“The Path to Windows 8”..Know more about: “Windows 7 [simpler] Product Editions”

 

Windows 7 Product Editions:

Only a

Little Bit Simpler

Read this Post in Spanish / Leer en Español

 

As with Windows Vista, Windows 7 will ship in many different product editions. On the

surface, this seems confusing—just as confusing, in fact, as the Vista product line. But

this time, Microsoft made a few commonsense changes to the product lineup that should

make things easier on most people. So assume the Lotus position, breathe deeply, and

relax. It’s not as bad as it sounds.

Windows 7 Editions [Not all pictured]

For starters, though there are, in fact, almost as many Windows 7 product editions as

there were for Windows Vista, most individuals will only need to consider a handful of

commonsense product editions. And with Windows 7, unlike with Vista, these product

editions are all true supersets of each other, so there are no overlapping feature sets,

as there were with some of the Vista product editions. That’s good news, both for those

migrating to Windows 7 and for those Windows 7 users who think they might want a more

powerful product edition.

Consider a typical issue with the Windows Vista product editions. In that version of

Windows, the Windows Vista Business edition didn’t include Windows Media Center, a

fun digital media application that was part of the Home Premium product. But business

users enjoy digital media too, especially when traveling, and they told Microsoft that this

division in the feature set didn’t make sense.

Okay, here’s what Microsoft is offering with Windows 7:

Windows 7 Home Basic (developing markets only)

Windows 7 Starter

Windows 7 Starter x64

Windows 7 Home Premium

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)

Windows 7 Home Premium N (European Union only)

Windows 7 Professional

Windows 7 Professional (x64)

Windows 7 Enterprise

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64)

Windows 7 Ultimate

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Why not just have one or two product editions, as we did back when Windows XP first

shipped? Microsoft says that it has over one billion Windows users worldwide and that their

needs are diverse and cannot all be met with a single product. So it has instead moved to

a “Russian nesting doll” model, where as you increment up the list of Windows 7 product

editions, features or capabilities are simply adopted from the previous editions. They are

true supersets of each other, and additive, not arbitrarily different.

Understanding the Differences and Choosing

the Right Version

The first step is to understand the differences between each Windows 7 product edition.

Then, you need to understand the various ways in which you can acquire Windows 7,

either as a standalone product or as an upgrade to an existing version of Windows (including,

confusingly, Windows 7 itself). After that, you can weigh the various trade-offs of

each option—features, price, and so on—and act accordingly.

Let’s do it.

Step 1: Whittling Down the Product Editions List

While the clinically sarcastic will dryly complain that there is precious real-world difference

between Vista’s 18 product editions and Windows 7’s 12, that’s just a smoke screen.

In the real world, most people will have to choose only between two Windows 7 product

editions. To get to this number, we need to temporarily forget about the differences

between 32-bit and 64-bit versions (don’t worry, we’ll get to that) and just skip over the

versions that really don’t matter. Once we do this, the following list emerges:

Windows 7 Starter (32-bit or x64)

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)

Windows 7 Professional (x64)

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)

Okay, this is four options, not two, but it’s still a much more manageable list than what

we started with. Before we whittle this down to just two options, let’s take a closer look at

the four options now in front of us. After all, there were 12 product editions in the original

list. How did we cut it down this far so quickly?

 

Here’s how.

Windows 7 Home Basic

You don’t need or want Windows 7 Home Basic. But it’s even simpler than that: you can’t

get it anyway. That’s because Windows 7 Home Basic is available only with new PCs in

emerging markets. You can’t get it in the U.S., Europe, or any other developed area.

So unless you’re buying a PC in one of the few countries in which you can acquire

Windows 7 Home Basic, you probably won’t hear much more about this product. And if

you are buying such a PC, your computing needs are pretty basic, so it’s unlikely that

you’re ready for this book just yet.

The K and N Editions Aren’t for You, Either

Whatever Windows 7 versions are being offered in Korea (with a K moniker) or in Europe

(with an N moniker), they’re designed to satisfy the antitrust regulations and rulings in

those locales, and you should also ignore them. Why? Because these versions are more

limited than the non-K and non-N Windows 7 versions that are sold in South Korea and

the EU, respectively. And they don’t cost any less, so there’s no reason to even consider

them, even if you do live in these areas.

