Microsoft has confirmed the versions of Windows 7 that will be available to the public on the release of Windows 7. They are relatively similar to Windows Vista, except from a few minor changes.
Windows 7 Home Basic: Almost identical to features of Vista – no Aero and now Media Center. Worryingly, there are rumours that Microsoft has set this so you can only run 3 applications at the same time. Apparently, Microsoft has set this version to be for “developing countries”.
Windows 7 Home Premium: Again, similar to Vista. Introduces Aero interface and Media Center and supposedly removes 3 application limit if that rumour is true. Also introduces media streaming (?).
Windows 7 Professional: I’m guessing just a knock-off of Windows Vista Business. Will supposedly include file encryption facilities, user-group policy management and a couple of other useful business facilities.
Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate: Similar comparison to Vista Ultimate. You get some extra features that may come in handy to both business and home users.
As for the Windows Home Basic rumours, Microsoft has said that most “developed countries” such as Japan, Europe, the US and Australia won’t ever see Home Basic. It is thought that Home Basic will only be introduced there to keep them “away from Linux and pirated copies of Windows”.
Home Premium will become the standard in more “developed countries”, which I personally think is a good thing. I hate Vista Home Basic and can’t live without my Home Premium so I won’t miss Home Basic.
But that looks as if that is the plan of action from Microsoft. I’m looking forward to the launch of the Release Candidate of Windows 7, but we’ll have to wait and see as to when that is due for release.