Today Microsoft announced its lineup for the various versions (yes I said versions) of Windows 7 when it hits retail availability sometime this year or next.

I think many people were hoping for a simple list that might have consisted of a Home, Business, and Enterprise editions.  That is not the case and the Twitter community is active today with comments about it – check out the Twitter search feed for it.

Microsoft is trying to spin this as not being a bunch of editions but I am not sure anyone is buying it.  It still looks like 6 editions no matter how you group them.

You can read the entire press release questions and answers here but here is a quick snapshot summary:

Windows 7 Home Premium – recommended choice for consumers. It gives them a full-function PC experience and a visually rich environment in everything from the way they experience entertainment to the way they connect their devices

Windows 7 Professional – recommended choice for small businesses and for people who work at home but have to operate in an IT-managed or business environment where security and productivity are critical.

Enterprise – This edition will not be available at retail or by OEMs for preinstallation on a new PC. Windows 7 Enterprise edition offers advanced data protection, lower cost compliance and IT tools to streamline PC management and help save costs, while enabling access to information from anywhere for business users.

Home Basic – only in emerging markets, for customers looking for an entry-point Windows experience on a full-size value PC.

Starter Edition – will only be offered pre-installed by an OEM. Windows Starter edition will now be available worldwide. This edition is available only in the OEM channel on new PCs limited to specific types of hardware.

Ultimate Edition – Windows 7 Ultimate edition is designed for PC enthusiasts who “want it all” and customers who want the security features such as BitLocker found in Windows 7 Enterprise edition.

So do you think this is too many editions?  Personally I do not.  Each have a very distinct role – I do not get the reason for all the hype about multiple editions being a bad thing. 

I look forward to your comments so I can understand why this is an issue.