Windows Vista Home Premium Edition? 11 Sep 2005

63 comments Latest by Todd Grundy

Paul Thurrott has revealed the seven new product names for Microsoft’s Windows Vista (Longhorn). Seven.

  • Windows Vista Starter Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
  • Windows Vista Professional Edition
  • Windows Vista Small Business Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

If this turns out to be correct, I’m almost speechless. How would the average home user possibly choose between Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium? Which version would a Professional working in a Small Business choose?

If a customer is presented with too many options, they’ll either choose the wrong one, or walk away empty handed.

At the other end of the spectrum of course, we have Apple with one version of OS X — but there’s room in the middle too. How about Basic, Home, Small Business, Big Business & Ultimate? I’m still not keen on the word “Ultimate”, but at least the confusion in the middle has been removed.

(via Veerle)

63 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Daniel Morrison 11 Sep 05

I think about testing and support. How much complexity is added by making 7 versions? I know it is all the same code, but I still feel that this is asking for trouble.

Ryan 11 Sep 05

Yes, Microsoft seems to be flouondering, don’t they. This is the kind of thing you read about in Harvard Business Review case studies ten years after a company has gone out of vogue or gone bankrupt.

I’m just waiting for Steve Jobs to announce “Panther - the Windows killer that also runs on your windows machine”. Apple is in such a strategic position and Microsoft is so lost that if they did that, I think Apple could stand to capture a huge share of the OS market from Windows.

Chris 11 Sep 05

To some degree it’s a good thing but 7 is OTT.

why not

* Windows Vista Starter Edition
* Windows Vista Home Edition
* Windows Vista Professional Edition
* Windows Vista Small Business Edition
* Windows Vista Enterprise Edition

Starter is for people new to windows
home for home users
etc etc

That way if you go in a shop you can look and thing. “i’m not a starter but i’m not a pro so i’ll get home edition”.

Josh Poulson 11 Sep 05

The substantive difference is this:

Windows single-user
Windows multi-user
Windows server-supported/connected
Windows server

But, hey, why put the value-proposition in the frickin’ name? That would make sense!

bill Erickson 11 Sep 05

Why not offer a single home/consumer edition and make the different versions a choice during setup? Like when it’s first turned on ask a few questions like “Are you a new windows user, average user, or experienced user?” And they can change their choice in the system preferences. That way they don’t worry about buying the wrong one.

Even I would have a hard time picking which one I should get. I’m glad I’m sticking with OSX

Thomas Baekdal 11 Sep 05

For once, I would wish you guys would report things in the right perspective. This site is beginning to become too much like trash reporting…

These 7 versions is for 4 different target markets

Ohh… your Basecamp product comes in 5 different “editions”.


For home users:
- Microsoft Windows Vista - Home Basic Edition
- Microsoft Windows Vista - Home Premium Edition

Allowing the home users to either have a normal functional Windows (for all those people who only use it for low-end stuff), or with an improved feature set.


For business users:
- Microsoft Windows Vista - Professional Edition (for normal business users - or companies who wants the “default feature set”)

- Microsoft Windows Vista - Small Business Edition (for small business, hence the name. Includes helpful additions for this market)

- Microsoft Windows Vista - Enterprise Edition (for, well…, large enterprises companies)


The geek version
- Microsoft Windows Vista - Geek Edition …err… sorry, Ultimate (for those who wants everything).


The “Africa” version
- Microsoft Windows Vista - Starter edition (a low-price edition for “emerging markets”. It is a low-feature, low-requirement version for those who do not have the latest)

The result is that there are really very few choices. Also, if you take a look at how Microsoft XP editions (there is quite a few) is marketed, you will find that only the relevant ones is marketed to each target group.

Sxates 11 Sep 05

On the consumer level, this is pretty much exactly what they have now with XP: Starter (which isn’t sold in the US), Home, Pro, Media Center. The real difference I see is that they’ve segmented the versions aimed at businesses, and the “pro” version is being splintered.

As far as your average consumer goes, they will probably be fine with this. If you go into Best Buy, you won’t see 7 versions of windows, you’ll see 3 or 4 (which is what we have today). And since most people will get vista on a new PC, that decision may be made for them.

