Microsoft will release six versions of Windows 7 in a bid to extend its "divide and rule" strategy on the desktop with each version being the super set of the former.
In a press statement, the Redmond-based company confirmed six Windows 7 versions: Windows 7 Starter available only for OEM worldwide, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Entreprise and Ultimate.
However, those looking for boxed version will be able to choose only between either Home Premium or Professional in a bid to reduce the amount of confusion that numerous versions of Vista caused (home basic vs home premium for example).
Mike Ybarra, general manager for Windows, explained Microsoft's decision to continue with the multiple SKU offer for Windows 7 saying that Microsoft did a lot of research and found out that it is a huge challenge to satisfy more than one billion customers.
Some of them, he added, have different usage patterns and needs compared to others (ed: and budgets as well). It will be interesting to see whether Windows 7 Starter finally gets the recognition it deserves and make a start in the field of Netbooks.
Should Microsoft have chosen a single version of Windows 7 just like Mac OS X? Some like ITWire, think so as this might have made life for consumer easier.
Go To Page 2 for our comments and more related links
Another press release posted by Microsoft shows that Windows 7 will almost certainly replace Windows XP on Netbooks. In a Q&A session, Brad Brooks, corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing, says that "With Windows 7 we are on track to have a smaller OS footprint; an improved user interface that should allow for faster boot-up and shut-down times... For OEMs that build lower-cost small notebook PCs, Windows 7 Starter will now be available in developed markets." It is also likely that Windows 7 Home Premium will be available on some Netbooks as well.