Consider the Windows 7 N edition, which is sold only in EU markets. This product came

about because of a 2004 EU ruling that required Microsoft to offer versions of Windows

without the Windows Media Player included. The requirement for a separate version of

Windows was intended to enhance competition in the market for media players, such as

the downloadable RealPlayer application.

But because Microsoft sells its N versions for the same price as its full-featured Windows

versions, demand for the N versions never materialized. Until there’s a big price difference,

consumers will continue to interpret N to mean Not Interested. Ditto for the K versions,

though we’re having trouble coming up with a witty K-related word to help you remember

why. All you need to remember is that you should forget these versions ever existed.

You’re Not the Enterprise

Windows 7 Enterprise is a special version of Windows 7 that is aimed at Microsoft’s largest

corporate customers. It is functionally identical to Windows 7 Ultimate, but there is one

difference between the two products: whereas Windows 7 Ultimate is available at retail

(both with new PCs and as stand-alone software), Windows 7 Enterprise is available only

through Microsoft’s corporate volume licensing subscription programs. Because of the

unique way in which you must acquire this version, chances are good you won’t be hunting

around for Windows 7 Enterprise. That said, if you do get a PC from work with Windows 7

Enterprise on it, you’re using the functional equivalent of Windows 7 Ultimate.

32-bit Versions of Windows 7

The differences between 32-bit (x86) versions of Windows 7 and 64-bit (x64) versions are

more complex, but here’s the weird bit: though virtually every single PC sold over the

past several years was x64 compatible, virtually every single copy of Windows that went

out the door before Windows 7 was, in fact, a 32-bit version.

No more. With Windows 7, it’s time to leave the 32-bit world behind for good, and the

first step is to run a 64-bit version of Windows 7. These versions of Windows 7 are fully

compatible with most of the 32-bit software that runs on 32-bit versions of the OS, and

they are likewise just about as compatible with the wide number of hardware devices

that are available on the market.

The biggest reason to go 64-bit is RAM: after all, 64-bit versions of Windows 7 can access

far more RAM than 32-bit versions (up to 192GB, depending on which version of Windows 7

you’re talking about, compared to less than 4GB of RAM in 32-bit versions).

Folks, with one minor exception, it’s time to say good-bye to 32-bit versions of Windows.

So with Windows 7, almost universally, we recommend that you seek out 64-bit (x64)

versions instead.

What is the one exception? Many netbook computers come with a version of Intel’s Atom

microprocessor that is incompatible with the x64 instruction set, and thus with x64 versions

of Windows 7. On such a PC, you will need to use a 32-bit version of Windows 7 instead.

And that’s just fine: given the limited usage scenarios for these computing lightweights,

that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s also the exception to the rule.

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ARE WE GETTING READY FOR WINDOWS 8?

The final release from Microsoft of WINDOWS 8 is around the corner; for some is a giant leap, and for some is a crude reminder of what happened with Vista, the fiasco.

Read this Post in Spanish / Leer en Español

win 8 metro

Windows 8 GUI “Metro”

Well, it is a good idea [I suppose] to click on the refresh area in our memory and remember the Windows [pronounced “Win-Bugs”] edition that we are or were using, and planning to leave behind.

The Way We Were: XP and Vista

Product Editions

Back in 2001, life was easy: Microsoft released Windows XP in just two product editions, Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition. The difference between the products was fairly obvious, and with its enhanced feature set, XP Pro was the more expensive and desirable version, as one might expect.

Over time, however, Microsoft muddied the waters with a wealth of new XP product editions.

Three major product editions were added: Windows XP Media Center Edition (which received three major releases and one minor update between 2002 and 2005), Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (which received two major releases between 2002 and 2005), and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, which took most of XP Pro’s feature set and brought it to the x64 hardware platform. Other XP versions, such as XP Embedded and XP Starter Edition, can’t really be considered mainstream products, because they targeted specific usage scenarios and were never made broadly available to consumers.

