Windows 7 in 6 varieties
- Windows 7 Home Premium for consumers
- Windows 7 Professional for businesses, with an upgrade path from Vista Business
- Windows 7 Enterprise for Software Assurance customers only. The enterprise edition will support advanced data protection, lower cost compliance and IT tools to streamline PC management. However, it won't be available from OEMs or retail outlets.
- Windows 7 Ultimate for enthusiasts who want a full-featured OS, including BitLocker.
- Windows 7 Starter edition on new PCs for channel partners
- Windows 7 Home Basic edition intended for distribution in emerging markets.
Windows XP users will be able to upgrade to Windows 7 without paying the full price. However, XP users will have to perform a clean install of Windows 7. Finally, Microsoft is heavily suggesting that Windows 7 will be capable of running on netbooks, which are smaller notebooks that typically use lower cost hardware components. Currently, netbook vendors sell them running a version of the Linux operating system or Windows XP. With Windows 7, Microsoft is on track to have a smaller OS footprint with faster boot-up and shut-down times, and improved power management.