Vista SKU Soup Runs Counter to “Connected Person” Ideal

MSFN is reporting that all Vista Editions will be included on the same DVD, but that the discs will be color coded to indicate which version the consumer purchased.  The good news is that consumers will be able to upgrade to a higher version of Vista if they decide they need more features.  I still think that the number of different SKUs is excessive, and it’s going to lead to confusion.  Especially with things that we’ve read like splitting off the Fax functionality to the Business SKUs. 

Microsoft likes to talk about how we’re going to be connected everywhere we go.  How our digital life, both work and personal, will be able to follow us.  Just like we take the occasional personal call or email at work, many folks field business communications, and do real work during their “personal” time.  Segmenting the functionality of Vista runs counter to this “Connected Person” ideal.  I know they are trying to increase revenue by offering differentiated products, but they are doing so at the expense of some of the consistency of the platform.

I’m hoping that if any of the feature splits end up being pain points for consumers, that Microsoft will do the right thing and just offer a free update to correct the issue, instead of constantly repeating the “you can pay to upgrade” mantra.