Q: What edition(s) of Vista will be needed throughout your organization?
The Ultimate edition of Vista has every feature that Vista has to offer. But it is also the most expensive. When determining the cost of deploying Vista, you have to consider the arrangement that your customer might already have with Microsoft (for instance, if it is part of the Microsoft Partner Program or has an Enterprise Agreement for volume licensing). (Download the Volume Licensing Programs Comparison Chart from Microsoft.) But beyond the licensing issue, it's important to know what features a business wants to incorporate. For instance, a company may decide it needs the new Bitlocker technology on all of its laptops to protect against thieves accessing the data on a stolen laptop; that feature exists only in the Ultimate edition of Vista, not the Business edition. Another prime example is Remote Desktop Connection support. If that is a feature your customer needs, Vista Basic and Vista Premium editions do not offer it -- only Vista Business and Ultimate editions do. It's important to decide early in the project planning process what features the customer expects. (Click here to find a chart of all features in the different editions of Vista.)
This was first published in June 2008