The most common consumer version of Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows operating system will include tools for things like recording and watching television, along with other functions aimed at using the PC for entertainment purposes.
Windows Vista Home Premium, due out in the second half of this year, will effectively bake in functions that were previously found in the “Media Center” version of Windows, Microsoft said.
It’s one of six versions of Windows Vista the company plans to release. They include a more basic consumer version and another, called Ultimate, that is geared toward home users who also want to work from the family den.
(MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)
Microsoft also will offer two versions of Vista for business users, a basic version and an enterprise option that is aimed at big operations.
The company also plans to offer a scaled-down, “Starter” version of Vista for developing countries.
Microsoft offers six versions of Windows XP, the most recent version of its operating system. But Barry Goffe, Microsoft’s director of Windows client product management, said those systems are designed more around what type of hardware a person is using — say, a Media Center PC or a handheld Tablet PC — while these versions are aimed more at what a person wants to do with the computer.
“We don’t want customers to be forced into buying something that isn’t going to meet all their needs,” Goffe said.