Windows 7 Versions Revealed

Dennis Faas's picture

Now that the news of Windows 7 beta is starting to wind down, more details about Microsoft's next operating system are starting to become available. Juicy news on the wire this morning includes word that Windows 7 will ship in several different versions, much like its much-maligned predecessor.

One of the big complaints against Windows Vista, released to the wider public in 2007, was that it came in too many different packages. The system was confusing for many, particularly those roped into buying Vista Home Basic, a skeletal version of the operating system that offered only a fraction of the features found in Vista Home Premium.

So, once again it will be confusing for many consumers faced with the decision of which version to buy. The new offerings include:

Windows 7 Starter Edition

Aimed at low-end computers and netbook users, SE owners will be able to run just three applications at any one time. However, they will enjoy an improved user interface, including a new taskbar. SE users will also be able to share files over a local network, otherwise called a Home Group.

Windows 7 Home Basic

A rip-off of Vista's Media Center edition, Basic will at least allow unlimited applications to run concurrently. Some exciting features include interface and visual upgrades, including thumbnail previews. It too will include advanced local network support.

Windows 7 Home Premium

Like Vista Home Premium, this version boasts all the bells and whistles, including the anticipated Aero Glass interface. Perhaps the coolest new feature is support for touch-screen functionality.

Windows 7 Professional

This version provides just what most home and corporate business users desire -- increased security and premium network features, including an Encrypting File System.

Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate

These big hitters will both provide similar features, including advanced data protection for both your internal and external HDDs. (Source:

One thing's for sure, Microsoft had better be careful with its promises for the first two versions. As we've seen in recent weeks, consumers are anything but happy with its promotion of Vista and Home Basic. As for XP, its support looks to end this April, but netbooks will still be allowed to carry the fan-favorite OS until next year. (Source:

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