Windows 8 Editions revealed

17-04-2012
Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc has lifted the lid on the official naming scheme for the Windows 8 versions which should be hitting the streets in the near future. And they shall be known as Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc has lifted the lid on the official naming scheme for the Windows 8 versions which should be hitting the streets in the near future.

Compared to the somewhat overwhelming options available for Vista and Windows 7, good ol' x86 architecture boxes (desktops, tablets etc) will get a refreshingly simple choice of Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro.

Regular Windows 8 should suffice for most home users, although if you want features like Hyper-V, booting from VHD, and Remote Desktop cooked in, you'll need to go Pro.

Windows 8 screen shot

ARMed to the teeth

Evidently aimed at going toe-to-toe with Android (and perhaps to a lesser extent iOS), Microsoft will also be releasing Windows RT, which is essentially the Windows 8 runtime for ARM based chipsets (or WOA as it is referred to internally). ARM have a pretty strong hold on mobile computing as it currently stands, and their licensed small-footprint chip technology to pretty much all the major tablet and smartphone manufacturers.

In his blog post, Brandon says it will only be supplied pre-installed on new systems, presumably to ensure proper hardware support and compatibility, and perhaps as a more controlled approach than the olden days of the proliferation of Windows CE / Windows Mobile 6.X.

It will be interesting to see if Windows Phone and Windows RT converge at some point in the future, as at least from a superficial point of view, they both seem to be aimed at performing pretty similar roles.

Edit: Just noticed a small footnote on Brandon's blog mentioning Windows 8 Enterprise edition as well, which will essentially be Windows 8 Pro with Group Policy and other remote administration tools . So it's all just a tiny bit less simple than originally meets the eye.


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