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Be Careful What You Wish For

Both my colleague Mitch Wagner, and I have been following the Chinese censorship issue that has caught Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Cisco like deer in the headlights, and triggered a firestorm of international criticism. If my email and responses to our blogs are anything to go by - our readers have been avidly following this issue as well, responding with a mix of cynicism, business practicality and a longing idealism.
I never knew I had such clout with Microsoft. Back in July I wrote a column opining that the company should split Vista into two very different products, one for the corporate world, and one for users like me who are their own tech support departments. The response proves again that old adage about being careful what you wish for, because you just might get it: Sources say Microsoft is prepping not just two, but seven-count-'em-seven versions of Windows Vista.I'm basking in my success. I'm imagining Microsoft CEO (for "Caveman Executive Officer") Steve Ballmer calling some hapless engineer into his office and roaring, "DeJean says it's a good idea. Get on it!" and then throwing a chair across the room.

But there's just one little thing that bothers me. What the dickens would seven-count-'em-seven different versions of Vista do to be different from one another?

"Sources" in this case is Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Thurrott is one of the legion of guys who mine Microsoft for information. For a recap, see Microsoft Vista May Come In Seven Versions.

Thurrott's latest nugget is that there will be two general categories of Windows Vista editions, Home and Business, similar to the two for XP, Home and Professional.

In the Vista Home category, says Thurrott, Microsoft will create four product editions: Windows Vista Starter Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, and Windows Vista Ultimate Edition.

And in the Vista Business category, he says, there will be three editions: Windows Vista Small Business Edition, Windows Vista Professional Edition, and Windows Vista Enterprise Edition.

That sounds like a lot, but Thurrott reminds us that there are almost that many versions of XP: Starter, Home, Media Center, Professional, Professional x64, and Tablet.

Quick quiz:


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