Microsoft

Open letter to Microsoft: It's time for a single version of Windows 7

Microsoft has announced that the official launch date of Windows 7 will be October 22. Between now and then, the software juggernaut still has time to fix the product's biggest problem: too many versions. It's time for one version of Windows.

Microsoft has announced that the official launch date of Windows 7 will be October 22. Between now and then, the software juggernaut still has time to fix the product's biggest problem: too many versions. It's time for one version of Windows.

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An Open Letter to Microsoft:

Windows XP did a great thing. It united two operating systems - the Windows 9x codebase and the Windows NT codebase (including Windows 2000). I would argue that the move to unify and standardize on one version of Windows was the primary reason for the almost-universal adoption of Windows XP by businesses, especially in the United States.

Simplification and standardization have always been powerful forces in the technology world, but today they have become even more valuable because buyers are deluged with a flood of choices, even when they have the simplest goals. And, today, the truth is that users and companies don't want to think about the operating system. They simply want the OS to work smoothly and get out of the way.

For the 88% of computer users whose machines are powered by Microsoft Windows, upgrading to the latest version - or even choosing the right computer to buy - got a lot more confusing in 2007 with the release of Windows Vista because it was sold in four versions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate.

This was one of the major drawbacks that led to the failure of Vista (I've previously written about the other reasons) and I certainly hoped that this would be one of the mistakes corrected in Windows 7. Unfortunately, it's gotten worse. There are now six planned versions of Windows 7: Starter Edition, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

With the official launch of Windows 7 looming on October 22, I would strongly encourage a change of course. Flatten the whole strategy and offer a single version of Windows 7 for $50. There's still time to get this right and doing it has the potential to greatly simplify computing for both consumers and businesses and ultimately increase Windows sales.

The single version of Windows 7 should be based on the operating system that's currently called Home Premium. It's time to bring an end to the division between Windows for the home and Windows for business. While the division existed in Windows XP, and before that in the split between Windows 9x and Windows NT/2000, there's never been a better time to end it because the gray area between the two versions is growing.

The additional business functionality that organizations need for networking and security in large computer networks should be sold separately as an "Enterprise Feature Pack" and tied to the deployment of Windows Server (a completely separate product that is not part of the one version of Windows 7 that I'm suggesting). A lot of the additional functionality in the professional version of Windows is tied to integration with Windows Server, such as Group Policy and domain membership.

Most sizable organizations and their IT departments are going to buy all of this extra business functionality as part of volume licensing agreements such as Software Assurance (just like they do now), so having a single version of Windows 7 wouldn't actually be much of a change for them.

However, it would be a major change for the 5.3 million small businesses in the United States with 20 employees or less (that's 89% of all businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). Small businesses often end up with a mix of the home and professional Windows systems. That's because many of their laptop and desktop machines are purchased from retailers such as Best Buy and Office Depot (and often loaded with the home OS), while others are purchased online from companies such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard and loaded with professional versions of Windows.

These small businesses don't usually have IT departments, but instead rely on tech-savvy managers to wear the IT hat or hire local IT consultants to serve as a resource. As a result, they don't typically have a long-term IT strategy in place and don't always have a good idea of which version of Windows to buy on a new PC - or may not have much choice if they are buying a system at a retail location. Then they have to cobble together a network of machines with different versions of Windows as their business grows and they evolve into a larger company.

But, small businesses aren't the only ones who would benefit from a single version of Windows. As the line between work and personal life continues to blur, it creates a larger gray area where the needs of users can fall between home and professional use.

Full-time telecommuters and employees who work from home part-time are both growing trends, and they involve workers buying their own PCs or using home PCs to access corporate systems. Sometimes these users even get stipends from their employers to purchase their own PCs. Should these users buy systems with the home or professional version of Windows installed? Similarly, we have companies like Citrix that are experimenting with programs that give employees a stipend and allow them to purchase their own computers rather than getting a PC from the company's IT department. These employees face the same dilemma of selecting the right version of Windows for them. It's time to put an end to that confusion.

While I realize that most PCs that are currently running Windows got it pre-installed from a new computer or had it installed in a standardized way by IT, there is the potential for more upgrades than ever with Windows 7. In fact, it has the potential to be the most widely-upgraded Windows of all time, due to the sheer number of users and businesses who either skipped Windows Vista altogether or would like nothing better than to migrate off of it.