I think just like ‘pro’ is their best seller today, even among home users, “ultimate” will probably end up being the best seller as well for people who do their own OS installing. As long as their top end is priced reasonably, I can see most people just saying “I’ll take the whole bag” and going with ultimate.

Tim Lucas 11 Sep 05

My question is: how will the user smoothly proceed from a beginner to an intermediate user when the platform is locked into a specific version? Will it be painless to upgrade, or will they be unaware of the extra features avaiable to them and be forced into perpetual beginnerdom?

If the path of least resistance is to keep the computer as a ‘starter’ edition (for fear of breaking it, etc) then I see a major problem. For example, my father had not used a computer 6 months ago but is now photosharing, skyping, installing new software etc. He would have definitely outgrown a ‘starter’ version by now…

chris 11 Sep 05

Easy: you buy the starter edition if you’ve just finished renting a house, or you’re a first time buyer. If you live in a little two bedroom apartment it’s the home basic. But if you’re somewhere on the beach in California or you live in, say, Park Lane in London it’s the Premium edition. If you earn money, by the professional edition. If you work with your mate, or perhaps you just clean windows for a living, it’s the small business edition. Sorry, I’ll stop now.

Jesper 11 Sep 05

It’s fairly obvious from some of the reasoning that some people have no idea what “Starter” is, even if people like chris above makes funnies. Starter exists as an XP version today but most people here haven’t heard of it.

Starter is crippleware. Limits for concurrent running apps, screen resolution and so on, and furthermore, it’s only installed as-is on, uh, extreme-lower-end PCs. Their market for this is poor people that want a computer in some countries, or just to make a mark against piracy in countries that are heavy on that.

Furthermore, I agree that this is way too much. Ideally, we’d have Vista and Vista Pro, with Vista having Home Basic and Vista Pro coming with everything, and the setup program letting you choose between a number of profiles like the versions proposed or letting you cobble together what you want.

Brad 11 Sep 05

Three Versions:

1. Basic
2. Business
3. Both

Emily 11 Sep 05

Oh, that’s so bad it’s almost comical.

I hate Windows. I really respect Bill Gates and I think Microsoft has a lot of smart people working there, but for some reason (it’s size?) they just make some HORRIBLE product decisions. (Feels like Six Apart these days - when they were small, they got things done, now that they are huge, not so much)

We all need to think smaller. Isnt’ that what you all have been saying all along?

BS 11 Sep 05

No doubt they will also have Vista 2006 Server (with it’s multiple versions).

This is an operating system for crying out loud. I don’t think this is what they will do (7 versions). I’m sure they will limit it to 3 or 4 versions. They can’t be that crazy.

Adolph Trudeau 11 Sep 05

Don’t forget about the TabletPC version!

When you have to employ so many marketing people, you gotta have lots of different marketing points!

Chris Tingom 11 Sep 05

How about it be called On Vista On Prancer On Dasher On Vixen…

Brian Sweeting 11 Sep 05

@Thomas - At least when 37signals offers multiple editions of their product they clearly outline what those differences are. I doubt Microsoft will be so clear, at least that’s how it was with XP. The Pro edition was primarily used by computer salespersons, as an upsell to the customer. Like “Dell recommends Windows XP Pro”. And why do they recommend XP Pro? Because it’s another $50 in their pockets.

What if I have a home-based business…do I get the home premium edition or do I get the small-business edition? If I get the small-business edition does that mean my kids can’t play games? If I get the home premium edition, does that mean I can’t run the applications I need for my business? These are the things that create confusion in customers’ minds.

You also make it sound like the Windows OS is an application to be targeted to 7 different audiences…it is not. It is a computing environment, that I can run whatever applications I want, whether whether they are home or business applications, it shouldn’t matter.

Andrew 11 Sep 05

In fact, there are additional variations planned. For instance, there’s a version of Windows that’s meant to be run on a virtual machine served by Windows Virtual Server. There will be several flavors of Windows Server products as well, depending on whether you’re running them in a datacenter, as a standalone server, as a file server, as a web server, etc. etc. The seven you list are really just the non-server versions of Windows.

And why didn’t they include Windows Xtreme, you know, for the kids?

Wesley Walser 11 Sep 05

I am not all about bashing microsoft like a lot of people, but I was even put off then I read that article. I just don’t understand how the company doesn’t understand that the first thing that people think when they see all those options is “Vista’s 7 versions vs. Mac’s 1 option”, thats certinly what I thought.

