Back in 1998 there was one consumer Windows OS release tier, just like in 1995. Come 2001, there were two: Home and Professional. In 2007, there will be four: Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, and Business (I’ve left out Enterprise since it is a volume licensing product). Of the four editions, Home Basic is decidedly feature light. It will lack the bells and whistles of the fancier consumer tiers, which means no Media Center functionality and no Aero Glass, among other things.
Is it a fundamentally flawed product? Acer is talking openly about what many OEMs are privately expressing frustration over: the weak value proposition offered by Windows Vista Home Basic. The many-headed hydra that is Vista has at least one gimp head, according to complaints.
If you ask Jim Wong, senior corporate VP at Acer, Microsoft has crippled Home Basic so thoroughly that it is essentially just an excuse to wring more money out of OEMs. Wong told PC Pro that “Premium is the real Vista,” drilling home his view that Home Basic is a lemon that consumers will shun entirely. The real problem, Wong says, is that “[OEMs] have to pay more [for Home Premium] but users are not going to pay more.” This, he says, will result in a 1-2 percent increase in the cost of manufacturing a new PC, and Wong insists that the OEMs will have to eat that cost rather than pass it on to consumers. He did not elaborate why this cost cannot be passed on to consumers.
Full article: Ars Technica