In all fairness, the biggest problem with Vista is an image problem - as the Mojave Experiment clearly depicted. Windows 7 is a simpler Windows that actually strips out functionality and applications from Vista in order to make the OS leaner, faster, and a better fit on older hardware. Windows 7 also makes subtle changes under the hood to address some of Vista's sluggishness and bugginess.

As I recently wrote, there's nothing groundbreaking in Windows 7, but the speed and stability improvements will make it an attractive upgrade if only because it does a better job of getting out of the way. With the recession slowing down new PC sales and a U.S. market highly saturated with PCs that are still very useful, the Windows 7 upgrade market could be massive - but only if it's easy to understand for users and simplifies life for businesses. That's why it's time for a single version of Windows 7.

As such, I submit this appeal in the same spirit that Bill Gates did in his Open Letter to Hobbyists in 1976.

Jason Hiner

Editor in Chief, TechRepublic

UPDATED: On Twitter, Rodney Buike pointed out that Microsoft now offers Enterprise and Starter editions of Windows Vista. That means that Vista and Windows 7 both have six versions.

For more insights on Microsoft, Windows 7, and other tech topics, follow my Twitter stream at twitter.com/jasonhiner

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

371 comments
Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Windows 7 is supposed to be an Operating System, so why is it that a lot of the problems about it and the various versions mostly relate to applications that should NEVER be part of the Operating System itself - things like a web browser, a media player, a mail client, and a firewall - while some variants leave out basic OS things like proper network connectivity components and protocols? Surely it would be a lot easier, cheaper, quicker, and less legally contentious to create the OS as an OS only and then just toss in, or sell as a separate package, a dvd or cd with all the extra applications.

s31064
s31064

I'm definitely not exactly what one would call a Jason Hiner fan, but this column has to be one of the worst I've endured yet. Just more pompous pontifications and Microsoft hate mail. One version of the OS is as ridiculous as Chevy making one model car.

tayker_1
tayker_1

I completely agree it adds to confusion. First one has to decide which version of Windows they want. Then when it comes to admining it and finding solutions to problems makes it worse because what might fix something on Home Basic won't work on Business. For example, why only have gpedit on Ultimate? The bottom line is people ultimately want what is perceived as the best of the OS, i.e. XP Pro or Vista Ultimate. So people will feel jaded for spending what they consider a lot of money and will resort to piracy for the OS they really want. I don't know if MS wants to promote piracy or if they want to justify a $400 price point for an OS that should be no more than $129. I think 1 OS with 1 price point will shrink piracy, grow the shrinking Windows user-base, and make it easier for people to administrate Windows computers because it would be consistent.

Zenith545
Zenith545

"...on one version of Windows was the primary reason for the almost-universal adoption of Windows XP by businesses" Hmmm, at least in the U.S., there was 32-bit XP home and 32-bit XP professional. Then there was XP Media Center Edition, XP tablet PC Edition. At least two 64 bit versions; XP 64-bit bit Edition and XP 64-bit Professional Edition. Maybe I am confusing "editions" with "versions". There were OEM versions, Windows XP Embedded version. 'nuff said

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Win 7 will only be of concern for about five years due to the stated MS policy of issuing a new OS every five years. And don't forget all support vanishes ten years after release too. So you get to go through it all again in a few years time.

rpolunsky
rpolunsky

One example: Home editions have no equivalent of Local Security Policy or Group Policy so there is no simple way to temporarily disable then re-enable a user account - such as an employee (small business) or a child (home situation). The workaround is REALLY ugly on this. That's a good example of the gray area.

sidsayed
sidsayed

I always preferred buying the professional or business version of windows for the greater functions it offered when compared to the home version. I think its time for a single version, and I couldn't agree more.

MikeGall
MikeGall

make my life easy. I know with XP I had issues when someone would be using their personal computer at work and they'd have a problem and ask for remote assistance. One sec while I remote desktop, or use the admin tool, oh crap you don't have that feature :-) I don't think management stuff should be an extra feature ... too many people use personal computers for work stuff and should be able to get support if needed (assuming the company policy allows that, the OS shouldn't get in the way of me helping a director out when he calls me from home). That said with Vista and now Windows 7 the product line has gotten larger. People that say there is only one version of Mac OS X (at least for client machines) are correct. However, in my opinion Vista Media Ultimate/Premium adds features you don't get out of the box with OS X. It is more like an OS X + iLife. So it makes sense either to have another version of the OS or to have a seperate product like Apple does. Here's the problem for MS: most people that actually end up paying for Windows get it preinstalled. If it would be a second product it would be yet another check box that the customer would have to select on a web form or check for during purchase. It is easier for people to understand that "Ultimate" is better than "Basic". That said, I suspect a lot of people buy a discount machine thinking it is a great deal only to get it home and realize that it doesn't come with the media centre stuff (or as in the early days Aero). My two version solution: home: everything for management, local backups possibly media centre stuff (or role it out as a separate product a la Apple). Business: everything home has + remote policy based backups, support for software pushes and AD.

