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Windows 7 is coming in time for the holiday shopping season

Windows 7 has been the talk of the tech community for months now. Excitement over the operating system reached a high point when Microsoft released the first public beta of Windows 7 during CES 2009 in early January. Microsoft then upped the ante last week when it provided the first Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7 to the public.

Microsoft is now confident enough in Windows 7 that it today announced that the operating system will be available in time for the "holiday shopping season". Although Acer has leaked its intention to release a product using Windows 7 by October 23, this is the first confirmation from Microsoft that the operating system will ship this year.

"Microsoft is committed to ensuring that IT professionals and developers continue to have the platform and technologies to drive maximum value and business results. Getting the most out of IT investments is even more important in today’s economy," said Bill Veghte, Microsoft's senior vice president of the Windows Business. "With early RC testing and extensive partner feedback we’ve received, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability."

The overall reception to Windows 7 through its beta and early RC stages has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the reception to Windows 7 has been quite the opposite of its predecessor, Windows Vista, which was plagued with software and driver incompatibilities at launch. Given that Windows 7 builds upon the foundation laid down by Windows Vista which has had a few years to mature, many of those growing pains are long gone.

Windows 7 will be available in Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions. According to Microsoft, over 75 percent of Windows 7 installations will come through OEMs and the majority of installations will be 64-bit.

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By Spivonious on 5/11/2009 10:32:14 PM , Rating: 5
Before anyone complains about the number of versions, I just wanted to clarify that the only versions people will see in stores are Home Premium and Professional.

Places like Newegg will have Starter and Ultimate. Home Basic is only available in developing markets. Enterprise is simply the volume license version of Ultimate.

RE: Clarification
By SunAngel on 5/11/09, Rating: -1
RE: Clarification
By InternetGeek on 5/11/2009 10:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what she gets is basically people get with other OSs: A lot of stuff they *might* not need ;). However with Windows it's quite easy for her to remove what she doesn't need, provided the "Standard" installation has more than she needs.

RE: Clarification
By Lifted on 5/12/2009 1:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Starter is the one that's only available in developing markets, not Home Basic.

RE: Clarification
By Lifted on 5/12/2009 1:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
I've also heard starter may come on netbooks... but who knows.

RE: Clarification
By VaultDweller on 5/12/2009 7:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
That was the case with past iterations of Windows. For Windows 7, Home Basic is the emerging markets edition... which makes the Home Premium name somewhat unusual, since for most people the only "Home" version will be the Premium one.

However, I believe Spivonious is mistaken on availability of Starter edition. Whereas Ultimate will have limited retail availability (and as such will be available from enthusiast stores like NewEgg), Starter is available for OEM licensing only.

RE: Clarification
By Targon on 5/12/2009 8:04:17 AM , Rating: 2
Home Basic was showing up all over the place on machines without decent graphics(aka, machines with older chipsets, Intel graphics, etc). Home Premium is really the replacement for "Media Center". Business is really Home Basic with many business features added, but lacking a number of features from Home Premium.

Starter as I recall reading, has many limitations not just when it comes to features. Multi-tasking for example will be limited, so software will work, but you won't be able to run many applications at once.

We will see Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate available all over the place.

RE: Clarification
By omnicronx on 5/12/2009 9:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
Home Premium is not an MCE release, MS scrapped that a long time ago. You will find Home Premium on most PC's destined for guess what.. Home use.. Those buying special cable card MCE boxes will surely get the ultimate release, not Home Premium.

You also won't see Ultimate 'all over the place', it will have limited retail sales. What you will see in stores is Home Premium and Professional. Home Basic won't be sold in stores at all in the US, it is mainly for emerging markets and perhaps OEM if MS decides to do so (maybe for netbooks).

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