Su 11 Sep 05

What if I have a home-based business�do I get the home premium edition or do I get the small-business edition?

Well, are you planning to have it around for home use, or are you going to use it for your business? Pick the highest one that satisfies your needs or situation, and go no further.
You didn’t actually think nobody would call you on this, did you?

More importantly, anyone who’s going to be approaching the question from this kind of intentional cynicism and disingenuousness is probably going to be scouring the tech details for any little loophole, so you known damn well exactly which one you’re going to buy.

Richard 11 Sep 05

Actually, Apple has a single user edition of OS X Tiger and a “Family” pack that gives you 5 licensed installs. I’m not sure how many people buy the family pack instead of using a single user to do a few machines at home as there is no protection scheme, even over a network, however, at least they offer it and some folks (me) do buy it for multiple machines at home.

Mac OS X server is rarely mixed into discussions of ways to buy Mac OS X, mostly because the single user OS version can be used to run a server as is.

Whether the post is correct about upcoming versions of Windows, there has historically been confusion about what version is best for what kind of user and product naming hasn’t helped that confusion.

I’m a Mac user but of course follow all of this general OS stuff and I do sense a shift and the possibility that Microsoft is flounding a bit. In all honesty I’m not absolutely sure that Apple could take great advantage of that opportunity should it present itself. Historically, they’ve not done well in this area. However, now that they are a bit more diversified maybe they can take a few more risks and get a bit more market share as folks flounder wondering whether they deserve “ultimate” or not.

Daniel Lakier 11 Sep 05

I wonder if having a product that has a varied customer base and needs to run on third world $50 computers, and enterprise level $$$ computers, along with complying with justice department and EU requirements that it sell a version without IE and multimedia option could have anything do with this?

MS’s customer base might be slightly more… diverse… than Apple’s. Just a hunch.

Microsoft’s audience:

Third world users
Home users
Home users who do not want to include multimedia (all 3 of them) This is DOJ/EU dictate
Corporate PCs

Apple’s audience:

Home users


kmilden 11 Sep 05

All the money in the world and they still don’t seem to get it.

gp 11 Sep 05

perfect example of design by committee if I ever saw one!

Jesper 11 Sep 05

Daniel Lakier: You certainly have a point, but I think it’s more likely that they want to milk the most out of the users. Businesses can pay more. “Third world users” can buy it at all, which is a whole new market. Home users can pay several times with “media PCs”, or be lured into paying for the most expensive version just to not be outfoxed. (With OS X it’s just a point of buying the OS and piling on apps. Apple’s leaving stuff like small business management to third party developers.)

“Home users who do not want to include multimedia (all 3 of them) This is DOJ/EU dictate” - The EU obviously doesn’t want people to not be able to play movies or songs out of the box. The ideal solution would be to present people with a dialog box saying “This Windows version is preloaded with [or can download] a few media players for you. See the feature matrix below and decide which ones you want.” Microsoft would never ever do this unless being forced into it, because they want to own every market (as do most companies, but Microsoft are in many, many markets).

Space Penis 11 Sep 05

The moral of the story is that Microsoft often make bad decisions.

Jonny Roader 11 Sep 05

If Apple is so good and Microsoft are so bad, why is one about a million times the size of the other? You know, in a (supposedly) free market economy?

Ben Askins 11 Sep 05

I get anxious looking at the cans of baked beans in the super market and having to decide between 5 or 6 different varieties of Heinz beans.

Now I’ve got to choose between 7 different versions of windows?

But wait, no, there’s another series of cans sitting next to the Heinz beans. They’re all the same, wrapped in stylishly crafted black labels that read “Tiger Beans by Apple”.

I’ll have that one.

Deirdre Saoirse Moen 11 Sep 05

Family packs aside, there are two major flavors of MacOS X: the consumer version (simply called Tiger), and MacOS X Server (called Tiger server). For Tiger Server, there’s two variants: 10-client connections, and unlimited. Other than that, they’re identical.

Ben Askins 11 Sep 05

Had to leave the house after I’d spilt the beans :-) So didn’t get to finish my comment.

