God, this has to be one of the most unfair criticisms of MS. Plain trolling.
Six versions of Windows 7? Why so many?
Well, technically, there could be more. Microsoft is still bound under a 2004 EU ruling to deliver an "N" version to the EU without Windows Media Player. Realistically, however, we would guess that a single Windows 7 "N" SKU will ship to EU customers, making it a total of seven.
But according to Microsoft, the new versions try to strike a balance between complexity and what customers will actually require.
"When you have a customer base of more than one billion, two options can't satisfy all of their varied needs," according to Microsoft. "For that reason, we will continue to offer a few targeted SKUs for customers with specialized needs: For price-sensitive customers with small notebook PCs, some OEMs will offer Windows 7 Starter. For customers in emerging markets, we will make Windows 7 Home Basic available.
Businesses have two recommended choices: Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise. Windows 7 Professional is recommended for small businesses and Windows 7 Enterprise is recommended for mid- and large-sized businesses that have a Software Assurance Agreement with Microsoft."
So what versions will I able to buy in a store?
Consumers will only be able to buy either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional at retail—and deliberately so; Microsoft wants to try and limit consumer confusion by only putting the two versions in front of consumers.
Windows 7 Ultimate will be included on both discs, but will require a user to go through the upgrade process, either online or offline, to access them.
Except for Windows 7 Starter, each version will be available in either a 32-bit or 64-bit version.
It should also be noted that Microsoft sees the progression as a good-better-best scenario: Home Basic is better than Starter, and Home Premium is better than Home Basic. Windows 7 Professional is positioned as a step up from Home Premium, and the Enterprise and Ultimate editions are the premium Windows 7 offerings.