Wow, what an in-depth analysis of the situation. I'm sorry, but I fail to understand how I am being subordinated to their profits, as you put it. Features = cost to develop, and cost to develop = compensation from those who use said features. This is a logical model for pretty much any business and product line. I also like how you claim this is a recipe for failure, despite the fact that this has been Microsoft's model for many, many years, and they still have a significant majority of the market share for desktop operating systems. I would love to hear your insights on how a simple choice of features and price will ultimately cause Microsoft's downfall.
As a home user who has no need for advanced networking capabilities, I would be offended if Microsoft made me pay for those features. And as a business user, I would fully expect to pay more for the additional features. How is this not fair? I for one would certainly not be "thrilled" to pay more for something I don't need. From that perspective, you could argue that Microsoft should actually have several more editions, or maybe even a core OS with numerous modular add-ons that you can purchase and install at a later date, so that I only pay for what I want. Of course, with more choice comes more complexity, and complexity can lead to a lot of consumer confusion, and a lot of additional cost on Microsoft's part to market and support all those options and educate consumers on them. That additional cost will then, of course, be passed on to consumers, who will be more confused than ever.
No, the idea is to have a select few editions geared towards specific market segments, namely home PCs, business PCs, and mobile devices. This allows consumers to make a clear and easy choice on what edition is right for them, without feeling like they have to pay for a ton of features they don't want or need, and helps Microsoft to minimize their costs for additional packaging, marketing, and support. To look at this from another angle, would you expect to go to a dealership to look at a new car, and only have one feature level available? Everybody who buys that model of car would have the same engine, same stereo system, same seat covers, and so on. Would everybody be satisfied with that feature set? No, of course not. If it's more basic, those who want a richer experience would be disappointed, and if it's more feature-rich, and therefore costs more, many would not (or perhaps could not) spend that much money. But would the choice be simpler? Of course, because there's really only one choice, take or leave it. But then again, that really ends up being no choice at all, or rather, somebody has already chosen for you. I don't know about you, but while I don't mind suggestions, I don't like the idea of somebody actually making my choices for me at that level.
By comparison, Mac users don't even get a choice in OS features (note the argument I just made about feature packages in vehicles), and Linux users have dozens of widely varying choices. I fail to see how Microsoft's SKU model is inferior to either of these options. It's not inferior, or even superior, just different. I'm of the belief that consumers should make informed buying decisions, especially for large purchases. I for one hate hearing about people that buy Macs because some slick salesman convinced them that they are so much better and easier to use (a claim I very much dispute, having used and supported both platforms), without having determined that for themselves based on any real information or experience. Or for that matter, those that download and install some random flavor of Linux because it's "free", without having any idea what they're getting themselves into in terms of hardware/software compatibility, available support, and so on. And then of course there are people that assume that Windows always has been and always will be the best choice for any computing situation, when that simply isn't true. All of these platforms have pros and cons, and the same solution will not fit everybody. This is why choice is a good thing. The key is simply to do the research necessary to make the choice that's best for you.