dbpreston
dbpreston

One Windows !! is the way To Go !!! Come On M.s. !!! Lets Keep It Simple and Easy !!!

kgunnIT
kgunnIT

I could settle for two versions, a Home Premium and an Enterprise. The difference: Home Premium with all the little nic-nacs for home entertainment while the Enterprise trims the home entertainment out and adds more business-oriented tools such as full IIS support, group policies, etc. Or, get it all down to 1 version with an easy-access Feature Control in the Control Panel that allows you to quickly turn things off. I know previous versions have allowed you to Add/Remove Windows Features, but maybe add more control to what features can be removed for the business. Microsoft really needs to consider this. One of the joys about the Mac OS is simply this: there's 1 version. All of the features in Mac OS X are included in Mac OS X. When a user buys a Mac, they don't have to consider what OS they are to get with the features they want, they purchase Mac OS X with their machine. The same should be for Windows also. Home users go out and buy a computer with Windows, and they get Windows 7. All of the features are in Windows 7. Again, not having to figure out what features they want and what version fits them best.

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

You are involved in running a business as high king mucky muck editor. Microsoft is a business and everything they do is for them and only incidently for their customers. Since they are a monopoly (virtually) they can get away with it. Take a hard look at their past actions, the product roadmaps and the way they are eyeing subscription and cloud computing. Now slap yourself and re-think that title. Microsoft's whole goal is to squeeze everyone. I worked their and minus the background set of gleaming buildings etc. it is one of the most rapacious environments I have been in; they eat their young. I put up with it for awhile, but their actions have become too egrigous for me to stomach. That is why I am moving to Linux and "The Mac" (as Mac fanatics say it). At this point people can only vote with their feet. I am willing at this point to put up with the minor teething problems of Linux; Lord knows I put up with more crap from Microsoft over the years. You guys can go merrily about re-arranging the deck chairs, arguing over the niggling details of a bad situation, while I find a lifeboat.

eludeman30
eludeman30

Windows 7 fried my video card, my TV tuner card, and while my system still runs under Vista, I won't trust Win7 until it's final release. Along with a full list of supported hardware. Call me naive, but I thought MS got this one right. By the by you need an enterprise version, and a home version. The two just don't coincide.

The Horse
The Horse

*sniff*. That was beautiful, man. I can definitely get behind the one-version, one price concept. It just makes sense. Think of the good will alone something like that would generate.

enquiries
enquiries

i disagree with Jason for once. This kind of thinking only results from an inability to really understand just how much the vast majority don't understand Windows. YOU NEED A BASIC, STRIPPED BACK VERSION!! From there it's a matter of debate, but i'd reduce it to premium and enterprise. Premium is basically how windows is now minus some things that only Enterprise users really need (e.g. modular authentication, IPsec).

slslusher
slslusher

Definetly too many versions. Six will only make even more confusing. I hope Microsoft takes notice and narrows them down. I'm really getting tired of have to try and figure out the best one for people is do consulting for. There's no reason to have so many.

jhildeman
jhildeman

I couldn't agree more!!! Get rid of the home versions they suck!

tvmuzik
tvmuzik

I strongly believe MS should cut the all that unnecessary "eye-candy" BS and go back to Practicality, the way Win95 and 98 were back in the day... Keep up with newer technologies, but leave out all the bloated junk-- and quit tryin to sell us with Eye-candy. Until then, I'm stayin with XP.

AndreJonker
AndreJonker

I wonder how one could convince Microsoft that a $50 single version would sell better. The US aside, I guess most of the world would welcome simple and affordable software licensing.

unni_kcpm
unni_kcpm

It's Really a Nice & Great idea for whatever be the percentage of non-geeks(atleast) of Computer World. Atlast any sort of confusion(s) can be avoided at best and 'value for money' option too.

