Microsoft fleshes out Windows 7 Lineup

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Microsoft fleshes out Windows 7 Lineup

Microsoft has released the early details on how it will be offering Windows 7 to consumers.

Windows general manager Mike Ybarra said that the company would be releasing six different versions of the new operating system, though only two versions will be aimed at most of the market.

The overwhelming majority of users will see only two versions of Windows: a Home Premium edition for consumers and a Professional edition for business users.

The company hopes that the simplified offerings will reduce some of the confusion and frustration users encountered when dealing with the various versions of Windows Vista.

"The first change in Windows 7 was to make sure that editions of Windows 7 are a superset of one another," said Ybarra.

"As an example, some business customers using Windows Vista Business wanted the Media Center functionality that is in Windows Vista Home Premium but didn’t receive it in Business edition. Customers won’t have to face that trade-off with Windows 7."

Though the Home Premium and Business versions of Windows 7 will target the majority of the market, four other versions are being planned for so-called " niche" markets.

Emerging markets will be offered a low-cost 'Home Basic' edition, while manufacturers will be given the option of an OEM-exclusive 'Starter' version of Windows 7 for bundling with low-end hardware.

Large enterprises will have the option of purchasing mass volumes of a special Enterprise edition, while the company will also offer an all-encompassing 'Ultimate' version of Windows 7 for high-end users.

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