Microsoft is about to go nuts with new Windows 10 Consumer SKUs

Microsoft has long been accused off offering too many versions of Windows, even though most consumers are only able to choose between Windows Home and sometimes Windows Pro.

OEMs are however not so lucky, and now Microsoft’s OEM Windows 10 offering for Redstone 4 has leaked (via Thurrott.com) and it seems Microsoft is set to expand their selection to a full 5 different flavours of Windows 10, with different pricing based on the power of the hardware driving the OS.

The 5 different SKUs (stock keeping units) are Entry, Value, Core, Core+, and Home Advanced and it breaks down as follows:

  • Entry ($25): Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium & <= 4GB RAM & <=  32GB SSD AND <= 14.1” screen size (NB), <= 11.6” (2in1, Tablet), >=  17” AiO
  • Value ($45): Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium & <=4GB RAM & <= 64GB SSD & <=  14.1” screen size (EM & 4GB RAM & <= 64GB SSD or <= 500GB HDD)
  • Core ($65.45): Cannot be used on devices that meet the Core+ and Advanced SKU Hardware Specifications
  • Core + ($86.66): High end CPU and >4 GB RAM (All Form Factors) >= 8 GB RAM & >= 1080p screen resolution (NB, 2in1, AiO) >8 GB RAM & >= 2TB HDD or SSD storage (Desktop)
  • Home Advanced ($101): Intel Core i9 (any configuration) OR Core i7 >=  6 Cores (any RAM) OR AMD Threadripper(any configuration) OR Intel Core i7 >16GB (any Cores) or AMD FX/ Ryzen7 >16GB (any Cores) OR >= 4K screen resolution (any processor, includes 4K UHD-3840 resolution

Microsoft is also encouraging companies to set Edge as the default browser, preinstall the LinkedIn UWP app and Office, and limit app pinning to 1 legacy win 32 app on the desktop, 1 legacy app on the taskbar and for the Start menu, 25% Win32/75% Microsoft Store.

The different pricing levels will likely help OEMs offer more choice for consumers in terms of low-cost hardware, but I suspect we can also suspect less support for these low margin devices.

The new SKUs will be available from the 2nd April and new pricing for Home Advanced from the 1st May.

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