Following is a list of the major Windows XP versions that Microsoft shipped between 2001 and 2006. 

win xp gui

Windows XP Graphical User Interface [GUI]

Windows XP Starter Edition (underdeveloped countries only)

Windows XP Embedded (sold in embedded devices only)

Windows XP Home Edition

Windows XP Home Edition N (European Union only)

Windows XP Media Center Edition

Windows XP Tablet Edition

Windows XP Professional Edition

Windows XP Professional Edition N (European Union only)

Windows XP Professional Edition K (South Korea only)

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Windows XP for Itanium-based systems

[In a moment, we’ll compare these products with their corresponding Vista versions.]

All Windows XP product versions, except Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows XP for Itanium-based systems, were available only in 32-bit versions.

For Windows Vista, Microsoft surveyed the market and came away with two observations.

vista gui

MS Windows Vista [GUI]

First, its experiment splitting the Windows XP (and Microsoft Office) product lines into

multiple product editions had proven enormously successful for the company. Second,

customers appeared willing to pay a bit more for premium product SKUs, such as XP

Media Center Edition, that offered extra features. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see

that Microsoft’s experiences over the past few years led directly to the situation we had

with Windows Vista: the company created six core Vista product editions, two of which

were considered premium versions. Or, if you include the so-called N and K editions (for

the European Union and South Korea, respectively), there were actually nine product editions.

Or, if you count the 32-bit and x64 (64-bit) versions separately, since they are in fact

sold separately for the most part, there were 17 product editions. Add the (RED) version of

Windows Vista Ultimate—which was originally available only with select new PCs from

Dell and, eventually, at retail—and you’ve got 18. Or something. Here’s the list:

Windows Vista Starter

Windows Vista Home Basic

Windows Vista Home Basic (x64)

Windows Vista Home Premium

Windows Vista Home Premium N (European Union only)

Windows Vista Home Premium (x64)

Windows Vista Home Premium N (x64) (European Union only)

Windows Vista Business

Windows Vista Business K (South Korea only)

Windows Vista Business N (European Union only)

Windows Vista Business (x64)

Windows Vista Business K (x64) (South Korea only)

Windows Vista Business N (x64) (European Union only)

Windows Vista Enterprise

Windows Vista Enterprise (x64)

Windows Vista Ultimate

Windows Vista Ultimate (x64)

Windows Vista Ultimate Product (RED) Edition

[May I add, what were they thinking???]

In addition to spamming the market with an unbelievable number of product editions,

Microsoft also increased the number of ways in which customers could acquire Windows

Vista. As always, most individuals simply got Vista with a new PC, and some continued

to purchase retail boxed copies of Windows Vista. Then there were the not-quite-retail

versions of the software, called OEM versions, which were technically supposed to be sold

only to PC makers, but were widely available online; and a new option called Windows

Anytime Upgrade that enabled you to upgrade from one version of Vista to another. It was

confusing. And it’s still that confusing, because these purchase options are all available

with Windows 7 as well. But then that’s why you’re reading this chapter, right?

Here’s our advice: don’t get bogged down in semantics or complicated counting exercises.

With a little bit of knowledge about how these product editions break down and are sold,

you can whittle the list down quite a bit very quickly and easily. Then, you can evaluate

which features are available in which editions and choose the one that’s right for you

based on your needs.

[Knowledge is wealth ! Visit Sistemas Ayala to get rich !!]

Come back soon,

NEXT we will dig into “ Windows 7 [simpler] Product Editions

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8 La Nueva Version de Microsoft Windows; Casi Lista!

Microsoft lanza version Preliminar “Final”

de WINDOWS 8

San Francisco  • Microsoft lanzó la versión preliminar final de su nuevo sistema operativo Windows 8, diseñado para funcionar tanto en dispositivos móviles, como tablets o teléfonos inteligentes, como en computadoras de escritorio.

WINDOWS 8
WINDOWS 8 [Con el “Metro” GUI]

“Estamos muy contentos de alcanzar este hito con el lanzamiento de la versión preliminar de Windows 8”, dijo el presidente de la división Windows y Windows Live, Steven Sinofsky.

El casi terminado sistema operativo Windows 8 estaba disponible para su descarga en 14 idiomas en preview.windows.com.

La disponibilidad de la versión preliminar de Windows 8 marca la fase final de desarrollo antes de que el sistema operativo esté disponible para los fabricantes de computadoras y otros dispositivos.

