Up until the release of XP Home and XP Pro, Windows users were faced with a pretty monolithic system of choosing the OS. There was the “newest” version, and that's all there was to it. Things started to change with Windows 2000, when a desktop version was released along with several server versions. Some debated the usefulness of crippling one version of an OS in order to reduce the price, but the fact is that many people do not want or need all the features of an OS and may want a much lower price tag instead. Vista is going to offer just that. Vista will be potentially released with a whopping total of 8 versions, making it the Windows OS with the largest footprint to date.
We already know Vista will be offered as a “Starter” kit, along with a “Home” version and a “Business” version. We might also see an “Enterprise”, “Business N”, “Home Premium”, “Ultimate” and perhaps even more. Is separating things in this fashion really a good idea, or will it leave most people even more confused about purchasing a computer? Four different versions of one build of Windows specifically for a home desktop. Will all four fall under different price categories? The launch of Vista is going to prove interesting, if anything, but also potentially confusing.