I think we’d all agree that Microsoft doesn’t _need_ 7 versions of their OS. But what would be the ideal? I’d propose:

Windows Business Edition - (client version w/ minimal digital media options)
Windows Home Edition - (client version w/ digital media options maxed out)
Windows Server Edition - (it’s in the name)

I wonder how much of Microsoft’s decision is around functional differentiation between the different editions. I suspect it’s more to do with licensing points.

Daniel Lakier 11 Sep 05

Actually, none of these 7 versions appears to be a server edition, so there will be other releases later on for the server.

Certainly some of the bifurcation is due to market segmentation strategies designed to increase margin - I think I prefer that to Apple’s approach of charging you $120/year for a point release that is largely useless.

But, I digress. MS really has to offer at least 3 versions:

1) 3rd world edition for cheap hardware and locations with heavy piracy problems
2) Edition with multimedia apps in the box
3) Edition with multimedia apps nowhere near the box (legal req.)

So the market segmentation really exists for config 2 where they divide the markets into 5 segments:

Small Business

And here I can see where Pro, SB, Enterpirse, and Ultimate, really could be the same product. Fortunately, Home, Pro and Ultimate are really the only ones consumers will see marketed towards them, and most people will have no problem choosing which they want. Just like AMD and Intel both have gamer marketed chips MS getting some added margin by targeting these folks.

Also, a lot of these choices will made by the hardware vendors, as most of MS’s OS sales are through OEMs like Dell and HP. Basically, if you buy a cheap PC, it will come with home. Most business PCs and laptops will come with Pro. Gamer PCs with Ultimate. Fairly straight forward.

Enterprise and SB will be marketed in seperate distribution chanels that consumers will not even see. Much like Windows Server Data Center is marketed today.

Beat up MS on this if you like, but you can probably find richer hunting grounds elsewhere - their OS strategy is not too bad.

andrew 11 Sep 05

how about one version that determines what to install as you are going thru the install process

Q1: are you at home or work?
Q2, if home: do you run wireless network?
Q2, if work: are ou on a domain?

THis same sort of install process is desperately needed by Adobe…
Q1: Do you do
video (check all that apply)
dont check web, get no damn image ready.

bells and whistles are cool, feature creep sucks… buy give us better install options

Daniel Lakier 11 Sep 05

DOJ/EU won’t let MS distribute a single version - at the very least there needs to be a box that does not include the other features.

Better install, though, is a good idea - but how will it work? Pay one price at store, then use a special code to unlock the features you paid for? All that does is make MS’s life easier - only need one box, but they are still selling multiple versions…albeit in a single box

Dan Hartung 11 Sep 05

This clearly isn’t a crowd familiar with Microsoft.

Seriously, Paul’s wrong, the second post is right — there are already more than a dozen different types of “Windows XP” alone out there, not to mention the still-sold Windows 2000, Windows 2003 Server, and so forth. The consumer doesn’t have trouble distinguishing them because most of them are not sold in stores. All but the Home and Pro editions are sold to the corporate market. I don’t believe Starter is sold in a box at all. (There’s also a Student edition.)

Also, the “Small Business” and “Enterprise” editions are right now sold as Windows 200X Server. Obviously with Vista these will all be one continuous line. Those aren’t desktop Windows. So the new Windows Vista will be rolling up the existing editions of XP and Windows 200X under one name. Small Business edition is what they call “Small Business Server” — it bundles Exchange and SQL Server to be run side-by-side on one box if you like. Enterprise isn’t, of course, intended for desktop use at all — it’s a rock solid version of NT/200X Server that has features like Clustering built in.

Seriously, 7 editions would be a simplification.

The average consumer will have a choice (at Best Buy, say) of Home Basic, Home Premium, and Professional. Most computers will come with one of these pre-installed depending on price point. Businesses will choose Professional for their employees, and Enterprise for their servers — or Small Business if they only have one server and no onsite administrator. Starter will be sold strictly by university bookstores, teacher catalogs, and OEMs. No real confusion.

As for Ultimate, personally I don’t see Microsoft going with a name like that, because it implies an end-point that I don’t see them defining, and sounds a bit too flashy for the corporate market.

AKS 11 Sep 05

Nominally, seven versions… hmmm. Perhaps, for the desktop & laptop market. As mentioned, that’s excluding server versions. And it’s also excluding the tablet PC, palmtop, and embedded versions.

