CNET Reporter Ina Fried, recently did an interview with Microsoft’s Senior Vice President for Windows, Bill Veghte about the SKU line up for the Windows 7 release.
“Despite criticism that Windows Vista came in too many versions, Microsoft is moving ahead with plans to offer just as many editions of Windows 7.
Although the software maker will offer at least six distinct versions of the new operating system, Microsoft said to expect almost all PCs sold in the U.S. to come with either the Home Premium or Professional editions of the operating system.
"We’re going to focus on two versions," Microsoft senior vice president Bill Veghte said in an interview, noting that those two versions will likely account for 80 percent of Windows 7 sales.
Still, Windows 7 will come in at least six distinct versions, including: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. Unlike with Vista, however, the Home Basic version will be sold only in emerging markets.”
Read the entire article here
Can’t say there any surprises there. But a lot of complaints about Vista was about its SKU line up but considering that there were only 4 distinct retail SKU’s, it still bothered users why Microsoft chose to release so many. I have personally voiced my opinion about consolidating the SKU lineup.
The SKU strategy for Windows 7 must be like this:
- Windows 7 Home – same strategy as Vista Home basic, supports upgrading from XP Home Edition and Vista Home Basic. Decent looking theme (AERO Glass). I am sure by 2010; most computers will have a powerful enough card to at least run this theme.
- Windows 7 Business (Eliminate Enterprise, let whatever unique functionality it offers be add on under software assurance). This would in fact I believe spur more Company’s to actually sign up, and push the initiative of software as a service in the Enterprise and revamp some of Microsoft’s businesses like SA and EA.
- Windows 7 Premium – Includes Media Center and all multimedia features and the successor to Ultimate. Persons who upgrade from Vista Ultimate to 7 Premium must get access to all the same and improved functionality. So, things like Domain Join for instance that is in Ultimate, but is not a default feature of 7 Premium, must be carried over, just write it off as an add on purchased by the user, similar to what I described earlier. I can give an example of this. Remember when the first version of XP MCE was released? It included Domain Join, but subsequent versions after that were done through clean installs did not include Domain Join, but if you upgraded from say MCE v1 to MCE 2004 or 2005, the Domain Join functionality is retained, yeah, it’s something like that.