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Microsoft Vista Info Leaked 476

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the oops dept.
slashnutt writes to tell us Yahoo News is reporting that Microsoft accidentally released information about Windows Vista earlier than originally planned. From the article: "Microsoft disclosed information about a plan to release eight different editions of the new operating system on a company help page that was under development. The company has not made any official statements about the different versions of Windows Vista it plans to offer. The company has since taken down the Web site and declined to confirm the information and said it will offer more details about the Vista launch, targeted for the second half of 2006, in the coming weeks. Microsoft spokesman said in a statement 'This page has since been removed as it was posted prematurely and was for testing purposes only.'"
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Microsoft Vista Info Leaked

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  • by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:40PM (#14772404) Homepage
    Ugh. Eight different versions.

    Windows Vista Starter (designed to combat piracy of Windows overseas; probably won't go on sale in US)
    Windows Vista Home Basic
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    Windows Vista Business Basic
    Windows Vista Business Premium
    Windows Vista Corporate Basic
    Windows Vista Corporate Premium
    Windows Vista Ultimate

    While I'd really like to believe otherwise, I cannot help but think that this will turn into a nightmare for application support. The ones that worry the most are the two at either end of the line: Starter and Ultimate. Will you need Ultimate to run top-of-the-line games or use top-of-the-line hardware? Will people with Starter not be able to use your program because they're missing certain functionality? Will you be able to burn DVDs with Home Basic, or does that functionality only come with Premium and Ultimate?

    Sure, each version will be tailored to that particular end user's most likely needs. You can bet, however, that there'll be all sorts of "incentives" to bump yourself up to the next level of functionality in the form of "well, that functionality only comes with version X"...

    • Very, very true. The same reason why plenty of businesses at the moment are still running Windows 2k.

      There's very little reason for businesses to 'upgrade' to Vista anytime soon, and for the home user they can always crack the 'ultimate' version. Deliberate feature locking is never going to benefit the end-customer anyhow, so they have little motivation to purchase a non-OEM copy of anything but 'Ultimate'.
      • Deliberate feature locking is never going to benefit the end-customer anyhow, so they have little motivation to purchase a non-OEM copy of anything but 'Ultimate'.

        Money is a strong motivator, and presumably Ultimate is going to cost more than Premium.
      • Very few people will probably crack any of the versions, and those are the people that probably won't pay for the basic version. You also assume that the feature are present and can be unlocked; more than likely they won't even be there in the cheaper versions.

        I think part of the reason MS is doing this is so that people will feel like they have more "choices" and feel like they can get just what they need without all that "stuff only businesses need" and get the cheaper version of windows. Then they'll

    • The cost of differentiating a product in this fashion are huge, both on the development side, and especially on the support side. I wonder if this isn't a bit of a mistake. I remember the situation Apple faced several years ago: A substantial number of product lines created huge costs. One of the first things that Jobs did was to slash the number of hardware products, thereby cutting out big chunks of fixed and support costs.

      MS, however, does have some pretty good marketing folks, and software isn't har
    • Sigh... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:46PM (#14772460) Homepage Journal
      Someday we'll look fondly upon the days when you could just ask if someone is running "98" or "XP," maybe with "SP2." Very soon the abbreviations alone will take up several alphabets.
    • What (quite possibly) actually happened is that they did intend eight versions, and the OEM manufacturers came back and said "eight? are you fucking nuts? we can't get people to intelligently choose between two choices (home and pro), and you want to offer eight?"

      So now they're backpedaling (and probably consolidating) and trying to cover their asses... "Oops, our bad!"

    • But this would mean that everybody would just buy Starter/Basic and every serious (windows-run-)company would have the corporate premium.

      What amuses me about this is that (in this scenario) only the pirates would possess copies of the Ultimate edition, because it's so l33t.
      • So that would be the Vista Arrrgh edition?
        now really, what on earth could make the differences between versons?
        1) we have the stripped version, crippled and sold "at cost" to hit APAC, ok
        2) a home version that focuses on useability over capability, minor crippling to get power users to buy the bigger version.
        3) the bigger version with all the bells and whistles.
        4) the corp. version with all the bells and whistles + management and deployment tools.
        That's it. I really can't think of any more versions...

        Anyon
    • While I'd really like to believe otherwise, I cannot help but think that this will turn into a nightmare for application support.

