Windows general manager Mike Ybarra said that the company will release six different versions of the new operating system, although only two will be aimed at most of the market.
The overwhelming majority of users will see only a Home Premium edition for consumers and a Professional edition for business users.
The company hopes that the simplified offerings will reduce some of the confusion and frustration users encountered when dealing with the various versions of Windows Vista.
"The first change in Windows 7 was to make sure that the editions are a superset of one another," said Ybarra.
"As an example, some business customers using Windows Vista Business wanted the Media Center functionality in Windows Vista Home Premium, but didn't receive it in the Business edition. Customers won't have to face that trade-off with Windows 7."
The Home Premium and Business versions of Windows 7 will target the majority of the market, but four other versions are being planned for "niche" markets.
Emerging markets will be offered a low-cost Home Basic edition, while manufacturers will be given the option of an OEM-exclusive Starter version for bundling with low-end hardware.
Large enterprises will have the option of purchasing mass volumes of a special Enterprise edition, while the company will also offer an all-encompassing Ultimate version of Windows 7 for high-end users.
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