Microsoft announced their Windows 7 lineup today. The plan for Windows 7 is to promote 2 main versions in North America, Professional and Home Premium, but the other versions will be there as well.
The versions being offered are as follows and the points listed are my interpretation of the what I read in the article.
- Starter – Only available to OEM’s.
- Home Basic – Not available in North America
- Home Premium – The version for home users
- Professional – Mainstream version for business customers
- Enterprise – For customers who opt to purchase Software Assurance, has bitlocker and other security features
- Ultimate – For those customers who want every feature available
According to the article, there is supposed to be a natural progression from version to version, as opposed to having some features in some versions and not others at the same level like we saw in Vista. (The example given was Media Centre being available in Vista Home Premium but not Vista Business).
It will be interesting to see what the differences between versions on Windows 7 will be. From the press release, it looks like Bitlocker will only be available to customers who buy Ultimate or purchase Software Assurance and utilize the Enterprise edition of Windows 7. That’s a shame because I think the value of Bitlocker should be available to home users along with businesses. Home users have a need to protect their data just like a company, but I guess I can’t have everything in one version.
The complete plan is located at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2009/feb09/02-03Win7SKU-QA.mspx