February 26, 2006 9:00 PM PST

Microsoft boxes up Vista

(continued from previous page)

Vista Starter is similar to the starter edition of Windows XP. Like its predecessor, Vista Starter will be sold only on new PCs and in emerging markets. XP Starter was limited to three applications running simultaneously, each with no more than three simultaneously open windows. Goffe said Vista Starter will have similar limitations.

There were also six versions of Windows XP, although four of those came well after the initial launch of XP in 2001. On top of the initial Home and Professional editions, Microsoft later added a 64-bit version of XP Pro and Windows XP Starter Edition, as well as the Tablet PC and Media Center editions.

Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry said that six versions of Vista is too many.

"I could see two versions," he said. "I could see business and a consumer version. Businesses might not want all of the entertainment features on the desktop."

Microsoft did not disclose pricing for Vista, although Goffe said Vista Business will be priced similar to XP Professional, while Vista Home Basic will have a price tag similar to Windows XP home. Vista Ultimate will be the highest priced of the products.

Pricing has been particularly important when it comes to user adoption of new features. Media Center Edition, for example, was a tiny niche product when it cost more than Windows XP Professional. However, a couple of price drops have made it popular in a broad range of consumer machines.

Because of the European Union mandate, Microsoft will also offer two flavors of Vista that have Windows Media Player removed: "Windows Vista Home Basic N" and "Windows Vista Business N."

All the flavors of Vista will be able to run in either 32-bit or 64-bit mode, with the exception of Starter, which will be 32-bit only.

Goffe said the goal with Vista was to have multiple versions to meet varying types of users. "We've really tried to take into account those different needs."

Cherry disagreed with that approach, saying that more versions makes it difficult for both consumers to figure out what they need and difficult for PC makers and retailers to educate people about all of the differences.

"What I have to contrast it with is Apple," said Cherry. "They only have one version of OS X."

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142 comments

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Way to many, who wants all those Vistas?
I see six Vistas as being way overkill. Who wants Vistal Home Basic? I seee people just wanting the preminum version. Same with Businesses. Who wants a Vista without all the bells and whistles? People will get the Ulimate version since it as all the features. People are dumping XP Home for the fully functional Professional version. I see the same thing happening with Vista.
Posted by Greenbeanx (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Way to many, who wants all those Vistas
More $$$$$$$$S
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
Way to many Vista Versions
One big difference between OS X "Unix", Linux and Microsoft "any version" is Microsoft is PC tied software. Once you load your MF version of software on to a PC there locked together. XP can't be loaded on an external drive. While OS X & Linux reads the hardware configuration and loads the required drives on the fly. Bill Gates wants to charge for every line of code. This is why you can't load XP on a remote USB drive and boot up to any PC. OS X and Linux can be booted on different machines. Making them these Operating systems more flexible. Its Bills bottom dollor that counts. Ill sell you all the software you will need. Nothing else counts!
Posted by gespensen (1 comment )
Link Flag
To many Vistas, Who wants them?
I see six Vistas as being way overkill. Who wants Vista Home Basic? I seee people just wanting the preminum version. Same with Businesses. Who wants a Vista without all the bells and whistles? People will get the Ulimate version since it as all the features. People are dumping XP Home for the fully functional Professional version. I see the same thing happening with Vista.
Posted by Greenbeanx (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There's at least 1 too many Vistas.
Actually, I can grasp the "logic" of the six versions. Not everyone's going to need the business features, and not everyone is going to need the media center features. My IBM Thinkpad T20 certainly won't run the new GUI eye candy, nor do I need it to operate as a media center.

So, for me, the immediate question given my laptop's age is "Why should I bother to upgrade to the basic version of Vista when XP Pro does everything I need it to do?"
Posted by dagwud (44 comments )
Link Flag
If You Desire the Look Of Vista...
Get the free Brico pack(Vista Inspirat), from the Crystal XP.net website. This transforms a computer into the Vista look, without all the hassles of upgrading to Vista. This is a great transformation, as it integrates everything to look like Vista...including IE6 and Firefox, as well as Outlook Express and Thunderbird, into the same Vista theme.

Note to Firefox/Thunderbird users. You must set the Firefox/Thunderbird themes to default before installing Vista Inspirat---if you don't, it will take over your themes and every Firefox/Thunderbird theme will look exactly the same as the default one modified. This caused me to perform a system restore the first time I installed. When I re-installed using default themes, the other themes remained unaltered. Otherwise I had no problems installing this.

