Microsoft officially announced the Windows Vista version line up on February 27. Microsoft is readying six core Vista packages, or stock-keeping units (SKUs), plus two additional releases customized for the European Union that won't bundle in Windows Media Player, as ordered by European antitrust regulators.
The six Windows Vista variants are, according to a recent information leak: Windows Starter 2007; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista ultimate, and Windows Vista Business.
Also on the list are two additional releases, Windows Vista Home Basic N and Windows Vista Business N. The "N" releases are those which do not include Media Player.
Windows Vista Enterprise is one of six versions of the Windows client upgrade expected later this year. The enterprise version, as well as the upcoming Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs will be available only through Software Assurance, Microsoft's software maintenance program.
"There will probably be some pushback on that. There's already been pushback on buying Software Assurance because there's no guarantee [software] will be released during the term of the customer contract, " said David Orvis, license management services strategist at a major Microsoft reseller.
CEO Steve Ballmer said this month that Microsoft aims to begin selling Vista in time for the holiday shopping season.
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