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Breaking News: Microsoft Announces the Windows 8 Editions (SKUs)

Breaking News: Microsoft Announces the Windows 8 Editions (SKUs)

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This is great… Today Microsoft announced that there will be three (count ‘em.. 3) editions of Windows 8 when it goes on sale – presumably later this year. 

“Wait a sec…only three?  Didn’t Windows 7 come in 6.. or more?”

Yep.  Three.  Brandon LeBlanc writes on the Windows Team Blog that Windows 8 will be delivered as:

  1. Windows 8
  2. Windows 8 Pro
  3. Windows 8 RT

Download the Consumer PreviewThe first two editions on the list are for PCs/Desktops/Laptops that have the Intel and AMD CPUs.  They will still come as 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.  Plain “Windows 8” is the consumer edition.  “Windows 8 Pro” is the edition for business and for tech enthusiasts.

The third one, “Windows RT”, is the new version that will ship pre-installed on ARM-based PCs and tablets.  It’s the version that was formerly referred to as Windows-on-ARM or WOA.

“This all sounds great.  It’s certainly much less confusing.  But what features or applications are available in these?  How do they compare?”

Read the full post for the full details – including a chart that compares the versions.

Oh.. one more thing.  Now it’s official: The product is called “Windows 8”.  Go figure.  Smile

Also -

“NOTE: As with previous versions of Windows, we will also have an edition of Windows 8 specifically for those enterprise customers with Software Assurance agreements. Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.”

So I guess if you count Windows 8 Enterprise edition, there are actually 4 SKUs.  But who's counting?

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What do you think?  Do you like this move?  Does it make sense?  Share your rants in the comments, please.

  • Almost three. There's Windows 8 Enterprise, but that's not available to end users.

  • Windows RT, the worst name ever. What does it stand for? It is too confusing and can cause mix-ups with the new Runtime name WinRT.

  • I suspect, Andre, that that's exactly what it stands for.  Or perhaps because the "New Technology" acronym was already taken, they went with "Really-new Technology".  But is it really the "worst"?  I'm sure I could come up with some worst-er ones.  

  • But you could also come up with some better options. I prefer Windows Tablet as a parallel to Windows Phone. And where's the version number? When Win "9" comes out, what is Windows RT going to be, the "new" Windows RT?

  • Windows RT2?

    I like "Windows Tablet", too.  I am only guessing that they didn't go with that because it brings to mind "Windows Tablet Edition", which is reminiscent of the Windows XP days.

  • Worst names possible - Windows 8 Bob or Windows 8 ME. ;)

  • Windows 8 for Workgroups (8.11)

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