      I wouldn't worry about that. They're all the same thing but with different features exposed to the user and included utilities.

    • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:53PM (#14772523) Journal
      Where did you get that list? According to Neowin's recent news, it's more like this [neowin.net]:
      - Windows Starter 2007
      - Windows Vista Home Basic
      - Windows Vista Home Basic N
      - Windows Vista Home Premium
      - Windows Vista Business
      - Windows Vista Business N
      - Windows Vista Ultimate
      - Windows Vista Enterprise

      No Basic/Premium of Business, and there's no "Corporate" listed there.

      Anyway, it's still 8. :-) And I agree it's too many. It confuses more than it clarifies. When Joe User gets to decide, is he a Basic or Premium home user? Do a company need a Business edition or an Enterprise edition? The problem seem to be that you need to study feature lists and compare to know for sure what you need. I'd rather see just a Home vs Pro vs Ultimate (being the Home + Pro merge). Three editions (or more if you count N editions which Microsoft must do).
      • by Rob_Bryerton (606093) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:22PM (#14772760) Homepage
        It confuses more than it clarifies.

        I suppose that's intentional; that way the customer, confused about which 'version' to buy, will upsell themselves, just to be 'safe'.
      • I guess Joe User will not decide on his own, because most people still get theirs preinstalled with their new computer. But if he/she is going to decide it will be Home Basic as long as it doesn't come with less basic features than XP Home (I'm talking about networking, ability to run any XP program and printer support for example).
      • Knowing some of the latest strategies of the industry, it;ll probably be AMD: Basic, Intel: Premium... *sigh*
      • by MojoStan (776183) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @08:18PM (#14773065)
        - Windows Starter 2007
        - Windows Vista Home Basic
        - Windows Vista Home Basic N
        - Windows Vista Home Premium
        - Windows Vista Business
        - Windows Vista Business N
        - Windows Vista Ultimate
        - Windows Vista Enterprise
        Windows Starter version will never be seen by 99% of people outside its intended market (developing nations). How many Slashdot readers have even seen Windows XP Starter Edition on a computer or in a store (including online stores)?

        The 'N' versions of Windows (Europe-only) will be simply ignored by the vast majority of buyers and retailers. Some retailers (maybe most) will not even stock the 'N' versions. Source:

        Vista Enterprise Edition will only be available through volume licensing, so retail buyers won't see this version either. The IT folks who can buy Enterprise Edition are knowledgable enough not to be confused.

        So far, that leaves:

        - Windows Vista Home Basic
        - Windows Vista Home Premium
        - Windows Vista Business
        - Windows Vista Ultimate
        Since Vista Ultimate Edition is probably only for the uber-geek, most retail buyers will probably only need to choose from three versions: (1) Home Basic, (2) Home Premium, and (3) Business. For buyers of Windows PCs, that choice is similar today: XP Home, XP Media Center Edition, and XP Pro.
        • by Reverend528 (585549) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @11:06PM (#14773918) Homepage
          Since Vista Ultimate Edition is probably only for the uber-geek

          Software wise, it's actually identical to the Starter Edition, but it comes with a frisbee. I think they're targeting the stoner audience.

        • Windows Starter version will never be seen by 99% of people outside its intended market (developing nations).

          I was actually hoping that one would be able to pick it on Dell's website and knock off a few more bucks off the purchase of my next Linux notebook.

      • by dr.badass (25287) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:02AM (#14774230) Homepage
        When Joe User gets to decide, is he a Basic or Premium home user?

        Premium, of course. Who the hell wants to be Basic? They might as well call it "Windows Vista for Dumb People Too Dumb and Uncool for Premium" or "Windows Vista for People Picked Last for Kickball in the Fifth Grade". Nobody will willingly buy Basic, and that's the reason it exists.

        This is common pricing tactic, and it works amazingly well. Our estimation of value works differently looking up the scale than it does looking down. If something costs half as much but is only half as good, that's not seen as a good deal, where something that costs twice as much only needs to be 50% better to be worth consideration. Adjust this to your products and you can always find a point where people will pay a lot more for very little difference. People will focus on the differences, often fixating on some non-essential feature that they *might* want, and base the final decison on that alone.

