Ars Technica weighs in on what they think modular design will mean for Windows users in the future.  Windows 7 is likely to be released as modules, according to several stories from Microsoft and other tech sites.  As an accountant, the modular sales model would probably make a lot of sense, as you could probably sell a very basic package to a consumer who would never even consider paying $150 for an OS.  As a user who wants everything may end up having to pay a lot more than they expected, and corporate IT structures would have a lot of decisions to make when they look at licensing.  Is it worth paying for the Previous Version feature on 1000 desktops, or to force users to create the data from scratch?

 If you thought a half dozen versions of Windows was bad …

“With both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, we can see the first few steps in this modular direction, albeit in different ways. Windows Server 2008 has as one of its major features the idea of “roles”. Rather than installing everything and the kitchen sink, with 2008, you install the base OS and then choose one or more roles, such as Active Directory domain controller, Web Server, or Print Server, and the software components to support those tasks are installed accordingly.

This “roles” tack has resulted in the now infamous multiplicity of versions of Windows Vista. If you want Media Center, you need to get Home Premium; if you want hard drive encryption, you need to get Enterprise; if you want Aero Glass, you mustn’t get Home Basic; if you want everything, you have go get Ultimate.”

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