Microsoft has created an SKU line-up for Windows 7. Windows 7 will be available in 6 versions or SKU’s. SKU means the Stock Keeping Unit and it is the number of a specific product that is available for sale. If, say, the software comes in different versions, then that’s its no. of SKU’s.
Windows 7 versions
The SKUs for Windows 7 are:
Windows 7 Starter,
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium,
Windows 7 Professional,
Windows 7 Enterprise and
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.
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:
- For price-sensitive customers with small notebook PCs, some OEMs will offer Windows 7 Starter.
- For customers in emerging markets, Microsoft will make Windows 7 Home Basic available.
- 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.