"Seven" shows six segmented SKUs

In Wednesday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches Microsoft announce its "simplified" product mix for Windows 7. Not to mention JJ Abrams' crib sheet...

Eric Lai speaks the truth:

Windows 7 screenshot
Looking to answer complaints about the proliferation of Windows flavors, Microsoft Corp. said today that it will generally deploy two primary versions ... Windows 7 Home Premium for consumers and Windows 7 Professional for business users ... although it will still offer six editions for sale.


The Home Basic version that is at the heart of the ongoing "Vista Capable" lawsuits will be exiled to emerging markets ... The lowest-end version consumers in the developed world will see will be the Windows 7 Starter Edition ... There will also be Enterprise and Ultimate versions, which both existed in Windows Vista. Enterprise includes all of Professional's features and then some, and it will only be available to large corporate customers.

Lincoln Spector haunts our memories: [You're fired -Ed.]

The various editions of Windows 7 ... don't appear as bewildering as the Vista SKU mess, they're not as simple as they could be.

The good news: Windows 7 won't have anything like the Vista Home Premium/Business mess, where each SKU has features that the other lacks ... In Vista, by contrast, the Home Premium SKU has Media Center, and the Business edition has image backup, but you have to buy the Ultimate edition to get both.

Preston Gralla has the netbook angle:

Microsoft says it's not building a netbook-specific version of Windows 7 ... Windows General Manager Mike Ybarra ... says that netbooks should run Windows 7 Ultimate, the most powerful version of the new operating system


"At beta we've had a lot of people running our most premium, full-featured offering on small-notebook PCs (netbooks) with good experiences and good results."

Brad Linder doesn't get it:

As we’ve already seen time and again, Windows 7 Beta runs great on netbooks, even though the beta is basically an early build of Windows 7 Ultimate, which will be the most expensive version of the OS.


Netbook makers could decide to offer customers a chance to purchase machines with Windows 7 Home Premium ... but that will certainly drive up the cost. While a lot of folks have been speculating Windows 7 could kill the popularity of Linux-based netbooks, maybe Microsoft’s next generation operating system could actually help keep Linux netbooks alive.

Paul Thurrott is self-validatory:

Over the past few years, I've felt like the lone voice in the wilderness trying to communicate that Windows Vista wasn't as horrible as people had heard ... But if there was one criticism of Windows Vista that was valid all along, it was that Microsoft over-reached in its desire to milk its core OS for all it was worth: Vista shipped in a shocking 6 product editions (compared to 2 when XP was first released, and four by the end of its mainstream retail life).


So you may be ... thinking, well, hold on a second there: That's five product editions. Is Microsoft really simplifying anything? Yes, they really are. Microsoft and its partners will focus most of their efforts selling Home Premium and Pro to the retail and consumer markets, and Enterprise to volume licensing business customers. That means that most consumers will simply have two choices when it comes to Windows 7: Home Premium and Pro. Just like with XP.

But Emil Protalinski and Peter Bright are still grumbling:

We weren't crazy about the proliferation of Vista versions, so we have mixed feelings this time around. The Vista version differentiation is essentially a cash grab, and the same is true with Windows 7. We had hoped that with the new version, Microsoft might be a little less egregiously money-grabbing.

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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