my Firefox 3.0.6 browser. And thanks for making it! I appreciated the quick info.


RE: about your chart...
By Belard on 2/11/2009 6:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for making the chart. I'm on opera9 (Can't stand IE7 and its far more functional than IE6)

One way to make it fit better is to make the text in two of the colums take up two rows.

Like with Enterprise, you have "Volume License" , make it:
"Volume
License"

Same with Started Edition, "OEM (Global)"

Also, since MS hasn't go to print with the packaging, a naming adjustment WILL LOOK BETTER and require less typing and being specific. I like that Business and been changed to "pro" and that it allows us to type in PRO rather than Professional.

Anyways... do we really need Home Basic and Home Premium?

Adjust these name, MS:

Home Basic > Basic
Home Premium? > Home


RE: about your chart...
By paydirt on 2/9/2009 2:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
Troll, looks like a big chart to me. Not sure what he'd be "hiding". Get up on the other side of the bed tomorrow M-kay?


RE: about your chart...
By xRyanCat on 2/9/2009 4:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes the ads cover up HTML tables. It's happened in other articles before and was fixed. It's not really a big deal...


RE: about your chart...
By Redfoot on 2/9/2009 5:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Looks fine to me troll...I mean moonfire. Go threadcrap somewhere else.


RE: about your chart...
By Uncle on 2/9/2009 6:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Why is it that so many are making web pages like everyone still uses a 14 or 15" monitor. I think the average monitor is 19", so lets start using more territory. I bought a 24" so I wouldn't have to scroll as much. I have 5" on either side of the page not being utilized, and their are so many sites that are the same. So lets get with it Webmasters, time to change. Your articles promote technological advancement but your still sitting in the stone age when it comes to monitor sizes.


RE: about your chart...
By mindless1 on 2/9/2009 7:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
No matter how wide your monitor is, studies have shown that text is more readable if it stays under a certain # of characters in width. Granted that could be maintained while simultaneously allowing more area for charts/etc, but then it could also tend to waste even more space on a page, and in fact there are a fair amount of users who don't have that 24" monitor, in fact the average computer user, instead of tech enthusiasts, may not have more than 1024 or 1280 wide screens. You have to cater to the lowest common denominator, within reason.


RE: about your chart...
By mindless1 on 2/9/2009 7:16:22 PM , Rating: 3
Further, if we keep buying monitors optimized for widescreen movies instead of our other uses, who can we blame if we buy a monitor that can't swivel 90'?

Good ole paper printouts are also usually narrower than long, and people browsing more prone to scroll up and down instead of side-to-side regardless of how wide or tall their monitor is.

Basically, if it's a big issue the chart should've just been a thumbnail to a clickable popup then you can tile the article with the popup if you wish.


no need
By kevinkreiser on 2/9/09, Rating: -1
RE: no need
By adiposity on 2/9/2009 1:11:53 PM , Rating: 5
The HOME Basic will not be retail. So you are very unlikely to see it. As for the Pro version, why would they drop that one? They want to charge more for a version you can use at work vs. a regular home computer.

There are 3 versions that matter: Home, Pro, and Enterprise/Ultimate (these two are the same version, just licensed in bulk vs. retail) The Ultimate is supposed to be hard to find at retail, so unless you do enterprise licensing, you probably only ever see two versions at the store.

I would prefer if they just had one SKU and had different setups depending on whether you joined a domain, etc., but you can't have everything.

-Dan


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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