I read with great amusement the outrage and wailing about the number of Windows 7 SKU’s. People have such short memories.
The Windows 7 SKU’s are actually a good leap forward. Let’s all remember where we were the day Vista launched:
Windows XP Home
Windows XP Pro
Windows XP Pro 64 bit Edition for Itanium
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
Windows XP Media Center Edition
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Windows XP Pro x64 Edition 2003
Windows XP Home N
Windows XP Professional N
Windows XP Starter Edition
And of course that doesn’t even get into sp1/2/3/embedded, etc lunacy.
Compared to XP Vista was a step forward. Windows 7 just tries to take it one notch down to focus on two primary retail SKUs (Home and Pro, jury’s out on retail Ultimate I think).
It’s also important to note that customers by the vast majority aren’t confused by this. They get Windows. They don’t think too much about it because right now so few people as an overall measure of the user base use media center or remote domain login and the rest are enterprise customers who are paid the big bucks to know what they are buying.
So as much as we think it’s silly (and believe me, I do) the data on this is clear: no one but the press and the 2% of the population that are technorati actually invest any emotion about how we SKU Windows. :>