Brandon Leblanc over at the Windows 7 Team Blog goes into more detail about the new SKU strategy for this release of Windows. Very informative post:
Because each SKU is a superset of the previous SKU for Windows 7 that means each higher edition SKU will also include every feature the lower edition SKUs has. Windows 7 Professional will have every feature that Windows 7 Home Premium has plus other business-oriented features such as the ability to join a domain.
Not every customer has the same needs. In general, we discovered that most think we should have about 2 or 3 SKUs but there isn’t much agreement what “the right” SKUs should be. So we are accommodating specialized needs for customers in specific markets. You could also think of these as niche offerings. A small percentage “niche” (like 2%) of the overall customer base is still many millions. That feels pretty big to me and we wanted to make sure we had the right solutions for them.
Brandon ask and responds to the following question:
So which edition of Windows 7 fits your needs? I expect for the majority of you it will be either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional. For me, I think Windows 7 Professional looks perfect for my needs.
Read the entire article here
That sounds like the sweet spot for me also. The functionality in Windows 7 Professional meets all my current needs. What I would like to know more about is the upgrade path from Windows Vista. We already know that SP1 is required and 64-bit now supports upgrading. I am currently running Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit. Will I be able to upgrade from Ultimate to 7 Professional or do I have to adhere to the SKU’s feature set?