MPG187
MPG187

Windows XP was bad enough with Home and Pro, then M$ goes makes makes too many versions of Vista. How about one version that does everything you need whether you are a home or business user? lol at that old Mac commercial "Choose a Vista" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxLgBx3W9Ss And Starter is joke, only 3 programs, wtf

john3347
john3347

I don't have a good idea of actual percentages of users that fall into my needs, but I am a lone user of several computers on my home network. (Upstairs, downstairs, one in the garage, one in the workshop, laptop, etc.) Nobody but me ever uses any of these computers. I have my Windows Home server network which works well...........BUT!!!! The multi-user bloat that consumes all my computers (mix of XP Pro, XP MCE, and one (yuck) Vista) is nothing but a time waster and confusion generator for my needs. Give me an OS written for ONE user!!! Or would it not be practical to offer the single version that you suggest with the choice offered at user's first boot "do you want this computer to accomodate multiple users?" If the answer were "no", all of the extra code that involves multiple users would be disabled. What, A modular OS ???? p.s. The suggestion that Microsoft offer an OS for $50 is a waste of ink and time. Maybe if I were a mass marketer, I could buy an OS for that price, but not as an individual consumer.

bofcarbon1
bofcarbon1

I think it is all about Microsoft looking for ways to nickel and dime as many people as possible. It's nice for a mainframe developer like me learning .NET to have IIS 7.0 server capability so I can develop and migrate web apps. Everything done on one machine scaled down. Yes the difference begins in doing things like windows authentication on a domain with multiple servers. One operating system is a good idea but watch out because Microsoft may decide then that one very simple version be left forcing all of us interested in becoming web app developers to buy additional software. It should include all options but yes let us turn on options that the average person doesn't care about.

jkress
jkress

ABSOLUTELY!!! One version makes total sense.

rifter
rifter

As a tech I agree with you. As a user, I think two versions are probably more practical. The average user is not tech oriented like we were back in the day. They don't want to mess around under the hood. They don't want to do anything but turn it on and do their work or play their games and not have to think about anything else. A Home Version is just the ticket for them. Tech types like me want and need something more robust, more configurable, and more powerful -- a Professional Version. That's why 2000 Pro and XP Pro were so successful. 'Nuff said on versions. The basic problem here is that Microsoft stopped listening to the public and the thousands of independent techs like me years ago -- yeah, I know they play the game by surveying groups for input, but when was the last time they ever implemented any of what they learned? They don't respond unless there are a LOT of pissed off people complaining, and they listen then because that kind of PR hurts their bottom line. Vista is the poster child for that scenario. They had a nearly perfect OS in 2000 Pro, and could've used that as the basis for a new more powerful OS. Forget the pretty crap, like Aeroglass, and just improve the stuff that worked. Or is that just too logical and simple for you, Redmond? I will never run Vista on my machines, and Win7 will have to prove itself before I go down that road.

dosmastr
dosmastr

ok I didn't see anything all that convincing for MS in this letter. Most people buy windows preloaded and that cost (or price drop) is partially absorbed by the OEM. I also saw the daft suggestion to drop the price by 75% so they would need to sell 4X as many copies to the captive market (95% of which will buy it anyway eventually, changing price only changes adoption speed) just to make the same $$$$ ? uh. YEAH... thats a GREAT idea. Now how about selling home starter for 50 and then ala carting everything like notepad, We need more options here! =P

alfielee
alfielee

Vista, oh what a failure this was. What a load of crap! Windows 7 is supposed to run on a Netbook. I can't wait to see that. Let's see it run Aero in the way my Netbook can run Compiz. I'll bet Aero is functionally bereft for W7 to run.

rstcomp
rstcomp

I own a computer repair and IT Consulting Small Business. I can tell you that we have not had any customer come in and ask for VISTA in any form since the original release. We custom build computers and our customers have been happy to keep the windows XP that they were running. But what we have done quite a bit, for out customers who buy their computers at retail locations and received a computer with VISTA, is to Wipe the computer and reinstall Windows XP -- even people who have to buy the software. They did not mind spending the extra to go back to XP because they needed a computer to work with and did not have time for all the BS that was included in Vista -- not to mention that they really do not care how pretty the OS is. I really hope that MS reaches out to the businesses in their Partner Programs to get a feel on this issue. I think the single OS version in overdue and absolutely necessary. I know that due to the overblown Vista I use my MAC laptop more than my main laptop. I also do not have to do nearly as much maintenance to keep it running well. On my main laptop I spend a few hours every friday doing maintenance just to keep it running the best that I can, which is not the best that I know the hardware can do.

tempadd.02
tempadd.02

One version, One box, One price. GM found that they could not create a package for every buyer, maybe MicroSoft will listen. Even a reduction from 6 to 3 would be welcomed.

