Microsoft delivered 5 different versions of XP: Tablet, Media Center, x64, Professional and Home. Most of the different versions of XP really did not matter. There was the always confusing choice between XP Professional and XP Home but, since most PCs came installed with a version of XP, consumers took the default choice.

Now, the consumer will be empowered and they will have a choice. As rumours here suggested several months back, Microsoft will offer multiple new versions of Vista. Their website lists 5 here although there are others. As far as I can make out here there will be 6 versions:

  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Starter (for emerging markets only)

Interesting strategy. I can see the challenges already. Within a year or two I will have a work laptop with Windows Vista Enterprise. The 5 Wintel computers at home will each run a different version of an Operating System: XP home, XP Professional, Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate. Partly due to hardware configurations as well as whatever O/S gets installed, I will have to become literate with the strengths and weaknesses of all the versions.

I can hardly wait.

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