(Click to enlarge)
Yesterday, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 will ship in six separate editions... the same six editions, in fact, that confused and infuriated consumers during the Vista rollout. It's not beyond parody, but it's hard to imagine how Microsoft could fail to take on board the criticism of its last OS launch short of downright mental retardation. It would defy belief... except it's Microsoft.
Note to Microsoft: at most, there is a requirement for exactly two SKUs of Windows 7: one for the home user and one for the enterprise. And when you've already given away the best version of Windows 7 for free? You can only blame stupidity at the top.
As Rob just said in editor's chat: "Perhaps Ballmer has been promoted beyond his sphere of competence. This is totally the thinking of someone who sells enterprise-class databases."
Above, a handy chart for understanding the announced different Windows 7 Editions, with equivalent prices helpfully provided by Engadget.
Windows 7 Edition Announcement [Microsoft]