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For the 88% of computer users whose machines are powered by Microsoft Windows, upgrading to the latest version - or even choosing the right computer to buy - got a lot more confusing in 2007 with the release of Windows Vista because it was sold in four versions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate.
This was one of the major drawbacks that led to the failure of Vista (Iíve previously written about the other reasons) and I certainly hoped that this would be one of the mistakes corrected in Windows 7. Unfortunately, itís gotten worse. There are now six planned versions of Windows 7: Starter Edition, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.
With the official launch of Windows 7 looming on October 22, I would strongly encourage a change of course.
I would agree with this. There's far too much confusion over which version to use.
I'd probably agree that its major failing hasn't been the confusing number of versions available. (And let's keep discussions of Vista failings for another thread...) That trend started with XP and got worse with Vista.
With Vista MS did introduce their Windows Anytime Upgrade. That lets you upgrade within the different versions of Vista to any other. Your original Vista disk contained all versions of Vista so this was a fairly simple operation. I'm not sure this works with OEM versions of the product though.
I think they will continue the Windows Anytime Upgrade with Windows 7. So you could start with one of the lower versions and then move up to a higher version if you needed. Perhaps a "single Windows disk" would suffice for most?