Microsoft expects that a majority of customers will be best served by two primary editions of Windows 7: Windows 7 Home Premium for consumers, and Windows 7 Professional for businesses.
The first change in Windows 7 was to make sure that editions of Windows 7 are a superset of one another. That is to say, as customers upgrade from one version to the next, they keep all features and functionality from the previous edition. As an example, some business customers using Windows Vista Business wanted the Media Center functionality that is in Windows Vista Home Premium but didnt receive it in Business edition. Customers wont have to face that trade-off with Windows 7. With Windows 7 there is a more natural progression from one edition to the next.
With Windows 7 there will be two primary editions: Windows 7 Home Premium, and Windows 7 Professional. We think those two SKUs will meet most customers needs.
For our biggest enterprise customers, we'll continue to have an Enterprise edition. This edition will not be available at retail or by OEMs for preinstallation on a new PC.
We know emerging markets have unique needs and we will offer Windows 7 Home Basic, only in emerging markets, for customers looking for an entry-point Windows experience on a full-size value PC.
Well also continue to offer Windows Starter edition, which will only be offered pre-installed by an OEM.
And certainly there is also a small set of customers who want everything Windows 7 has to offer. So we will continue to have Windows 7 Ultimate edition to meet that specialized need. Windows 7 Ultimate edition is designed for PC enthusiasts who want it all and customers who want the security features such as BitLocker found in Windows 7 Enterprise edition.