What are the final Windows Vista versions?

A. Microsoft announced the final Windows Vista versions on February 26, 2006, in a press release that you can read at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/feb06/02-26WinVistaProductsPR.mspx. The final product line up is split into two lines: business and home.

Business:

  • Vista Business includes Tablet PC functionality and will be the standard line for businesses.
  • Vista Enterprise includes the features of Vista Business but adds enhanced functionality such as BitLocker drive encryption, Virtual PC Express, and a UNIX subsystem that lets UNIX applications run directly on Vista. Vista Enterprise is available only to businesses with a Software Assurance (SA) program in place.

Home

  • Vista Starter will be available in emerging markets only and provides a subset of Vista Home Basic functionality and supports limited screen resolutions and physical memory.
  • Vista Home Basic will include new Vista features such as a new Search Explorer, the Windows Sidebar, and parental controls.
  • Vista Home Premium includes all the features of Home Basic but adds Media Center functionality, Tablet PC features, integrated DVD burning, and media organization features.
  • Vista Ultimate combines all the features of Vista Home Premium with those of Vista Enterprise.

All versions will ship in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. There will also be "N" versions of Vista Home Basic and Vista Business for European markets that won't include the Windows Media Player (WMP) functionality. Microsoft will continue the Windows Anytime Upgrade functionality that lets you purchase an upgrade to the OS online via a simplified wizard that will be available as a Control Panel applet.

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