I greatly enjoy Vista Inspirat---it was well worth installing, four days ago. Here's the link, for anyone else that is interested:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.crystalxp.net/bricopack/en.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.crystalxp.net/bricopack/en.htm</a>
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
PIcs
Kinda looks like OSc
Posted by paulsecic (298 comments )
Link Flag
If You Desire the Look of Vista...
Get the free Brico pack(Vista Inspirat), from the Crystal XP.net website. This transforms a computer into the Vista look, without all the hassles of upgrading to Vista. This is a great transformation, as it integrates everything to look like Vista...including IE6 and Firefox, as well as Outlook Express and Thunderbird, into the same Vista theme.

Note to Firefox/Thunderbird users. You must set the Firefox/Thunderbird themes to default before installing Vista Inspirat---if you don't, it will take over your themes and every Firefox/Thunderbird theme will look exactly the same as the default one modified. This caused me to perform a system restore the first time I installed. When I re-installed using default themes, the other themes remained unaltered. Otherwise I had no problems installing this.

I greatly enjoy Vista Inspirat---it was well worth installing, four days ago. Here's the link, for anyone else that is interested:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.crystalxp.net/bricopack/en.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.crystalxp.net/bricopack/en.htm</a>
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I never realised
That MS is so blatantly ripping of Apple's design.
Always just thought it was the normal Mac nerd brigade shooting of their mouths. Perhaps they have a point.
Posted by City_Of_LA (118 comments )
Link Flag
Who cares...
I've been using Mac OS X for over 2 years now. Like I want to use a clone of it!
Posted by microsoft slayer (174 comments )
Reply Link Flag
dump windows, get a mac
Why should anyone have to decide between 6 versions of an
operating system. Apple has done a great job at offering tons of
features and functionality while having only 1 version of Mac OS X
and pricing it at just $129, and it gets even better, students and
teachers get it at only $69! Its years ahead of windows.
Posted by mcobian (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
heh
Even tho I agree that 6 versions is rediculous, Mac OS penetration in the business segment is very low (aside from Graphic Design) so having a business oriented OS wouldn't even make sense.

your point about mac os only being 129 isnt exactly valid either, as with windows you genenerally will get an OS and get free upgrades for it for 3-5 years+, while mac will charge 129 dollars every time it comes out with an OS update

XP and OS-10.1 (Puma) were released late 2001,

By the time Vista comes out, OS-10 will be at 10.5 (Leopard)

Total cost for Mac to upgrade each version = 645 dollars.

I'll stick with windows and pay a little bit more at release, but have a product that will be a standard OS for many years.
Posted by Madrone (43 comments )
Link Flag
Dumping windows...
and switching to Mac is not as simple as buying $129/$69 MacOS X, you also have to buy all new expensive computer form Apple. And then you have this problem of your hardware becoming obsolete with Apple changin hardware platforms every 5 years.
Posted by indrakanti (90 comments )
Link Flag
And you'll still get viruses and worms
If you dump Windows for Mac OS you'll still get viruses and worms the end result will still be the same.
Posted by msims (66 comments )
Link Flag
Got Both
Got Mac, Got Windows, both have their place. I use Mac for my home business and my windows for gaming. What my apple does it does really really well and I love it, but gaming? The graphics and prices and games available for windows beats apple cold. Not that my macs graphics are bad but the machine is 6 months old and close to outdated in the gaming world. Upgrading my windows machine is much cheaper than buying a new apple.
Posted by ecartman (2 comments )
Link Flag
All fine and dandy but.....
Apple has some nice points and it would be refreshing to have a choice... but for ANYONE that works in Engineering or Science fields MAC/ Linux is a no show no go... as not one commerically used CAD or Analysis tool will run on either platform... nor will any vender port to it. Why I wonder?
Posted by TMHubler (1 comment )
Link Flag
Why Not Just Do Feature Licensing?
Why on earth should anyone living in the 21st Century be forced to figure out in advance what Vista features they are going to need in perpetuity? Why not just sell optional feature license keys to turn on features that are needed at a given point in time? Maybe I don't need multimedia capability today, but next month I do. This kind of lock-you-in thinking from Microsoft is so 20th Century. "Billy Gates, will you never learn?"
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RealNetworks does it right
Every installation of RealPlayer 10.5 already includes all of the features of the $20 Plus version. Once a registered user signs in, these additional features become unlocked, no matter which PC he may be using.
Posted by Galley (55 comments )
Link Flag
They did
You might want to wait to make comments such as this. Microsoft has said you can buy Vista Basic and buy and upgrade license later on, no need to buy another box. Info can be found on ZDnet.
Posted by schubb (202 comments )
Link Flag
One version of OS X?
Actually last time I checked there were two. OS X and OS X Server.
Posted by shralpmeister (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Technical
Well, if you want to get technical about it, Windows has Server editions as well, so you can't include Mac OSX Server
Posted by kashk5 (12 comments )
Link Flag
OS X is mostly a one version design.....
.... but, when many of the user's applications aren't welded into the
OS, one is enough. And a true OS can't be delivered in segments.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Right
There ARE 2 versions, but OS X Server is not targetet to consumers,
more to larger organizations like universities
Posted by mcobian (14 comments )
Link Flag
Who's the marketing genius?
I agree, this is to many choices for the average consumer. This is just dumb. Have a server/business version if you want, but I have to agree that OS X gives you all the features you want in one easy package. (XP user here).
Posted by NeedFiction (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
C'mon Mac users / Windows bashers
Choice is a good thing - but then you probably think 1 size really does fit all. You only have 1 choice.

