Windows 7 will officially have 5(ish) versions; Windows Mobile still has two

Microsoft just announced that its next desktop operating system will come in five flavors, much to the chagrin of many:

  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Basic (for "emerging markets")
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate

Here in Windows Mobile world, we've got two choices within the OS – Professional (for touchscreen phones) and Standard (for those who like to keep their fingers off the screen). And, really, how much more would we need? We already know from the beta testing that Windows 7 plays just fine with Windows Mobile.

But here's a twist: Will Windows 7, which save for the multiple versioning has gotten mostly rave reviews, kill off the fledgling mobile companion market? We've seen from jkOnTheRun how well Windows 7 runs on netbooks. Between that and what we're hoping to see with Microsoft's new cloud services, will there be any room left for a devices that doesn't do it all? And as we saw in our Redfly vs. MSI Wind smackdown, is there any room for that now?

Phil Nickinson

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Will I be able to run applications on a Windows 7 Home Premium laptop or netbook remotely thru Live Mesh?
  • If this thing is even remotely like Vista...I guess I'll keep running XP for another 3-4 years...
  • I've been using the W7 beta for a few weeks now - on a 5-year-old machine - and I'm loving it. Never used Vista, though, but I've got very few complaints.
  • I have very few complaints as seems to take everything I throw at it compatibility wise, rather easily too. And let's not forget...this is the isn't even released yet. IMO, we're headed towards one of the most polished OS releases I can think of. You always expect issues...but with an extended open beta like this, on something already working so well, it has to seem promising.
  • So have you used Vista a lot and prefer XP? Just wondering if you're coming from that perspective cause I would LOVE to like a new MS OS...But vista was just pure crap.
  • I used XP for a few years prior to switching to Vista x64 with a new machine, now I didn't switch to vista x64 until last June. So I think any of these "vista is crappy, buggy, etc." stuff must have been ironed out by the time I used it? Because I've had no issues...none...wm6.1 phone syncs all my old hardware works...this PC is running much quicker than my old with XP (due to the updated hardware...but you shouldn't be trying to run vista with aero and other features turned on with an older pc anyways right?)
  • Until I can fit a netbook in my pocket, comfortably, I'm not worried that Windows Mobile is going to fall to a MSI Wind or the like. It may be damaging on the embedded front for terminal services and the like but I'm sure we're a ways off having a desktop OS that will run well on a candy bar phone format.
  • In case anyone is interested, here is a link that breaks it down more accurately than engadget. There are basically two consumer versions, more akin to the days of XP. Home Premium and Professional. The other versions you will most likely never see or hear of unless you reside in the intended niche for them.
  • Ummm...All I had to read of that page was this: "Over the past few years, I've felt like the lone voice in the wilderness trying to communicate that Windows Vista wasn't as horrible as people had heard...that, yes, Windows Vista was actually quite good, thank you very much" to know that I can't take their opinion seriously. I come from a heavily tech pro microsoft background (over a decade in the industry, major MS fanboy, until vista). I have tried every way from Sunday to find the good in Vista and while there are some pluses the overall user experience, at least for a techy like me, is just horrible; it sucks. So, someone telling me "vista was really good and windows 7 is {blagh blagh blagh]" doesn't really count as a reliable opinion/review / whatever in my opinion.
  • Well you may not take it seriously, but he's generally considered one of the most influential voices when it comes to Microsoft coverage. I for one agree with him as I've had very few issues with Vista and now have it installed on all of our machines.
  • ...whether you agree with his comments about vista or was the explanation of W7 SKU's I was getting at.
  • If you want to get technical, there's really 1.5 versions of Windows Mobile, with how well supported WM Standard is these days. I've seen Palm OS apps get updates more recently than some WM Standard ones, and I don't know if I've seen any recent phone announcements to use it. :/
  • I thought MS were going to combine the touchscreen (Pro) and non-touchscreen (Standard) versions of WM together for WM7?
  • They've been saying that for a long time, originally it was supposed to be WM6 to combine the code-base if I remember right, and given what sounds like a new focus on making an iPhone-esque eye-candy type touchscreen operating system, I would bet that's being pushed back yet again.
  • Remember that converging the code base doesn't mean there won't be different flavors for touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices. In fact, you can read my Windows Mobile New Year's Resolutions for suggestions on how they could converge the two. Steve
  • I hope everyone noticed that Home Premium is the only one that comes with the Mobility Center.
  • That's laptop-type stuff, not Windows Mobile.
    At least for now, you'll still use Windows Mobile Device Center.
  • A typo or misunderstanding, both Home premium and professional (the only two consumer options you'll most likely encounter) will have mobility center which is just for laptop users anyways. Check the link in the comments above, it's a much more accurate explanation.
  • I think Vista started out bad, but has improved. I also think it is the "in" thing to bash Microsoft. Vista turned around fine after SP1 in my opinion, but in the end "Vista still sucks". Windows Mobile gets that wrap often outside of dedicated WinMo or unbiased sites. WinMo isn't perfect, yet at times it's dismissed or forgotten all together. Sometimes I just get sick of it. Windows 7 will work out well, though I wonder if people will do the fashionable thing and continue to bash Microsoft. My opinion and rant. Take it for what you will.
  • Given all these reports of how well Windows 7 is running on low end hardware (recently read a report about it running smoothly on an old 800MHz laptop) does anybody else wonder if WM7 is going to end up being a slimmed down version of Windows 7? I know that may seem kind of out there, but it may not completely out of the question and would go a long way into explaining why WM7's timetable was pushed back. And from a sheer branding/numerical standpoint, it's an ideal time to bring the two platforms closer together.
  • Does Windows 7 support ARM processors? If not, I doubt Windows Mobile 7 will be a slimmed down Windows 7. Why would Microsoft break compatibility with all the existing WM software out there? Steve
  • I am glad to see that the 'Professional' version will now include all the entertainment-oriented features (particularly Media Center) of the home premium version.
  • Here in Windows Mobile world, we've got two choices within the OS
  • We stand corrected. (And here's a link so that we all may share this knowledge.) But seeing as how Classic's not going to be on phones, this is the last we'll ever speak of it. :)
  • Just because WM Classic isn't on a phone doesn't mean it's unworthy. This site is WMExperts, not WMPhoneExperts. ;) Steve