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Microsoft Announces Windows 7 to Come in Several Versions


Get your Windows 7 today! Now available in diet and extra-chunky flavors!

 

In a move that has the tech world scratching its head, announced last week that Windows 7 will be available in six, yes six , different releases. Windows 7 may very well be the most anticipated release of the venerable operating system yet, following the fiasco and terrible management of the release of Windows Vista. Among the major criticisms of Vista was the seemingly unnecessary and blatantly greed-motivated release of four different versions. Confusion on the part of the consumer was a major problem hampering the adoption of Windows Vista. Consumers simply didn’t know which version of Vista was the best for them, much less which version their computer would support. Add to that the high cost of the software itself and Vista has fizzled, almost from day one.

 

Early reviews of Windows 7 were very promising, with journalists, pundits, and consumers alike applauding many of the updates. The new operating system looks to be:
  • Lighter and less demanding of system resources.
  • More compatible with peripherals.
  • Easier to manage.
  • Less intrusive with a refined user access control (uac) alert system.

It also seemed that Windows would only be releasing a single, comprehensive version of the new, improved Windows. Sadly, it appears that Windows has not learned from their mistakes. Windows 7 will instead be released in the following six versions:

  • Starter
  • Home Basic
  • Home Premium
  • Professional
  • Enterprise
  • Ultimate

For a detailed description of these editions click here. You’ll need to scroll a little bit to find the descriptions.

It remains to be seen what the prices are going to be, but this is a perplexing move on the part of Microsoft. If Microsoft stays consistent with their previous practices, it seems likely that the cost of these editions will be substantial. This would present the same a barrier to upgrading and adoption that Microsoft experienced with Vista. After the fiasco resulting from four versions of Vista, it is confusing how Microsoft can rationalize upping the number of available versions of their new OS to six. This is especially odd given the nature of competitive operating systems. Mac OS X and the most popular distributions of Linux (Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, etc.) do fine with just one version of their OS available at a time.

What does this mean to you? Windows 7 is a marked improvement over Vista, and it may ultimately be a worthy successor to Windows XP. This means that if you are like most business and personal users, and you are still clinging to XP as a stable operating system that does everything you need, you should be able to switch to Windows 7 comfortably. At least, that’s the way everything looked yesterday. Now it would appear that Microsoft is once again angling for the contents of your wallet by dangling six different colored lures in front of your eyes. Windows 7 stands to be a great improvement over past versions of the OS, but only if the price is right. If the OS is released with Microsoft’s usual bloated prices, it might just be time to consider switching to a freely available, stable, secure, and nice looking OS like Ubuntu, SUSE, or Fedora.

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