Windows 7 RC & Beta a sneaky way to sell Win7 Ultimate

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now but Ed Bott’s post today about Windows 7 customers paying for Microsoft’s wallet gouging Ultimate version of Vista only furthered a simmering anger I have with Microsoft at the moment. In his post Ed notes

With Windows 7, Microsoft is trying to do a complete U-turn on its messaging for the Ultimate edition, downplaying its importance in the lineup. The advanced feature set has been redistributed more reasonably, making Windows 7 Home Premium a perfectly good choice for most consumers and Windows 7 Professional a worthwhile substitute for Vista Ultimate (the only thing it’s missing is BitLocker and language packs). If you paid top dollar for Vista Ultimate because it was your only option, Microsoft says you can probably choose a less expensive Windows 7 edition.

There’s only one problem with this, every beta and Release Candidate for Windows 7 has been of the Ultimate variety and at this point there is no way you will be able to go the upgrade route from the RC to the final retail version unless you buy the Ultimate version. Which means you are only left with two alternatives

  1. crossing your fingers and exporting all your settings using the Windows 7 Easy Transfer and then doing a complete fresh install of your Home Premium or Professional version. Then hope that you’ll be able to import everything back okay.
  2. Buy Windows 7 Ultimate and have an easy go of upgrading.

I’m sorry but that sucks and an underhanded way to increase the sales of a version of Windows 7 that I would say 90% of the consumers who have been using the Release Candidate don’t need. Ya I know all about the “dangers of being a beta tester” but really how hard would it be to be able to let people downgrade rather than appearing like a greedy prick by forcing us into this kind of decision.

Stupid move Microsoft.