Microsoft just announced that there will be a grand total of 6 different versions of Windows Vista.
This is an approach well known of marketing specialists. A product is on a competitive market, the price goes down (or up) according to the laws of free market. If the market is not competitive, the price may also go down if the public perceives some clear value to the product and agrees on a set price. Microsoft sells a product whose perceived value is going down continuously (the competitive pressure from Apple and from GNU/Linux may explain a lot of it). After adding more and more new features (to the point of being just bloated, sometimes), that leaves mere tactics to avoid the direct competition: Make the comparison impossible.
The promoters of mobile phone have learned that lesson and apply it everyday. You need to increase the number of offers, options and contractual services. So, Microsoft decided to look at the issue with six versions, not counting the additional services like subscriptions to anti-virus or anti-spyware database updates.
Let’s try understand which one we should buy. I bet we’ll need a decoder and a computer just for this simple task.