Why would the little old lady, who really only does email &#38; a bit of web browsing, want the very same OS as a fortune500 company with thousands of employees ?
Posted by (409 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE: C'MON MAC USERS / WINDOWS BASHERS
"Choice is a good thing - but then you probably think 1 size really does fit all. You only have 1 choice. Why would the little old lady, who really only does email &#38; a bit of web browsing, want the very same OS as a fortune500 company with thousands of employees ?"

But see it is all there for you turn on if you want it. So the choice is there if you want it. They don't make (force) you decide at time of purchase and make you buy another license for just one feature that you need later on.

So now you know that you have many choices to add later if you want with out the upgrade cost.

Think Different! and you will understand.
Posted by wrwjpn (113 comments )
Link Flag
Windows is no choice.
You're so right! Choice is a good thing. That's why I use Linux :)

Hundreds, even thousands of flavours to choose from, plus choices in the apps you use. All for free and all without viruses or malware.

There is a whole world outside of Windows.
Posted by parodyca (10 comments )
Link Flag
Re: C'mon Mac users / Windows bashers
Because you never know, Granny might want to take an interest in
going to school for a IT service job, and become the next guru of
windows. Granny's are people too!
Posted by hutchman77 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Y would the little old lady even bother with Win Vista in the first place?
The little old lady who only does email and a bit of browsing could EASILY do all that sticking with the current version of Windows 98, win 2000, or winXP home edition that she already has.
Posted by ackmondual (199 comments )
Link Flag
Well MS We really only need one "Edition"
How about Windows Vista "Half way decent Security Edition", how much will that one set the consumer back? :)

Seriously though, IMHO it's getting to the point where Microsoft should just consider selling feature packs for the OS (i.e. similar to the old IBM "golden screw driver" concept), where you buy a base package and then have the flexibility to add sets of features as you want/need them. Yeah it's silly that they are differentiating on features that should be in the OS to begin with, however if they are going to do it at least the give the customer the flexibility to change in the future without having to pay for a whole new OS "version" to do it.
Posted by waywardvariable (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree!
The only thing I missed in Home Edition from XP Pro was IIS. Thankfully Macromedia's JRun 4 made up for it in spades!
Posted by DoohanOK (51 comments )
Link Flag
Just Plain Dumb
Micro$oft's decision to offer Vista in umpteen different versions is dumb. It's going to cause unnecessary confusion among the users / buyers. What is better is an OS that includes everything but a simple and secure way to turn off features that are not needed.
Posted by steven.randolph (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What really is just plain dumb is...
All of the Mac and Linux fanboys who feel the need to bash Windows whenever they get a chance.
Posted by csturdivant (68 comments )
Link Flag
No new interface on base version
All this really is about is that to charge a priemium you need a base model.

What also raises my eyebrows is that they disabled the new interface on the base consumer version. The two explanations for that are that it won't run well on your eMachine with on-board graphics or they don't want people "setteling" for that version even though they use their computers a lot.

