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Windows Vista Packaging Set

Windows will come with a lot of new names in the Vista generation. Microsoft formally unveiled this week what had been rumored for months and inadvertently mostly confirmed by an errant Microsoft page posting last week. When Windows Vista ships at the end of this year, the versions will be called:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Starter

Stuart Johnston has the full scoop here.

Pricing isn't public yet. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft offers consumers a cheaper way to get bare-bones functionality with Home Basic, or if Microsoft will just leverage the entry-level version to ratchet up prices for the whole lineup. What do you think about the new editions? Am I crazy to hope a cheaper version of Windows could be made available outside "emerging markets" to match the ever lower costs of home PCs? E-mail me at sbekker@rcpmag.com.

Partner-based Upgrade Promotion Kicks Off for SBS 2003 R2
With Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 around the corner, Microsoft is working to drum up excitement for the product with an upgrade promotion. Starting today, customers who buy Windows Small Business Server 2003 will get a free upgrade to R2 when it ships in the next few months. There will be a fee to cover shipping, handling and taxes for the R2 media. The promotion runs through July 31.

Click here for more information about the promotion, which is available when customers buy from OEMs or system builder partners.

The March issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, now available on RCPmag.com, includes a preview of SBS 2003 R2. You can read about it here.

Windows Servers Catch Up With Unix
While Windows clients have dominated the market forever, Windows server-based systems faced tougher competition. The scalability requirements and severe costs of downtime made Windows a tough sell in the data center for years. Once Windows finally started making real progress against Unix, Linux emerged and sapped some of the momentum.

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Nonetheless, Microsoft continued the long, steady slog, and in 2005 -- for the first time ever -- factory revenues of Windows-based server systems pulled ahead of Unix-based systems. According to new figures from Microsoft researchers at IDC, Windows edged Unix in full-year revenues: $17.7 billion to $17.5 billion. While Linux scored its 14th consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth, revenues of Linux-based systems still lag far behind those of Windows and Unix.

Stuff We Like
As Microsoft partners, you're pretty sophisticated about the differences in marketing styles between Apple and Microsoft. Which is why I think you may enjoy this tongue-in-cheek video about what would happen if Microsoft tried to rebrand the Apple iPod. It's obviously pushed to an extreme, but I got a good chuckle out of it.

Fair warnings: This link is outside of RCPmag's control, so I can't vouch for the browsing safety (it's on a site called YouTube.) Also, there's music, which really heightens the effect, so don't fire this link up from your laptop during a board meeting.

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 01, 2006 at 11:53 AM


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