Windows 7 Editions Announced

windows7_bloglogo REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 3, 2009 — Last month Microsoft delivered the beta version of Windows 7 for public testing. Today the company announced its plans for Windows 7 SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) strategy, explaining that Microsoft expects that a majority of customers will be best served by two primary editions of Windows 7: Windows 7 Home Premium for consumers, and Windows 7 Professional for businesses.

To get some more detail on today’s news, PressPass spoke with Mike Ybarra, general manager for Windows.

PressPass: What will change in the way you package and market Windows 7?

Ybarra: We've received great feedback from customers and partners through Windows XP and Windows Vista, and have learned a lot about how to communicate what’s available in different editions of the operating system. At the same time, we have a customer base of over 1 billion along with many partners, so it’s important to make sure the right edition of Windows with the right features set is available for them.

The first change in Windows 7 was to make sure that editions of Windows 7 are a superset of one another. That is to say, as customers upgrade from one version to the next, they keep all features and functionality from the previous edition. As an example, some business customers using Windows Vista Business wanted the Media Center functionality that is in Windows Vista Home Premium but didn’t receive it in Business edition. Customers won’t have to face that trade-off with Windows 7. With Windows 7 there is a more natural progression from one edition to the next.

The second change is that we have designed Windows 7 so different editions of Windows 7 can run on a very broad set of hardware, from small-notebook PCs (sometimes referred to as netbooks) to full gaming desktops. This way, customers can enable the scenarios they want across the broad hardware choices they have.

The third change lies in how we broadly communicate in the marketplace, to make these choices as simple and clear as possible for customers and partners.

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Comments (6)

  1. stuartm says:

    Well that sucks. If Microsoft had been listening to customers they would know that they have been asking for *fewer* SKUs… Think of all the small businesses that purchase OEM software with their computers – they miss out on Bitlocker, unless they want to pay for the ridiculously expensive Ultimate edition. So perhaps there should be just two versions, one for home users and one for business users.

  2. danh says:

    I agree. Bring back the home and pro and leave it at that.  It’s way too complicated as it is now.

  3. kb says:

    Read the rest of the article.  I think you will

    be pleasantly surprised.

  4. James Rainey says:

    I was on board with 7.  So much, that the BETA is still running on my work machine.

    Now this?  Come’on..  

    How can consumers challenge this decision?

    This isn’t a car.

  5. tomasz1 says:

    The rest of the article says that the ONLY changes since Vista are:

    – Businnes edition called Professional again.

    – Starter Edition available worldwide.

    – Home Basic not available worldwide.

    Which one is supposed to be that pleasant surprise?

  6. Martin says:

    I would prefer two editions. Widows 7 and Windows 7 Enterprise.

    The base should be like starter, just the OS and nothing else. Allow me to choose what I want and not install what I don’t need immediately. For those features that make up Premium and Ultimate Editions, allow me to buy them from the Marketplace. I have a Media Center already so I don’t want to pay for that feature on a system that won’t use it, but, there are other features I will use from Ultimate. Why not allow me to cut that cost by not making it a part of my OS? If the cost from Starter to Ultimate is broken down feature by feature then I’m allowed to buy those that I want up to the point where I’ve got everything, I’d be much happier. I know it’s just a dream but I want just the core that I can buy and add components to at will. I was excited when I heard about MinWin, but sadly that’s not going to make it into my hands.

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