Windows 7 Shapes Up And Microsoft Confirm Their Lack Of Vision

Odd places for a Microsoft Windows Crash
Image by romkey via Flickr

It appears Microsoft have spent almost zero effort on considering the packaging options for Windows 7. PC Pro reports this week that they are planning to issue 6 variants in an almost identical series of versions as for the much-loathed Vista. It confirms their desperation to maintain revenues in spite of continued clamour to simplify the family and make it all so convincing to upgrade. It also signals a complete lack of imagination in Redmond. This is a serious error on their part and merely serves to warm the cockles of the competition – such as it is (but it is coming …. and catching-up fast).

So Windows 7 will come in 6 flavours:

Windows 7 Starter Edition : permits only 3 simultaneous running apps with zero media/content features. Aimed at notebooks.

Home Basic Edition : a nod to emerging markets with the cheap version offering “basic productivity” elements

Home Premium Edition : are you kidding ? Includes Media Center and touchscreen support. Why bother ? This is the mainstream pack that Microsoft will focus its European advertising on

Professional : Limited encryption and backup utilities added.

Enterprise Edition : Provides the addition of BitLocker encryption, including removable device protection. A secure VPN access alternative is reportedly included as a nod to the large corporate market. May be attractive but what it will cost.

Windows 7 Ultimate Edition : Again, this will have them rolling in the aisles. This is the all-in pack that has been handed to Beta testers so reviewers be warned. Whatever you are telling the masses about the new version of Windows 7, make sure you know which version they are likely to be stuck with or can afford.

I am angry and this is tainting my opinions. Microsoft is needed. It may not yet be time to sell that Seattle stock but surely Microsoft can see that they are conniving in their own strategic demise. With Mac OS X becoming a real alternative for enterprises and general Linux packaging making free desktops accessible to the masses (with a significantly lower hardware requirement), the Redmond crew have definitely lost the plot. Time to consider what Microsoft are in the business of producing and selling. If it is to remain the provider of the definitive, ubiquitous desktop OS and/or to migrate those users onto the same OS as devices grow smaller and more mobile, then a serious bit of corporate brainstorming is needed.

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1 Comment

SimonFebruary 5th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Check out also this well written rundown of the ways in which Microsoft could (and are) screwing up this release:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/02/04/5-ways-microsoft-can-kill-the-windows-7-buzz/

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