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Vista Lineup Chaos Theory

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Despite the presence of numerous versions of Microsoft’s next operating system, on taps for late 2006, it is easy to narrow them down to a handful of choices.

Most consumers will not have to worry about picking a version of Vista for their new PC, since OEM machines arrive with Windows preinstalled. ZDNet’s Ed Bott reminded reminded readers that about nine out of ten copies of Windows sold are copies that come with those PC purchases.

Once the various N versions of Windows Vista have been removed from the equation, as they will only be available in the European Union, and the Starter edition destined for developing countries, Bott pointed out four versions will be available for the US retail market.

One DVD will contain all four versions of Vista. The product key purchased by the consumer will designate which version to install on a machine. It is a sensible move that minimized the number of SKUs businesses need to stock on shelves. Also, by keeping the product key in a safe place, a user that needs to do a reinstall could use any Vista disc to do so.

On the corporate side of Microsoft’s business, a single version of the new operating system called Windows Vista Enterprise will be available for those big customers, as Bott noted:

Corporate customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement have it easiest of all: They get one version, Windows Vista Enterprise, which includes BitLocker encryption, Virtual PC Express, and the Aero interface. The idea is to give corporate customers a single image that they can customize and deploy to meet their own needs.


Vista Enterprise has one other feature of interest. It has a subsystem for UNIX-based Applications that enables users to run UNIX applications unchanged on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based PC, Microsoft said in a statement.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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