Very misleading to pump up the new interface then yank it from the base version.
Posted by JJWhitney (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They are serious
I have tried the beta on a 3 Ghz Pentium 4 and the new graphics make it painfully slow. I had to switch to classic to get anywhere at all.
Posted by eBob1 (188 comments )
Link Flag
I actually have a question
I haven't read anything on or about it being compatible with the Xbox 360. I was actually thinking about upgrading to media center for that reason but if Vista will support it I'm going to hold off. Anyone know or heard anything?
Posted by mrpeabody3119 (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Premium Edition
Apparently Vista Premium Edition will allow you to connect your PC to your XBox 360

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4754462.stm" target="_newWindow">http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4754462.stm</a>
Posted by waywardvariable (25 comments )
Link Flag
Interesting idea
I would also like to know whether Vista will run on an XBox 360 - the only problem I see is the processors, they're not intel.

I expect Linux will eventually make it's usual appearance, which in itself would be good to see, but it would be interesting if a Media version of Vista will make an appearance.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Link Flag
K.I.S.S Theory
Keep It Simple Stupid...

ONE VERSION that is MODULAR in design.

After installation &#38; during first boot up a screen appears that allows users to choose THREE BUTTONS :
1. Home / Student version Vista
2. Home Business / SOHO version Vista
3. Corporate / Pro verion Vista

each number has a brief definition as to what is included &#38; USER SELECTS WHICH "Vista" they want to "experience"...

VISTA MEDIA PC EDITION is an upgrade to be downloaded later.

Large Corporate User's will have the Vista Server version with the contract / licensing deals that are arranged by MS Sales Consultants at time of purchase.

LET THE PEOPLE CHOOSE ON THEIR OWN CITIZEN GATES.

ALSO: what ablout future virus / security updates for all the SIX versions of Vista OS...NIGHTMARE!

K.I.S.S. + MODULAR OS Design is the answer, not six versions.

AstaLaVistaOS...too much,too late.
Welcome to your future nightmate,
welcome to Microsoft Vista1/2/3/4/5/6
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And the last OS you wrote...
Your comment shows your ignorance, you have obviously never written a single piece of kernel code in your life.

Microsoft knows how to market, they are not making any "bad" business desicions here. Not saying it will be wonderful for the users, but businesses stay in business by paying attention to the bottom line. I seem to recall that there are a good number of Ipods floating around out there. Do you think it's because Macintosh, out of the kindness of their heart wanted to make an Ipod available to everyone. Please, they are going to squeeze every last dollar out of the idea they can before cell phones make it obsolete.
Posted by jwarren.carroll (84 comments )
Link Flag
About Apple's Prices
I noticed a couple of comments about the price of Apple's hardware
and software vs Microsoft. I wonder at the end of the day, do they
wash out? For the most part, Apple's prices for hardware are high
and for software are low (ignoring Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro,
Aperature, etc for the moment). Microsoft does not make the
hardware but their software prices are generally much higher.
Posted by neocliff (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's NOT just 1 OS
M$'s mistake (I think) is in badging different (overlapping) OS's as Vista.

Mac simply don't have the breadth of customer base - the can build 1 specialized OS that delivers most all things their entire customer base wants.

But M$'s customer base includes non-computer-literate little old ladies, computer geeks, small businesses, government, enterprises, etc. There's no way they can target their entire customer base with 1 OS.

I like the idea of support pacs. Except for the complexity and number of installs. Also - don't assume that there is a common set of core processes. There may well be different executables for different versions - not simply add-ons.

So - I see no reason for M$ to produce 1 version of Vista, that includes support for things like MQ (hey Mac users - my Windows MQ client software installs straight into my Windows machine - how are you doing installing that Willow TP client? :-)
Posted by (409 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only 2 lines to comment
6 version of Vista, divided it fall.
1 single flavour of Tiger, raise above all.

Not a hardcore mac fan and still using XP to handle some of my
work. Seriously, i think the "range of variety catering to all
possible needs" is a little too much.

Have saw some preview of Vista, i will save the money up and
stay put with XP Pro instead.

1. Simply because it is going to cost a bomb to have the features
i am running right now with my XP Pro should i upgrade to Vista
Ultimate (sounds like this is the suitable one for me out of the
rest, Business and Enterprise sounds way too un-affordable for
my personal usage).

