Back in 2001, life was easy: Microsoft released Windows XP in just two product editions, Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition. The difference between the products was fairly obvious; and with its enhanced feature set, XP Pro was the more expensive version, as one might expect.
Over time, however, Microsoft muddied the waters with a wealth of new XP product editions. Three major product editions were added: Windows XP Media Center Edition, which received three major releases and one minor update between 2002 and 2005; Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, which received two major releases between 2002 and 2005; and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, which took most of XP Pro’s feature set and brought it to the x64 hardware platform. Other XP versions, such as XP Embedded and XP Starter Edition, can’t really be considered mainstream products because they target specific usage scenarios and aren’t broadly available to consumers.
What follows is a review of the major Windows XP versions that Microsoft shipped between 2001 and 2006. In a moment, I’ll compare these products with their corresponding Vista versions:
• Windows XP Starter Edition (less-developed countries only)
• Windows XP Embedded (sold in embedded devices only)
• Windows XP Home Edition
• Windows XP Home Edition N (European Union only)
• Windows XP Media Center Edition
• Windows XP Tablet Edition
• Windows XP Professional Edition
• Windows XP Professional Edition N (European Union only)
• Windows XP Professional Edition K (South Korea only)
• Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
• Windows XP for Itanium-based Systems
All Windows XP product versions, except Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, were available only in 32-bit versions. For Windows Vista, Microsoft surveyed the market and came away with two observations. First, an experiment bifurcating the Microsoft Office product line into multiple product editions had proven enormously successful for the company. Second, customers were willing to pay a bit more for premium product versions, such as XP Media Center Edition, that offered extra features. Clearly, Microsoft’s experiences over the past few years led directly to the situation we have with Windows Vista: The company has created six core Vista product editions, two of which can be described as premium versions. (If you include the so-called N and K editions (for the European Union and South Korea, respectively), there are actually nine product editions. If you count the 32-bit and x64 (64-bit) versions separately, since they are in fact sold separately for the most part, there are 17 product editions. Add the (PRODUCT) RED version of Windows Vista Ultimate—which is available only with select new PCs from Dell—and you’ve got 18. Here’s the complete list:
• Windows Vista Starter
• Windows Vista Home Basic
• Windows Vista Home Basic (x64)
• Windows Vista Home Premium
• Windows Vista Home Premium N — European Union only
• Windows Vista Home Premium (x64)
• Windows Vista Home Premium N (x64) — European Union only
• Windows Vista Business
• Windows Vista Business K — South Korea only
• Windows Vista Business N — European Union only
• Windows Vista Business (x64)
• Windows Vista Business K (x64) — South Korea only
• Windows Vista Business N (x64) — European Union only
• Windows Vista Enterprise
• Windows Vista Enterprise (x64)
• Windows Vista Ultimate
• Windows Vista Ultimate (x64)
• Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED — Sold only through Dell on select Machines
Confusingly, you also have to choose how you’ll acquire Windows Vista. In addition to the most typical method—simply getting it with a new PC—you can purchase retail boxed copies of Windows Vista and other not-quite-retail versions of the software.
Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition
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