Details of the SKUs of Windows 7 are now public. Windows 7 will have 6 editions, which is stupid IMO. Initially Paul Thurrott reported 5 editions of which Enterprise was not different based on features but on availability & Home Basic supposedly died. Later, it seems that Home Basic still lives (in emerging markets), sucks & stupid. Without Aero Windows looks disgusting. No house should have a Windows PC without Aero. Period.

Making sense of the editions, Enterprise is only for Volume licensing. It’s not an edition of Windows per-say. Starter however IS an edition according to the same per-say & is for “Emerging markets, with new PCs only”, not available in retail. Putting in simple terms – it’s an edition for the $10 computers. Don’t confuse these cheaptops with netbooks. Home Baisc however seems to be more of a netbook edition with features minus Aero, saving battery perhaps; making it look ugly, definitely. Not to mention other features that will be missing. Not really sure though as to how MSFT promotes it considering it’s only for ’emerging markets’.

I would’ve found 3 retail versions to make sense but what doesn’t is why does Microsoft want to sell more of Home & Professional but not Ultimate. Why not promote Ultimate as the edition to buy, Home & Business as for those who are cost conscious? Home Basic for no one & thereby kill it.

5 categories of customers, 5 different versions targeting them, pretty simple. Home Basic version shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

  • OLPC – Starter
  • Casual home user – Home Premium
  • Hardworking business types – Professional
  • Being Manan – Ultimate
  • Wanna buy in bulk? – Enterprise (it’s Ultimate for the corporates)
  • Home Basic – Please don’t buy it.