Microsoft are going to need to do a heck of a marketing job to convince some customers to switch voluntarily. I suspect many people will upgrade to Vista only when it comes pre-installed on their new computer.

Jens Meiert 12 Sep 05

Why not just “Windows Vista”. Or maybe “Windows Vista” and “Windows Vista Professional”. Seven flavors are way too much and definitely will irritate and frustrate end users as well as even professionals.

Mark Garrigan 12 Sep 05

Its just another way Microsoft can employ and certify thousands and thousands of support people for their usless, unstable products. People have mentioned that different versions of the OS offer different levels of stability and price. Maybe Microsoft would put a better product out if they concentrated their efforts more on development of one solid OS than to multiple versions of the same crap.

Daniel Lakier 12 Sep 05

Actually, Vista is a desktop OS. Longhorn Server is presently in beta, but it is not called Vista and will not be released at the same time as the Client/Desktop OS.

JF 12 Sep 05

The problem with excess choice is buyer’s remorse and there’s nothing more crippling than pre-buyer’s remorse.

Daniel Lakier 12 Sep 05

Hey, choice is good! Consumers really only have 3 choices, and most of the time that choice is made for them by their hardware vendor.

Anyway, just for fun :), I went to Audi’s web site, and there are about 9 A4 models to choose from (Regular, Avant, Cab, 2 liter, 3.2 liter, Quatro). Are you proposing that Audi only have one option (I assume you would select the 2 liter automatic front drive because of the better fuel economy).

Darrel 12 Sep 05

The problem I have is MS and their silly naming/versioning systems still attempts at assuming/perpetuating the ‘the consumer is a moron and doesn’t know crap about computers’ mentality.

Which, to be fair, is what keeps MS in business.

I KNOW about computers and still had no idea one couldn’t run MS software (VS and SQL Server and IIS) on XP Home without jumping through 12 hours of hoops only to realize that XP Home is really just a bastardized, crippled sibling of XP Home which I then had to go purchase for $200 and then spend 4 hours ‘upgrading’ only to find out my system was shot and then another 6 hours reformating my hard drive and then resintalling Windows XP Pro.

Daniel Lakier 12 Sep 05

Did you read the product requirements for Visual Studio?

To quote the box: “Limited functionality. Visual Studio .NET 2003 does not support creating ASP.NET Web applications or ASP.NET XML Web services when using Windows XP Home Edition”

Darrel 12 Sep 05

“Did you read the product requirements for Visual Studio?”

No. One usually assumes that a product made by a software company will run on the latest OS from said company.

And, in fact, that was quite true up until XP. That’s when MS decided to use the bait and switch tactic. We’ll take XP, cut out a chunk of the features, and sell that bundled with the PC, then ask them to pay $200 if they want those features back.

And hey, it seems to work for them, so why not take it to the Nth degree with the Vista?

Daniel Lakier 12 Sep 05

By employing market segmentation, MS does increase margins for themselves, true, but also, allows for a cheaper OS to be available for those who cannot afford or do not need all the features. Its not bait and switch.

Apple sells Macs that do not support their largest displays, by the way. Isn’t that just like MS selling OS’s that don’t support their most powerful software?

I can’t help but feel that the only reason half these arguments are coming down the pipe is because of anti MS bias. If Apple did this it would be Genius, I am sure.

Where is all the complaining about Apple charging $120/year for a point release? Even MS doesn’t do that.

Car makers sell products with differing capabilities, Apple does it, IBM does it, why shouldn’t MS?

Dale Brown 12 Sep 05

Well I am not amazed at all. I figured that ole Bill would come up with something silly like this. This time he has really done it. Why not name them after US cities, then he could have plenty of names to call his Junk OS sytems.

The only OS system I never had any trouble out of was ME. Now isn’t that amazing? ahe

Posted by me from Missouri.

Darrel 12 Sep 05

If Apple did this it would be Genius, I am sure.

What I’m amazed at is people failing to see the difference. Apple fucks up. They just do it a lot less. And they tend to treat their customers with a bit more trust than MS.

MS is a marketing company first and foremost. A software comapany second. That makes for good business, but rather annoyed customers.

MS *can* and *does* make great products. But I’m not expecting Vista to be one of them. And this marketing tactic seems to be forshadowing as much.

Where is all the complaining about Apple charging $120/year for a point release? Even MS doesn�t do that.

