Microsoft's next generation operating system Vista (previously Longhorn) will be released in seven different editions.
According to website windowsitpro.com
the forthcoming version of Windows Vista will come two general Vista edition categories, which map closely to the two that exist today for Windows XP (XP Home Edition, which includes XP Starter, Home, and Media Center Editions, and XP Professional Edition, which includes XP Pro, Pro x64, and Tablet PC editions).
Vista will feature two general categories: Home and Business. In the Home category, Microsoft will create four product editions: Vista Starter Edition, Vista Home Basic Edition, Vista Home Premium Edition, and Vista Ultimate Edition (previously known as the "Uber" Edition). The Business category will feature three editions: Vista Small Business Edition, Vista Professional Edition, and Vista Enterprise Edition.In the Business category, the company plans the release of 3 product editions; Windows Vista Enterprise Edition, Windows Vista Professional Edition and Windows Vista Small Business Edition.
Each of the 7 product versions are aimed at different market segments. The Windows Vista Starter Edition is for beginners who can afford only a low cost PC and is limited to 3 applications. This edition will be available in a 32-bit version in emerging markets. The other editions in the Home category have enhanced security features and multimedia capabilities.
The Windows Vista Professional Edition in the Business category will feature Tablet PC functionality, Encrypted File System (EFS), IIS Web server, Remote Desktop, compatibility with non-Microsoft networking protocols such as SNMP, Netware etc and domain and management functionality. The Windows Vista Pro is more or less similar to XP Pro.
The Windows Vista Enterprise Edition meant for enterprises, includes unique features such as Secure Startup/full volume encryption security technologies i.e. Cornerstone, multi-language user interface (MUI) and Virtual PC.
Microsoft maintains that the Windows Vista Ultimate Edition is the best operating system ever offered for a personal PC. The Ultimate Edition targeted at high-end PC users, is a combination of the Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and the Windows Vista Professional Edition and incorporates other benefits like on-line services.
In a parallel development, Microsoft has released its preliminary Windows Vista user interface guidelines. A set of 12 rules; the guidelines advocate usage of the new system font "Segoe", built-in controls, Aero Wizards instead of Wizards 97, new icons and dialog APIs, new search features, Explorer style interfaces etc.
The top rule figures as the usage of the new Windows Vista font called "Segoe UI" in Vista applications. These interface guidelines are meant for software developers to create Windows Vista software, that has a consistent look and feel about it.