La versión “preliminar para los consumidores” del Windows 8 fue descargada más de un millón de veces en las 24 horas después de su lanzamiento en febrero, según Microsoft.

(CNN) — Microsoft está dando su último gran paso antes de lanzar lo que promete ser una revisión masiva de su sistema operativo Windows, y, por extensión, la forma en que casi todos los dispositivos correrán.

Casi al final de un largo proceso de reparaciones técnicas, el gigante de la computación lanzó este viernes su avance final del Windows 8, que se espera salga a la venta este otoño.

“Desde el primer lanzamiento de nuestro avance en septiembre pasado, millones de personas ahora utilizan el producto de prelanzamiento diariamente y millones más han seguido sus pasos, para un total de cientos de millones de horas de pruebas”, escribió Steven Sinofsky de Microsoft el viernes en el blog de Windows 8.

Windows 8 Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsav3_RIcXk

“Nosotros genuinamente apreciamos el esfuerzo que muchos han puesto en la prueba prelanzamiento, y por supuesto, apreciamos también su retroalimentación. La retroalimentación directa y la retroalimentación a través del uso contribuyó a miles de cambios visibles en el producto y varios cambios técnicos”.

La publicación afirmaba que Microsoft ha recibido cerca de 18,000 comentarios de 7,000 primeras personas que probaron el Windows 8, que han contribuido a “cientos de cambios visibles en el producto y varios cambios técnicos”.

El lanzamiento marcará la primera gran actualización del sistema operativo de Windows desde que Windows 7 fue lanzado hace tres años. A diferencia de lanzamientos previos que tienen, esencialmente, características existentes renovadas (o al menos en un caso, eliminadas misericordiosamente), Microsoft está tratando de vender Windows 8 como una reinvención radical de su principal producto.

Quizá la diferencia más visible de otras versiones previas de Windows es que será compatible con tecnología de pantalla táctil. Eso, combinado con la habilidad del sistema para conectar dispositivos (por ejemplo, una PC, una tableta o una consola de juegos Xbox) es lo que Microsoft espera que renueve la guerra permanente entre Mac y PC en un ámbito nuevo.

“En nuestra prueba del Microsoft’s Consumer Preview (Avance del Consumidor de Microsoft), declaramos que tu computadora de escritorio familiar de Windows no está muerta”, escribió Alexandra Chang el viernes para Wired.

“En los cambios que hemos visto en el Avance de Lanzamiento, esto todavía se mantiene”, añadió. “Microsoft está enfocándose en mejorar y profundizar la experiencia Metro —el lenguaje de diseño del sistema—, donde la computadora de escritorio es sólo una porción, o incluso una idea de último momento, para algunos usuarios, de un sistema más grande basado en las aplicaciones”.

La empresa ha hecho algo de onda con su sistema de smartphone, al menos entre los críticos. El recién lanzado Nokia Lumia 900 ha sido anunciado como el mejor teléfono de Windows, aunque, a partir de marzo, sólo cerca del 4% de los smartphones en Estados Unidos corrían con el sistema operativo de la empresa. (Por si sirve de algo, eso fue un mes antes de que el Lumia fuera lanzado).

Pero Microsoft apenas se ha movido en el espacio de las tabletas, donde Apple todavía lleva la batuta, y sólo un dispositivo más sencillo y menos costoso como la Kindle Fire de Amazon ha podido poner mucha resistencia.

A pesar de que la prueba final de Windows 8 fue anunciada, informes detallaron que Asus, Toshiba y Acer planean presentar las tabletas de Windows la próxima semana en la exposición de comercio Computex en Taipei, China.

Mientras tanto, muchos en el mundo tecnológico están observando y esperando. Con su destreza en el mundo de la computación, es imposible no contar a Microsoft. Pero con Apple y el sistema Android de Google aparcando la atención y la cuota de mercado en el mundo móvil, Microsoft parece tener una batalla cuesta arriba.

“Hay un camino largo y estrecho adelante para Windows 8”, escribió Seth Rossenblatt para CNET. “Podría ser la nueva tendencia, pero no hay mucho espacio para errores”.