        Some people seem offended by these kinds of pricing tricks, but I find them incredibly interesting in a "they're hacking my brain" kind of way.
    • Ugh. Why can't they use the model Mathematica and Matlab use, where you buy a cheap base product, and modular add-ons? The add-ons can be priced for each industry, and people feel like they're getting something real for the price difference.

      Anyways, good point on the supportability issue. If it helps, I'm sure it'll be a nightmare for people inside MS too (e.g. enterprise support, sales team, etc.)
    • I think you have the wrong list. According to the article, it is (with the XP equivalents in parenthesis):
      • Windows Starter 2007
      • Windows Vista Home Basic (Home)
      • Windows Vista Home Basic N (Home minus Windows Media Player)
      • Windows Vista Home Premium (Media Center Edition, but without XP Professional features)
      • Windows Vista Business (Professional)
      • Windows Vista Business N (Professional minus Windows Media Player)
      • Windows Vista Enterprise (Server)
      • Windows Vista Ultimate (Media Center Edition)
    • While I'd really like to believe otherwise, I cannot help but think that this will turn into a nightmare for application support.

      Why would you think that? Microsoft has the BEST support for multiple OS and backwards compatibility that I've ever seen in the entire software industry. The vast majority of current software designed for Win32 runs on any of their platforms from the past 10 years. Can you think of any vendor that has better cross-OS and backwards compatibility support? I certainly can't.
      • by ender- (42944) <doubletwist&fearthepenguin,net> on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:21PM (#14772752) Homepage Journal
        Why would you think that? Microsoft has the BEST support for multiple OS and backwards compatibility that I've ever seen in the entire software industry. The vast majority of current software designed for Win32 runs on any of their platforms from the past 10 years. Can you think of any vendor that has better cross-OS and backwards compatibility support? I certainly can't.

        At the risk of being labeled a troll, I have to suggest that perhaps this is because they don't actually change their OS. They just add crappy layer upon crappy layer so that the old stuff runs because every old Microsoft OS is still buried in there somewhere.

      • Why would you think that? Microsoft has the BEST support for multiple OS and backwards compatibility that I've ever seen in the entire software industry.

        I would suggest you look at z/OS, where I am currently running a module that a predecessor wrote back in 1975 (way before I was born).
        Not to mention the iSeries lot, where they have changed the hardware architecture twice (ala the PPC to x86 mac change) without any recompiles, let alone source changes.
        And again, OpenVMS where I can run stuff written for

    • by smcdow (114828) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:15PM (#14772711) Homepage
      Oh....,

      I was sure it was going to be something like:

      Windows Vista 3.1
      Windows Vista 95
      Windows Vista 98
      Windows Vista NT
      Windows Vista CE
      Windows Vista 2000
      Windows Vista 2003
      Windows Vista XP

    • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:21PM (#14772751) Homepage Journal
      Choice is good.

      I'd rather have eight shitty alternatives to choose from than to have one mandatory one. Hell, I even voted last election.
  • YAllahoo (Score:5, Funny)

    by GenKreton (884088) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:41PM (#14772414) Journal
    Too bad Microsoft didn't put Allah on the page. Then Yahoo would be censoring this report too.
  • by nbert (785663)
    So does that mean that there will be 8 different versions? Or just 8 different help sections on the help page? I must admit that my mind somehow automatically checked when I read this if we are already at the beginning of April...
    • Re:eight?! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, how many versions of XP are there?

      XP Home
      XP Pro
      Server 2003
      XP "Lite" for Asia
      XP Home without Media Player
      XP Pro without Media Player
      XP Media Edition

      Not including SP2 and whatever.
      • But how many versions turn up in the help pages on distinct sections? If you use the advanced search feature of the knowledge base you can't choose between different versions to narrow your search. So they are either planning to diversify at the beginning (can't believe that there will be specific versions without the Media Player again) or they are just considering how to reorganize their help pages (taking into account that there is a really low probability that someone is using a version of Windows witho
      • Re:eight?! (Score:3, Informative)

        by amliebsch (724858)
        You forgot XP Tablet Edition. On the other hand, Server 2003 is not XP.
  • by MutantHamster (816782) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:42PM (#14772431) Homepage
    There will be several different versions such as Windows Vista Red and Blue. They are all pretty much the same, but if you want to complete the game you'll need some friends with the other versions, and some link cables.
  • Testing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AJWM (19027) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:43PM (#14772439) Homepage
    'This page has since been removed as it was posted prematurely and was for testing purposes only.'"

