Microsoft Insults Customers With Six Editions of Win 7

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

What is the deal with Microsoft and its myriad OS editions? Microsoft has insulted us all again by announcing that Windows 7 will come in no less than six different editions. In this needlessly complicated street game of up-selling you're not a customer in need of a solution, you're a mark.

Want Aero effects, Media Center, and the ability to run more than three applications at once? Then you can't settle for Starter, which comes bundled on some new hardware. Instead you'll have to pay for Home Premium. If you want those plus more presentation tricks and other extras, cough up the cash for Professional.

To add DirectAccess--a VPN alternative--BitLocker encryption and more, buy Enterprise. But if you only want to upgrade one computer at a time... sorry; only Enterprise volume-licencess are available. For you, pick up Ultimate if you can find (and afford) it. That complete OS will be only available on a limited basis, with specifics to be announced.

And another underpowered edition, Home Basic, is only being inflicted on emerging markets. Wouldn't it be more altruistic to sell a complete OS in these nations?

And some are excited that there are only 6 editions, saying that realistically, U.S. customers will primarily choose between Home Premium and Professional. That's an interesting take, but it's still one version too many. Microsoft only serves itself with these various editions, forcing people to pay more for needed features out of the fear that they might miss something.

I want a single, desktop version of an OS with features that scale up or down to my needs. Seem far-fetched? It works for Apple.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon