Windows 7 SKUs Released
Each SKU is a superset of the previous SKU. This means that each higher edition SKU will have every feature lower edition SKUs have.
The company also says focus will be on two primary editions of Windows 7: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional.
A few targeted SKUs will be offered for customers with specialized needs: for price-sensitive customers with small notebook PCs, some OEMs will offer Windows 7 Starter. For customers in emerging markets, Microsoft will make Windows 7 Home Basic available.
Businesses have two recommended choices: Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise. Windows 7 Professional is recommended for small businesses and Windows 7 Enterprise is recommended for mid- and large-sized businesses that have a Software Assurance Agreement with Microsoft.
The complete SKU lineup for Windows 7 is: Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic (in Emerging Markets only), Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.
For Consumers Microsoft is recommending Windows 7 Home Premium for most customers and Windows 7 Professional for customers who want additional features and functionality useful for small business activities.
For Businesses, the company recommends Windows 7 Professional for most customers and Windows 7 Enterprise for medium-to-large business and enterprise customers that choose to license Windows through Software Assurance.
These are the key features by SKU:
Windows 7 Starter: up to 3 concurrent applications, ability to join a Home Group, improved taskbar and JumpLists;
Windows 7 Home Basic: unlimited applications, live thumbnail previews & enhanced visual experience, advanced networking support (ad-hoc wireless networks and internet connection sharing), and Mobility Center;
Windows 7 Home Premium: Aero Glass & advanced windows navigation, improved media format support, enhancements to Windows Media Center and media streaming, including Play To, and multi-touch and improved handwriting recognition;
Windows 7 Professional: ability to join a managed network with Domain Join, data protection with advanced network backup and Encrypting File System, and print to the right printer at home or work with Location Aware Printing;
Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate: bitLocker data protection on internal and external drives, DirectAccess for seamless connectivity to corporate networks based on Windows Server 2008 R2, BranchCache support when on networks based on Windows Server 2008 R2, and lock unauthorized software from running with AppLocker.