in General

Windows Vista to come in 6 flavours

Microsoft recently announced that Microsoft Vista, due for launch later this year, will arrive in 6 different flavours. Vista is Microsoft’s newest computer operating system designed to replace the Windows XP family.

In addition to Vista, Microsoft will also launch Microsoft Internet Explorer version 7. Internet Explorer 7 will have tabs, be more secure and better all round, although it will cause a lot of headaches to those web developers who’ve used CSS hacks for websites.

The 6 different flavours of Microsoft Vista will be;

  1. Windows Starter 2007 (Previously Windows Vista Starter Edition).
    Apparantly this doesnt use the Vista branding because it won’t include the branded Windows Aero graphics display found in later Vista product lines and will be only available in a 32-bit version.
  2. Windows Vista Home Basic
    This is aimed at single-PC homes. Vista Home Basic is the basic version of Vista. There is also a EU version which doesn’t have Media Player for some reason.
  3. Windows Vista Home Premium
    Aimed at the whole-home entertainment market and offering more personal productivity throughout the home and on the go. This wll include everything from Vista Home Basic to Media Center and Media Center Extender functionality (including Cable Card support).
  4. Windows Vista Business
    Windows Vista Business is roughly the same as Windows XP Professional Edition today. This version is aimed at business decision makers and IT managers and generalists. Business N is aimed at the EU and will lack Windows Media Player.
  5. Windows Vista Enterprise.
    Optimized for the enterprise, this version will include unique features such as Virtual PC, the Multilingual User Interface (MUI), and the Secure Startup-Full Volume Encryption security technologies (“Cornerstone”), whatever they are.
  6. Windows Vista Ultimate. This offers everything, combining both Vista Home Premium and Vista Business, so it includes all the features of both those product versions, as well as additional features.

Concerns that the more featured Vista flavours will require a very high-end computer to run, and that Vista still hasn’t addressed the issues of computer security. Another issue raised was the idea that adverts will be running via the Internet onto your desktop. Whether the adverts are meant to subsidise the cost of Vista, or if its just there for money-making reasons is unclear.

What prevents Microsoft removing support from Vista Home Basic or Home Premium if the sales of either of these products don’t match their expectations. I mean, they’ve done it before – so the question raised is why even bother purchasing Home Basic when Home Premium might sell more, and therefore might be more supported by Microsoft?

Another issue of mine is whether printers, scanners, cameras, monitors and other devices will work with Vista? Will Vista screw up graphics cards or will it work better with them?

The concept behind vista is to bring “clarity to your world” but how can that be when the 6 different versions will end up confusing consumers and not helping them make an informed choice about which operating system to choose and why.

Is Vista’s 6 flavours purely a cynical marketing ploy — or, is it a real attempt to develop a “secure” operating system for different markets? What makes Ultimate so much better than the low-end version? And indeed, why even bother buying the small business edition when you can get Enterprise?

I think Vista will get a lot of buzz in the coming months and the move away from XP to Vista will grow slowly as people remain unconvinced of security, and technological issues.