Some of the releases weren’t necessary. But, for the most part, the point releases were huge feature enhancements…this being one of the main differences between windows and osx point releases. The former is a feature improvements while the latter is security patches.

I kind of wondered that myself, actually…why does the OSX upgrade cost me $100!? Oh, to use XP I need the pro version? And that’s $200? Oh…I see now.

Car makers sell products with differing capabilities

If you want to use that anology (and car anologies are fun, but have so many holes when used to compare software) with XP, then it would be as if your FORD dealership had ‘F10 Home and F10 Pro’ with the Home version being the exact same car, but with the tailgate ripped off, the stereo gutted, and the spare tire left out.

And Dale brings up another pet peeve of mine with MS…their constant effort to rename every bit of basic technology with their own TMed term. Just another ‘keep the consumer confused and they’ll open their wallet’.

Dan Boland 12 Sep 05

The problem with excess choice is buyer�s remorse and there�s nothing more crippling than pre-buyer�s remorse.

That’s so true… I seem to be one of those people perpetually crippled by pre-buyer’s remorse for that very reason.

If Apple did this it would be Genius, I am sure.

You wouldn’t hear that from me… I’m a big Apple fan, yes, but I’m also a big fan of logic.

Where is all the complaining about Apple charging $120/year for a point release? Even MS doesn�t do that.

Come on, the point releases are all the result of desired semantics. It’s kinda hard to call it OS X when it’s actually OS XI (though the Big Ten conference seems to have no problem with a little fuzzy math =D).

The only OS system I never had any trouble out of was ME. Now isn�t that amazing?

Indeed, considering ME was so maddeningly unstable for me.

Jeff Hartman 12 Sep 05

I always thought it was the people who were stupid. Now it’s clear to me it’s products models such as this that make people feel stupid.

Some have stated that people will “move on” to the next version of XP when they are ready (i.e. Starter to Home and then to Professional). Are you serious? That’s got to be the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Basic users upgrading their OS? Advanced users upgrading their OS?

I think they should have one version and name it Windows POS.

Off topic: Am I the only one who won’t put (some) Microsoft Office icons in my OS X Dock because if in order by Word, Excel, and Powerpoint it spells WXP? That’s too subliminal for me. Excel is the only one that stays in my Dock (because I don’t use Word or PowerPoint)..but if they were, they wouldn’t be in that order. Creepy. :)

Marco Raaphorst 12 Sep 05

difference between those version is probably a Dword value of 1 instead of 0, right?


Todd W 12 Sep 05

Daniel Lakier wrote:

Certainly some of the bifurcation is due to market segmentation strategies designed to increase margin - I think I prefer that to Apple�s approach of charging you $120/year for a point release that is largely useless…

Well, those release typically included around 110+ new features. So, that can hardly be considered a useless point release. But I digress.

Anyway, this seven plus verions of the OS is exactly what happens when you put marketing in charge of design.

Daniel Lakier 12 Sep 05

I hate to be in the position of defending MS (certainly not my favorite org), but they are most definately not primarily a marketing organization. They develop more software than anyone.

Longhorn/Vista was created based on an architectural vision, not by marketers. Indigo, Avalon, WinFS, XAML, are not marketing concepts. It is now being marketed, true, but it was not envisioned or implemented by the marketing team. Othewise, they could have simply baught a unix os and put a pretty face on it.

So Apple is charging a buck a feature for point releases, sounds like a bargain. Can I get it for $119 without Widgets? :)

Daniel Lakier 12 Sep 05

Quick disclaimer: I own a Mac, not a PC.

Don Wilson 12 Sep 05

“If a customer is presented with too many options, they�ll either choose the wrong one, or walk away empty handed.”
Or, ask someone who knows and learn.

Jordan T. Cox 13 Sep 05

Haha. You know, for the longest time whenever I referred to MS products they became items such as “Microsoft Office XP++ 2005 Intranet Corporate Edition 2.0 Service Revision 93.55.543”. Now it’s no longer going to be a joke. :(

Jordan T. Cox 13 Sep 05

I’ll also find this interesting in how much of a foothold MS can maintain in the server market. Traditionally, in my opinion, most Windows administrators are self taught - or at least learn a lot of their skills on their own time. I remember staying up into the wee hours of the night tinkering with Windows networking in my parents’ basement. With seven new versions, administrators will probably have to pay >300$ for a network capable version of Windows to play with at home. Maybe I’m alone in that I hone my skills on my own time, or maybe I’m not. Maybe those “Tech Seminars” are really where the administrative masses learn about the new Windows widgets. Correct me if I’m wrong.

