updated 02:15 pm EST, Tue February 3, 2009
Windows 7 Editions
Microsoft this afternoon revealed that its editions of Windows 7 will be slightly scaled back from the company's existing lineup and will also be more logical. The software developer now says it has dropped Home Basic entirely and will change its strategy such that each improved version will be a superset of the other rather than pull some features out for others, as it has for Vista. Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions will have Media Center and all the other features of Home Premium.
The aim is to prevent users from having to give up certain features without having to purchase Ultimate, Microsoft argues. The company expects most users to only have a decision between Home Premium and Professional and with Ultimate an option only under certain circumstances.
However, the launch mostly leaves the Windows 7 lineup with the split it sees today. Developing regions the feature-limited Starter version, which limits users to running three programs and disables significant parts of the interface, including Aero Glass, touchscreen support and the "peek" feature that lets users see just certain windows without first switching to them. Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate users also get relatively modest feature additions, such as the ability to connect to workgroup domains, host Remote Desktop Connection sessions, and (in Enterprise and Ultimate) BitLocker for encrypted user data and AppLocker for the ability to restrict software on an app-by-app basis.
The company also has yet to address concerns for Windows 7 licensing with netbooks, which often run Windows XP to take advantage of less expensive licenses in addition to the reduced processor overhead.