2. Nothing much interesting than Tiger i am running as
compared to the graphical department of both. What Vista
preview have offer me is a look that i was being offered by
Apple in year 2001, or rather 2002 with Quartz Extreme in Mac
OS 10.2 release. Some of the UI in Vista were also being
mentioned to be awefully similar to what Apple has offer as well.
Eye candy? Guess not.

3. How secure will this version of Windows be? While speculation
of increasing malwares for Mac platform is all over, i still save up
quite a handsome sum of money without the need of buying
Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and other Anti as well. My system is
suppose to perform as good as the spec i brought from the
store instead of having a roll of applications taskbar launch
hogging my memory that i i dearly pay for and bring the
performance down for the sake of getting a "better coverage".

Pardon me if i sound like i am bashing Windows which i am not.
Questions like this surface every moment in an I.T Tech Support
guy like me who is supporting over 1000 Windows users.
Frankly, i have to thanks Microsoft simply because... Windows
give me a job to troubleshoot. I cannot imagine how bored am i
supporting a lab of Macintosh simply because it do not give
problem as frequent as Window.

End of my 2 cents worth of thoughts.
Posted by slackersg (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Not Confusing For Consumers
In practice, the various versions of Vista will not be confusing for home computer users. They will use whatever version the computer manufacturer preinstalls. Buyers of super-cheap computers will get Home Basic, buyers of most computers will get Home Premium, and buyers of top-of-the-line computers will get Ultimate.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple/Linux arguement not relevant here...
C'mon folks... this isn't about which OS is better, it's about Microsoft's marketing strategy. I agree it stinks because, like with XP they are going after incremental revenue, in other words they are betting everyone will eventually upgrade to Ultimate and they will get to charge you 2-3 times for the same OS. That's one small reason they rule the world. It sucks and it's semi-evil... but if you don't like it, try to survive in the working world without it.

Until Apple comes out with a real media center solution (which, of course, will require a full system upgrade and all new hardware because that's the way Apple likes to stick it to ya) and/or Linux starts getting more consumer acceptance (without requiring a Masters degree in info systems and the time/interest required to find usable software), this is what we are stuck with. We made them successful, now we have to live with them. I have 5 OS' running at home (Apple, Linux, IRIX and Windows (2K &#38; XP)) and sadly, because the other's can't currently meet all of my needs, I primarily work on my Windows boxes. If it was totally up to me (and don't fool yourself, it's not totally up to me), I'd go with Linux.
Posted by Source00 (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Most home users only need Vista Premium
This should simplify the confusion:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Chart+Six+versions+of+Windows+Vista/2009-1016_3-6043243.html?tag=cd.top" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Chart+Six+versions+of+Windows+Vista/2009-1016_3-6043243.html?tag=cd.top</a>

IMHO most users would only need Vista Premium becuase the Basic and Starter lack the media and Areo Glass UI and only run in a 32-bit system.

Vista Premium runs in both 32 and 64-bit environments and its the only version home users would ever need.

As for the other editions Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate who needs them but only businesses themselves.
Posted by msims (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
xp pro
My xp pro box does everything I need it to. Email, Web, Video Editing, GAMES, Business Apps. I won't be buying Vista unless MS sticks a gunto my head and cancels support for XP(even then I may still run it for the games).

Until another good option is available for games (no consoles please), then I will stick with what I got and save my money.
Posted by dingleberry420 (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree
My idea was to have plugin or addons you you can buy, if you just want the regular windows, but in a month or two you decide you want media center you just buy the addon for example.

I like your thought though, but the problem with that is that when you buy windows your buying the version with everthing but options are locked. Now MS would probably be afraid someone would find a way to unlock it and then everyone would have all the options. Thats the only problem I see. My thought you buy from a store or download from the Microsoft online store the options you want.

Although they would propbably make a seperate activation code for each option and if you did find out how to unlock it you wouldn't be able to update like with windows now. I think one of the ideas would be good. It would make it better for us because we can buy a version of windows and if we need more functions we don't have to buy another version to get those functions, we just buy them seperately.

I thought I read MS was thinking of selling windows in moduels anyway, I guess decided not to.
Posted by Robert G K (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tablet/MCE hybrid....
touchscreen jukebox?
Posted by jamie.p.walsh (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, you will get the new GUI
You just won't get the Glass interface in the Vista Basic: translucent menus, 3D effects, etc.
Posted by Chung Leong (111 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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