This is all not to mention the individual developers (cue memories of Balmer screaming about them). I think SvN is a great space read by independent developers, both traditional application and web. Imagine trying to develop for _seven_ different versions of Windows on an independent budget. We have an MSDN subscription where I work, so no big deal. But imagine if you have to make sure that Windows XP++ Home Edition Start Kit for Third Worlders has support for the Uber Printing Widget from God 2.0 that’s distributed with _some_ versions of MS Windows XP++.

My three cents.

Nox Ferocia 13 Sep 05

Simple, you’ll never see “starter” as that’s the foriegn version for low end markets (and to try to recoup market share and new sales on obsolete machines)

don’t expect to see home basic on the store shelves, at least not anywhere that has someone who knows about computers and/or isn’t trying to rip off their customers… this will be your DOJ/EU “multimedia not included” version.

home pro will be just the same as home is now,

that leaves pro, small biz, enterprise, and ultimate.

the two biz editions will probably pre package/config apps for accounting, and serving(ideally) or possibly be workstations, and may have no difference other than liscensing….

ultimate, would theoretically allow you to do it all, which makes me wonder why they need a pro version… maybe for the home user that wants to experiment with advanced features and serving… but still uses the box for media.

of course ultimate is going to be the biggest hack target… which will make it easier for MS to pinpoint since it’s the least likely volume seller.

Jordan T. Cox 13 Sep 05

Well, I don’t exactly see Microsoft bundling any of its applications with Vista. That is, Microsoft Office or any such of its “business” apps. They make a fair share of money off of those apps alone. In recent history Microsoft has simply ripped features out that were there before (domain participation support?) to make people buy the more expensive versions of their software. I’m not saying I agree that “home” users should need domain support, but damnit - don’t take _useful_ features that I already have away from me because I don’t want to pay an extra 100$. I will bet a hot dog that as you go down the Windows rung you’ll start seeing things removed like domain support, active directory policies, auditing, and remote access.

As to people “buying” the next version of Vista; in my experience no “ordinary” person buys Windows. It comes prepackaged with their computer. My friends always get confused when I build them systems, and Windows is itemized in the stuff I bought for it. “Dell gives it away for free.”, is what they think (and often say). More than likely, your average Joe Sixpack isn’t going to catch a wiff of this marketting. They’ll just buy their PC from Dell, or what have you, and take whatever they give them. This of course, is only the home user. I’m neglecting the business user.

Dan H 15 Sep 05

If Apple is so good and Microsoft are so bad, why is one about a million times the size of the other? You know, in a (supposedly) free market economy?

…The classic VHS/Beta story. Them that has, gets. Apple missed the marketing a bit & wanted their own hardware & didn’t partner with IBM, etc… That’s why. And, people are dumb.

Jim Lyons 17 Sep 05

�The classic VHS/Beta story. Them that has, gets. Apple missed the marketing a bit & wanted their own hardware & didn�t partner with IBM, etc� That�s why. And, people are dumb.

A bit? How about a mile and then some? The proprietary hardware that Apple refused to license has and always will hurt Apple’s market share. The key word here is market. If Joe Averageuser walks into Walmart - does he see an Apple for sale? No. Apple is distributed only through Apple Stires and online. A textbook way to restrict sales to the mass-market.

If Joe Averageuser compares the price of a PC versus a Mac - does he see a BIG difference. Yup. This pricing principle even extends to the Ipod vs other MP3 players - for example - Apple Photo Ipod 60 gig model - $500.99 USD at Amazon - Creative Zen Extra 60 gig $249.00 USD also at Amazon. But hey, the Ipod Photo does show pictures, so that’s worth 250 bucks more, right? Right…….

Far be it from me to stop the starry-eyed Mac fans from over paying …but the average consumer is “dumb.”

Todd Grundy 04 Nov 05


You are right that the iPod is more expensive but, they hold 80% of the mp3 market share. Not only that, seems like everyone is making something cool for the iPod. Don’t see that much stuff being made for the Zen Extra.