The Windows Club

Different Windows 7 editions that are available

Microsoft has created a SKU line-up for Windows 7. Windows 7 will be available in 6 versions. Which Windows 7 edition is right for you?

Different Windows 7 editions

SKU means the StockKeeping Unit and it is the number of a specific product which is available for sale. If, say, a software comes in different versions, then that’s its no. of SKU’s.

The SKUs for Windows 7 are:

  1. Windows 7 Starter,
  2. Windows 7 Home Basic
  3. Windows 7 Home Premium,
  4. Windows 7 Professional,
  5. Windows 7 Enterprise and
  6. Windows 7 Ultimate.

However, Microsoft will be focusing on two primary editions of Windows 7: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional.

Each SKU is a superset of the previous SKU. This means that each higher edition SKU will have every feature lower edition SKUs have.

For Consumers, Microsoft recommends Windows 7 Home Premium for most customers and Windows 7 Professional for customers who want additional features and functionality useful for small business activities.

For Businesses, Microsoft recommends Windows 7 Professional for most customers and Windows 7 Enterprise for medium-to-large business and enterprise customers that choose to license Windows through Software Assurance.

The features in each version of Windows 7 build upon the one before it. As customers move up from one SKU to the next, from Windows 7 Starter through Windows 7 Ultimate, they gain additional features and lose none.

Or in other words, what will each version NOT have?

Home Premium:
No BitLocker
No EFS (Encrypting File System)
No Support for backup to a network location
Client-only Remote Desktop

Home Basic:
No Aero Glass
No Premium games
No Media Center support
No Tablet PC or Multi-Touch support
No BitLocker
No EFS (Encrypting File System)
No Support for backup to a network location
No built-in support for DVD burning or playback
Single procesor support only
Client-only Remote Desktop

Starter:
Inability to change wallpaper (!)
3 app limit
No Aero Glass
No Live Taskbar Preview support
No Premium games
No Support for backup to a network location
No Media Center support
No Tablet PC or Multi-Touch support
No BitLocker
No EFS (Encrypting File System)
No built-in support for DVD burning or playback
No Fast User Switching
Client-only Remote Desktop
Single procesor support only

Ultimate includes all Enterprise and all Home Premium features, including multi-language packs. Windows 7 Enterprise is available only through Microsoft Volume Licensing

Microsoft will continue to offer a few targeted SKUs for customers with specialized needs:

  1. For price-sensitive customers with small notebook PCs, some OEMs will offer Windows 7 Starter.
  2. For customers in emerging markets, Microsoft will make Windows 7 Home Basic available.
  3. Businesses have two recommended choices: Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise.

Windows 7 Professional is recommended for small businesses and Windows 7 Enterprise is recommended for mid- and large-sized businesses that have a Software Assurance Agreement with Microsoft.