Whatever incremental revenue Microsoft raised with this ploy couldn't possibly have been worth the confusion and ill-will it engendered. A certain technology columnist who will here go unnamed because I don't want to embarrass myself, once spent a lengthy session with Microsoft tech support trying to get my Vista to see a disk drive. Only well into the process was it discovered that the requisite "dynamic disk" feature wasn't in that particular SKU.
If society is going to be inflicted with an operating-system monopoly, society might at least get the benefits -- especially the one where everyone shares a common base of the same software. The Vista SKU epidemic gives us the worst of both worlds: software silos combined with a single big supplier.
It's well-known that massive teams of programmers are the worst thing possible for good software because they make the process so bureaucratic. But if a small team is what's needed to make Windows 7 great, then Microsoft is big enough to spend whatever it takes to build a team smaller than everyone else's."