As with Vista, there are going to be various versions of Windows 7, according to CNET:
“Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. Unlike with Vista, however, the Home Basic version will be sold only in emerging markets.”
I’m a huge fan of Windows 7 and also a big fan of Vista AND my job mainly revolves around Microsoft licensing-but even I think all these version is overkill. It confuses people and makes them apprehensive about buying a new licence-and people often hate what they don’t understand; I really think all these extra versions were a big part of Vista’s problem. It also makes it much more likely that people will buy a version of the OS that doesn’t include all the features they want and while MS have gone some way to combat this feature disparity (I.e. Pro will include Media Center), it isn’t perfect.
It seems a lot of people have been worrying that they wouldn’t be able eligible for an upgrade licence unless they were running Vista, but that of course isn’t the case. All those XP users are perfectly able to purchase the Upgrade SKU to their chosen Windows 7 version.
That said, the beta of Windows 7 is fantastic and you should definitely look at upgrading as soon as it’s available :-)
Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet has got some great new info on Microsoft’s plans for SkyBox and Windows Mobile.
SkyBox is the central online hub-a place to store photos, mp3’s, contacts etc as a backup for your device and we now have visibility of the timeline for this product.
SkyBox 1.0 will go to beta in Mid-Feb and due to it’s ad-supported web portal, will be free which like the sound of! You’ll be able to backup/restore your data as well as share it with other users-this is quite a neat feature as it means you no longer have to be in Bluetooth range…
Come Summer ’09 we’ll have SkyBox 1.5 at which point it will branch off in to 2 versions: the free version with ads and a premium ad-free flavour. This 1.5 release will be available on WinMo 6.1, 6.5 AND select NON-WinMo phones.
Sometime after that, I’d guess Q1 2010 will mark the arrival of the all-singing, all-dancing SkyBox 2.0, at this point users will be able to alter/manage their devices from the web. So you can change your wallpaper, add a new ringtone, install new apps etc all from the web-this is pretty freakin’ cool!!! Also by 2.0 Live Services including Mesh will be integrated and it will integrate with the upcoming SkyMarket where you can purchase new apps etc-a Microsoft version of the iPhone App store.
I’m really excited about both of these services. My mobile is always a little bit out of the loop and to get things from there on to a pc-especially if not at home-can be a pain so SkyBox will make all that much easier and SkyMarket will mean us WinMo users can get some of the cool apps iPhone users have available :-)