With today’s release of the public beta of Windows 7, there are still plenty of unanswered questions related to Microsoft’s new OS. Let’s examine some of them here.
Windows 7 editions
The beta build that Connect beta testers, TechNet/MSDN subscribers and the general public interested in testing the OS will bet is the Ultimate flavor.
A thousand beta testers have been given access to Windows 7 Home Premium beta 1 (I’m one of those beta testers). So we know that there will be two versions. Crave has confirmed that there will be a Netbook edition of Windows 7 too. There’s also word of a Professional edition (replacing Business) and Enterprise.
That gives us:
* Home Premium
We can also assume that there will be “N” sub-flavors of each edition that satisfies the EU that won’t have Windows Media Player installed. (and that no one will want)
Is that accurate? Is it complete? No idea … we’ll just have to wait and see!
What will be in each edition?
No word from Microsoft on this one either, other than to assume that things will be roughly equivalent to Vista.
How easy will it be to migrate to 7 from XP?
This question is a biggie, especially when you consider that XP has a 65% market share, compared to Vista’s 21%. Problem is, Windows 7 Beta 1 doesn’t allow testers to upgrade from XP, only from Vista SP1. Why? Not sure. Maybe that feature is unfinished, or maybe it’s not as smoother or impressive as going from Vista SP1. Either way, it’s odd that Microsoft isn’t trying to tempt XP users with Windows 7.
Final system requirements
Speaking broadly, Microsoft is telling people that a PC that can run Vista should be able to run Windows 7. However, we don’t yet have the system requirements for Windows 7.
Beyond guessing that it will have similar tiers to those of the Vista editions, there’s been no word on pricing from Microsoft.
When will Windows 7 ship?
Microsoft is sticking to its “early 2010? timeline. However, unless something catastrophic turns up during the beta test phase, I really can’t see Microsoft dragging out the beta phase for a year.