MrAnderson1st
MrAnderson1st

I agree with single version and expansion modules for larger business needs. I do miss the days when there was XP home and Pro. Why all the business stuff? Sometimes people need to experiment at home to learn and having to buy an extra version of the OS to get functionality just is an unpleasent concept to me... I think Microsoft's intent on having all these versions will add extra friction to the adpotion of the new OS (Windows 7),which people are already excited about. They are not helping to maximize its up take at all. I will have to take a look at pro and home premium and see where I stand...

CG IT
CG IT

as well as the US Attorney Generals Office on their antitrust suits. The many versions are a direct result of antitrust suits designed to foster competition.

chrisj979
chrisj979

Media Center is the reason fo rmost of these versions, they don't wat to give it to evrybody. I think it should be an optional component like GAMES, instead of it's own OS, casue it's the same OS with 1 program added. One sound good, but maybe 2, WNDOWS 7 and WINDOWS 7 ENTERPRISE with the normal WINDOWS 7 having all the features of Windows 7 Pro.

tonycopp
tonycopp

Agreed. and with that $50, access a physical dongle for encyclopedic support / FAQ / forums and the world with beat a path to the door of Win 7 ..and $25 for Win XP and the rest of the world will follow. M$'s stuck in their box and will never change, thinking they can continue to milk and cow the customer. Whatever, no worries. I'm remembering being dragged away from DOS 6.2 into Windows 3.1 in the early 90s, and then Ubuntu's shortcomings could be some retro-fun

Beoweolf
Beoweolf

No matter what Microsoft does, someone will be unhappy, expend extraordinary effort to manufacture an improvement or in some subtle or overt fashion; - declare, once again that the reward for giving consumers a choice is public pillory. Now, every other manufacturing market is striving to integrate customization into their products. There are consumers that want or need a bare-bones OS (as stated-our "good friends", the EU is so addicted to the money they receive from fines against Microsoft that they attempt to sue them for putting too much in their products; while at the same time suing them for not putting in more! For you as for the EU; make up your mind ... ?Damn it, Jim, I'm a Doctor! - Not a mind reader?, (obscure Star Trek reference; paraphrasing Dr. McCoy). the result of this sanctimonious crusade would be more bloat in the OS (remember, this is the big complaint with Vista), minimal functionality and arrested development in the premier business client. Seems your bias is showing? This would tie the hands of Microsoft, making them just as limiting as are the myriad versions of xNIX littering desktops throughout the world. Essentially, your goal seems to be making it a level playing field, at the expense of innovation in Windows. Even you have to admit the most of the driving force behind continued xNix development is aimed at keeping up with functionality advances in Windows. Finally; there is an established business model, even Sears' in the early days; offered "good, better, best" with corresponding price differences to address their customers? needs and wants vs. their wallet. Sure, it would be wonderful if everyone could drive Bentley at the price of Yugo ? oops, forgot about commuters, cops, plumbers, farmers?. There is a reason that utopia is so difficult to realize, its about freedom of choice. It is never a good thing to artificially limit consumer choice - isn't that the other second, big complaint against Microsoft?

jimb37122
jimb37122

AMEN... but i perdect that MS will ignore our cries in the IT world. i would prefer to go to the good old days of a home and professional version. it is easier to use and makes since for all involved. we shall see. hopefully MS will see what they do only adds to confussion and doesn't add to product value.

pfalcao
pfalcao

I really think that people in Microsoft has gone completely crazy since the launch of Windows Vista. Microsoft seems to have specialized in doing things the wrong way. The first big wrong thing that Microsoft has done is not keeping up with the progress of hardware development, like 64-bit computing. Microsoft only cares about adding inutilities to the Windows OS. While Intel produces 45nm transistors and thus enhances computing capabilites, Microsoft decreases these computing capabilites by creating Windows Vista with less speed as well as crippled program compatibility. So far I had not paid any attention to the number of versions of Windows OS. And I guess you are right there, for I fully agree that there is no need for such a big bunch of Windows versions. In my opinion there should be only two versions: one for home and office use and another for professionals. But the great drawback about Windows OSes is that Microsoft does not care at all about hardware improvement!

