Microsoft has confirmed that there will be six SKUs for the Windows 7 OS. This follows long standing Microsoft tradition of having multiple version of its Windows OS, a practice widely-criticized and mocked for bringing confusion to the marketplace.
- Starter: Available to OEMs on new PCs. Missing Aero UI. Can run 3 applications concurrently.
- Home Basic: For ’emerging markets’. Missing Aero UI.
- Home Premium: Available to OEMs and retail. Includes Aero UI, multi-touch capabilities, media features. Can create home network groups.
- Professional: Includes all of Home Premium features. Adds enhanced networking, Mobility Center and Presentation Mode.
- Enterprise: Available only in volume licenses. Includes all of Professional features. Adds Branch Cache, Direct Access and BitLocker.
- Ultimate: The same features as Enterprise, with limited availability to OEMs and retail.