    Testing what, the waters?
  • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:43PM (#14772440)
    I'm sorry to hear that Microsoft is the latest sufferer of this common problem. I'd like to help them out; I get a number of advertisements in my inbox each day offering various treatments for premature release. Perhaps someone can forward these emails to Microsoft?
  • by Yaa 101 (664725) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:43PM (#14772442) Journal
    From the MS spokesman: "We are known for giving our users choice, this is what's great about capitalism!"
  • by gwizah (236406) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:48PM (#14772472) Homepage
    Have they leaked which of these versions will run Halo 2?

    Or will it be included as a pack in?
  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by posterlogo (943853) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:48PM (#14772477)
    This was revealed days ago in an Engadget entry that was much more informative:
    http://www.engadget.com/2006/02/19/which-windows-v ista-will-you-run-you-have-8-choices/ [engadget.com]

    "Windows Starter 2007 - Vista without Aero, probably meant for developing nations.

    Windows Vista Home Basic - Basic Windows Vista for your single PC fam, doesn't sound like much going on here. Analagous to XP Home.

    Windows Vista Home Basic N - European version of the same, but without Media Player (because of antitrust rulings against MS in the EU).

    Windows Vista Home Premium - This is the one we're all probably gonna own. It's got Media Center functionality, Cable Card support, the whole home-media shebang.

    Windows Vista Business - Think of it as XP Pro, but Vista.

    Windows Vista Business N - Think of it as XP Pro, but Vista, but Euro.

    Windows Vista Enterprise - Business version of Vista with numerous enterprise features, like Virtual PC, volume encryption, etc.

    Windows Vista Ultimate - Love that name. This one does all of the above (and more); what else do you need to know? It's ultimate Windows.."

    More choices are rarely a bad idea. I dislike bundled crapola that I'll never need or want.

    • Which one comes with C, Fortran, C++, lisp, java, PHP, python and perl compilers/interpreters; pdf generator; typesetting software; office programs; image editing software; a database; webserver; cd/dvd ripper; support for by camera's raw mode; a good flight simulator; and a choice of four browsers as standard?

      Oh! So, like, it must be free, yes?

      TWW

    • Volume encryption is an enterprise feature? I thought it was just common sense (turned it on the first day I got my iBook).
    • Re:Old news (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Atzanteol (99067)
      This is a false choice though. Artificially created to give the illusion of choice.

      You're just deciding on how crippled you want your OS to be. Choice would be asking the user at install "which of the following apps do you want installed?"
      • To play devil's advocate... They (presumably) get to choose what they want during purchase and not pay for what they don't want. Now, if you are not penalized for making the wrong choice, ie. upgrades to the next up version cost the difference between the two, or very close, then it would really be a good thing. Maybe.
    • Re:Old news (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tyme (6621) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:34PM (#14772833) Homepage Journal
      posterlogo [slashdot.org] wrote:
      More choices are rarely a bad idea. I dislike bundled crapola that I'll never need or want.

      It appears you have never heard of the paradox of choice [swarthmore.edu].

      In a nutshell, too many choices often lead to a inability to decide. It is the same reason people take so long to decide on an ice-cream flavor at Baskin-Robbins or on a dish from a chinese carry-out menu: too many choices. Most people simply don't want to think too hard when making a purchase, so it's a good idea for companies to make the range of choices as few and distinct as possible.

      Here is an excerpt from the book [usatoday.com].

    • Bundled Crapola (Score:3, Interesting)

      by forsetti (158019)
      "More choices are rarely a bad idea. I dislike bundled crapola that I'll never need or want."

      I agree, but I think eight baseline distributions will be a nightmare for them to support, and a nightmare for us to choose and upgrade between. One baseline "Windows Vista" would be sufficient, plus something like apt-get (ms-get media-player) or a nice little entry on the Microsoft Update page to "Install Cable Card Support", or "Install Media Player Support". You could even be guided through a shopping cart typ
  • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:52PM (#14772514)
    The info was pulled so I'll repost here:

    Windows Vista for Developing Nations Windows Vista for Dummies Windows Vista for Planned Obsolence Edition Windows Vista for Virtual Vista Deployment Edition - Professional Windows Vista for your Inner Fast(tm) Edition Windows Vista with Digital Rights Management Media Edition Windows Vista Corporate *Windows Vista for Secure Computing * please note this edition will be released at a future unannounced date.

