Just noted this link Windows Vista product editions revealed on the ALUG list. Is it wishful thinking that this is likely to cause enough confusion and dissatisfaction for people to start looking more seriously at the alternatives to Windows on the desktop?
Looking at the versions very quickly shows:
- Starter Edition – largely crippled for developing countries
- Home Basic Edition – the version that matches the current XP Home
- Home Premium Edition – adding Media Centre stuff, DVD and DRM
- Professional Edition – not quite XP Pro since it removes the MCE stuff
- Small Business Edition – adds in network backup amongst other things
- Enterprise Edition – adds Virtual PC and volume encryption
- Ultimate Edition – a combination of Home Premium and Professional with a few extra bits, so the closest to XP Pro I suspect
So where does this leave me as someone supporting Windows desktops? Well I suspect I’ll have to have a lot of PCs sitting around to test problems on (or one with multiple swappable hard drives). The only version that would have the feature set I would require would be the Ultimate edition since the first 3 being aimed at home users have the networking crippled, and the next 3 being aimed at business have the multimedia and gaming capabilities crippled.
Surely it would make more sense to have 3 versions, Home (roughly Premium from that lot), Business (probably Professional) and Professional (matching Ultimate) with the other business based bits being added with something like a business Plus Pack. Maybe the Home should be the Basic with the extra bits in a Plus Pack? The only reason to not have one version that installs in different ways (depending on intended use) is so that you can charge a premium for the other versions.
All I can say is thank goodness for Linux. The only complication I have is when somebody starts insisting on proprietary data formats, and since this is generally Office based ones OpenOffice does the trick. Of course I’m not a big game player, so that makes things a bit easier 🙂
Of course this is very early days and everything could change drastically between now and the launch date. I mean look at the number of features that have dropped out of the roadmap since Microsoft started talking about Longhorn!