Windows wonk Ed Bott has a really nice run-down on how much easier it should be to upgrade versions in Windows Vista. According to Ed ... Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows Vista Ultimate will all be included on the same Windows Vista installation discs. To upgrade, home users will now be able to simply go to the Windows Anytime Upgrade applet in the Control Panel, purchase the upgrade (from a choice of retail and OEM vendors), download a new license, and then pop in the original media and upgrade the version of Vista. Ed's description also includes a couple nice screenshots.
This is one of those features that makes me think, "Wow, why didn't someone think of this before?" Of course, in Windows XP, the only upgrade would have been from Home to Pro. With multiple versions of both Home and Pro in Vista, this type of thing is much more important. And yet, I still wonder whether all of these home versions will get confusing the average home user. I'd also like to see the potential to upgrade from Vista Home Basic to Vista Business — that could still be important for SOHO users and remote workers.