pfalcao
pfalcao

I really think that people in Microsoft has gone completely crazy since the launch of Windows Vista. Microsoft seems to have specialized in doing things the wrong way. The first big wrong thing that Microsoft has done is not keeping up with the progress of hardware development, like 64-bit computing. Microsoft only cares about adding inutilities to the Windows OS. While Intel produces 45nm transistors and thus enhances computing capabilites, Microsoft decreases these computing capabilites by creating Windows Vista with less speed as well as crippled program compatibility. So far I hat not paid any attention to the number of versions of Windows OS. And I guess you are right there, for I fully agree that there is no need for such a big bunch of Windows versions. In my there should be only two versions: one for home and office use and another for professionals. But the great drawback about Windows OSes is that Microsoft does not care at all about hardware improvement!

tdavis
tdavis

I totally Agree. The "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) Principle is the best way. Microsoft has already created one of the most confusing license structure, and the addition of the Multi-flavored OS has only created more problems. If only Microsoft would listen.

g0dFather
g0dFather

I know it sounds crazy but think about it. Hardcore pirates are going to pirate Windows regardless of if it's $10 or $1,000. Many homes have more than one PC now...I have six in mine). I will pay $600 for an operating system that will (supposedly) last me 5+ years, but I can't afford $1,800. At $100, I believe many people that would normally pirate the OS will actually pay for it. I'd rather charge and receive $100 for my software than charge and not receive $200-300. The software market has drastically changed. There are too many good apps available for cheap or free. I can recommend a Linux distro to anyone who just checks email and web surfs. Microsoft has to adapt to this new marketing strategy if it wants to compete. Sell one version and sell it for $100. If you do that, I believe you'll find many more PCs checking in positive when the Genuine Validation checks go through.

joe.calico
joe.calico

I whole heartedly agree! These various versions do nothing but confuse!

mp5234
mp5234

MS has screwed the public long enough. it was bad enough when Vista came out with all of its problems....but now we have to choose a version really based upon the dollar. For 25 years i have put up with MS and the greed. Apple is looking better lately!!!

brackmanme
brackmanme

nice thought, who could argue against simplicity,BUT, the financial reality is that MS needs more revenue on average than $50 / copy

v.farrell
v.farrell

Why can't Windows be more modular like Linux. The user needs to be allowed to pick and choose components of the OS because people have so many different needs these days. It is illogical to have one version of windows that installs all functionality on every computer, but it is also illogical to restrict functionality based on a "version" boundary. This is an imaginary boundary that doesn't need to exist. Modularity is the key and of course Microsoft should feel free to charge exorbitant amounts of money for add-on "feature packs".

iiagdtr
iiagdtr

Two versions, home and business, is all that is required. The cost to MS and consumers alike must be HUGE for 7 versions. Marketing weasels must be hunted down and whacked with not-so-soft rubber mallet!

Lexxus
Lexxus

Most people would want the best version regardless if they need it or not.....it's the mindset....so make the best version the standard, and with a reasonable price, people will be more inclined to purchase it instead of trying to make illegal copies. Perception is everything, and though we wish everyone had a technical mind, most PC users do not, and that is where the challenge will be to persuade them to upgrade legally. I haven't been following Windows 7 that closely, but I really like the idea to remove some of the added apps that are bogging down the OS. This is an OS after all, and most people I know don't use much of the built in apps in favour of their usual standards/favourites. Speed and stability and security are paramount, and if Midrosoft can capitalize on those, they will have compliance and support.

tom_kelley
tom_kelley

Miss the point? The complexity keeps consultants, pundits and IT Staff at work. Microsoft's long- standing strategy of Multiple versions is like furniture retailing; same couch; different fabric. This enables higher prices because the look is different; and pricing can be elevated because direct comparison is hampered by the complexity. Most big ticket (big margin) purchases use this strategy to keep margins up. Cars with complex trim levels and color; Jewelry with lots of attributes; Karat, Cut, Color.....

wes
wes

I think the biggest reason for multiple versions is spelled EU. Take away over-zealous regulatory boards and Microsoft would be happy to go back to the concept of one-size-fits-all. Wes

vall7744
vall7744

I will upgrade to Windows 7 very fast I f there is one version. More than one version I have to wait and see which one will do what I need. then wait for the real reviews before I make a decision.

mark.c.oliver
mark.c.oliver

No home edition will run Virtual PC. For that reason I bought another hard drive for my x64 Gateway that came with Home Premium and installed Vista Ultimate. I use one VPC to run XP and another Windows Server 2008.

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