For all that Microsoft has learned throughout the launch of Vista, they apparently have forgotten how confused their customers were by the tidal-wave of different versions of the OS. The upcoming release of Windows 7 will be no different than Vista in terms of SKUs, with at least three different consumer versions and three different business versions. The naming scheme is virtually the same, beginning with Windows 7 Starter and moving up through Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate.

Feature-by-feature, these different versions seem nearly identical to Vista's supported specs. The Starter edition supports only three concurrent applications, Aero doesn't appear until Home Premium and the ability to join a domain first makes an appearance in the Professional edition. Microsoft has confirmed that these SKUs are real for Windows 7. More will no doubt be added as the server versions of Windows 7 eventually make their way out. There's certainly a need for specialized versions of Windows, a version aimed at home users and a version aimed at business desktops, but does Microsoft really want to flood the market with six or more different versions of the same OS?