    • The info was pulled so I'll repost here:


      Windows Vista for Developing Nations
      Windows Vista for Dummies
      Windows Vista for Planned Obsolence Edition
      Windows Vista for Virtual Vista Deployment Edition - Professional
      Windows Vista for your Inner Fast(tm) Edition
      Windows Vista with Digital Rights Management Media Edition
      Windows Vista Corporate
      *Windows Vista for Secure Computing

      * please note this edition will be released at a future unannounced date.

  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:53PM (#14772526) Homepage
    I like the comment that was made on Blue's News [bluesnews.com] about the Vista line when the story first broke.

    Vista DOS
    Vista WFW
    Vista 95
    Vista 98
    Vista ME
    Vista XP
    Vista la Vista
  • Perhaps it's more a case of bad feedback which resulting in them pulling a 180 on the whole 8 flavors idea?
  • Dang (Score:4, Funny)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:55PM (#14772545) Homepage
    It's not even out yet and it's already leaking!?

    Cheap shot even by Slashdot standards, I know.

  • Analysis (Score:5, Informative)

    by wilburdg (178573) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:55PM (#14772548)
    I found a pretty good analysis of the various editions. [winsupersite.com]
    • Great link So from what I understand, the main reason there will be 3 version for the home user. The first will limit the number of running windows allowed to 3 (*wow*. the reason behind this? Oh yeah, to intentionally cripple it), the second will not feature the main reason the typical reason why the average XP user would want to upgrade: the aero interface, & the third has a transparency look (pretty sure e17 is going to have this for free), and a bunch of applications similar to existing freeware too
  • Accident, my ass. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NaugaHunter (639364) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:58PM (#14772575)
    More like 'How can we see how people will react to this idea but maintain deniability if they hate it?' If it's liked, fine. If it isn't the story will be 'oh that was an old plan - here's what we're really doing.'
  • Given that Vista is going to be here from 2006 through to 2009 at least one big concern is surely how it supports multi-core as Windows hasn't always been the best SMP machine (event Data Center tops out at 64 way, 64 bit). With people like Sun releasing 32 way CPUs recently its not unreasonable to expect AMD and Intel to be pushing that barrier or more in 2009.

    I've not seen much around Vista and SMP, which is odd given that its the current hardware buzz in the market.
  • by fbg111 (529550) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:34PM (#14772836)
    Darnit, just eight versions? What about Embedded Home, Embedded Automotive, Embedded for Point of Service, Mobile, Workstation, Media Center Edition, Datacenter Edition, Server, Server System Home, Storage Server, Small Business Server Edition, and Compute Cluster Server edition?!?!? I feel shortchanged already!

    And Yahoo!, I hope you don't really think that this was an accidental blunder on MS's part. If so, then I have a bridge in San Francisco I'd like to sell you...
  • by Soko (17987) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @07:34PM (#14772840) Homepage
    it terminates your license and removes your computers hard drive with a 12 guage. It's then known as "Hasta-la-VISTA", babee.

    Soko
  • I love being in school right now--I will be able to get vista as soon as the school does. I currently download the site-licensed winXP off the school's intranet at no cost to me. Same for Office. Yes this is factored into my fees, but the assistantship I have reduces my cost considerably.

    The truth? I hope the school gets vista before I finish my PhD or that I end up in a big corp where I can afford to make the purchase.

    Why? Because although I love linux, there are certain apps that I need (SPSS anyone?
  • My prediction: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:19PM (#14773361) Homepage
    SLOW adoption. Even slower than WindowsXP. But in the end, as long as the industry chokehold lasts, people will buy the hardware so they can run the software because at some point there will be no choice. But let me tell you -- people are really starting to notice. Businesses are really starting to resent. At my company, we have an ambiguous goal to get off of Microsoft software. Server stuff is easy, but the desktop is simply unimaginable at the moment. But when the budgets start being examined after the question of replacing thousands of desktops is raised, they'll weigh their options once again and likely put more effort into a Linux desktop standard. I know my company isn't alone.
  • by marko123 (131635) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @09:21PM (#14773378) Homepage
    "Leak" a "test" website, and gauge the potential customer response.

    Quite clever.

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