The process will be simplest in the sequence Vista, Win7, Ubuntu. But any sequence can be made to work with a little extra effort.
After a Windows install trashes the MBR code of the Ubuntu install, it is fairly easy to use the Ubuntu liveCD to repair its MBR code.
The beginning of the hard drive operates faster (more data per revolution and more data per seek step both mean less time per amount of data). So if disk performance matters more in one of the three OS's (such as the one you expect to use most) you might make it physically first.
It is simplest if the physical sequence on disk matches the install sequence. But if you understand disk partitioning well, only a little extra effort is required for the install sequence to differ from the physical sequence.
Originally Posted by rokytnji
After the first Windows install. Be sure to make any other partitions you wish to install any operating system to a extended/logical partition. Partition managers only allow for 4 primary partitions.
I don't know enough internal details of Vista or Win7 boot methods to be sure, but I think the above advise is bad.
I don't know how to set up for grub to boot Vista or Win7 in a logical partition. I assume you don't want a two stage boot menu in reverse sequence of install, such as:
Vista installed in primary.
Win7 installed in logical but its install hijacks part of the primary partition plus the MBR so it is in control of booting an offers a menu for Win7 vs. Vista.
Ubuntu installed in logical, hijacking only the MBR so it offers a two boot choice menu, Ubuntu vs. chainload to the Windows two choice menu.
I expect you would prefer a single three choice menu.
I think it is easiest to put each Windows version in a primary partition and put Ubuntu in one or more logical partitions.
The extended partition containing the logical partitions counts against your limit of 4 primary partitions. So the effective limit is 3 usable primary plus several logical.