Windows investigate

Microsoft details Windows 8 editions

Redmond's upcoming OS will come in standard Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows RT, and Windows 8 Enterprise flavours.

Over the years, Microsoft has developed a knack for producing more versions of Windows than the standard human mind can care to cope with — fortunately, that trend ends today with the announcement of the versions available for its upcoming Windows 8 release.

The previous Home editions have been condensed to Windows 8, and Ultimate and Professional editions move to Windows 8 Pro. Windows 7 Starter has been put out to pasture.

The build, previously known as Windows on ARM (WOA), has been renamed Windows RT — not to be confused with WinRT, the new toolkit to build Metro applications. But that confusion is going to happen; I'm already double-thinking plans to build in WinRT for Windows RT. Yikes!

Windows RT will come bundled with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) and will offer device encryption, but it misses out on Windows Media Player and Storage Spaces. Windows RT will only be available as a pre-installed option on ARM-based computers and tablets.

Windows 8 Pro will exclusively offer BitLocker, boot from VHD, Hyper-V, domain support, group policy, and remote desktop host support. Windows Media Center will be available for Windows 8 Pro as an add-on, at a price that Microsoft claims will be "economical".

Windows 8 Enterprise will be sold to companies with Software Assurance agreements, and includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro, as well as PC management and deployment, advanced security, and virtualisation.

Microsoft recommends Windows 8 Pro to enthusiasts and business users.

The Redmond giant says it will release pricing information in the coming months.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

2 comments
john
john

My heart sank when Steve Jobs announced three new versions of Snow Leopard OSX 10.6 - but thank God he was only joking. How we laughed!

Gisabun
Gisabun

Microsoft said the same thing with Win 7 that there would be no Starter edition and yet Starter was available [with systems only] for netbook and other "low" cost computers. Still think Bitlocker [or at least the boot protection] should be offered on all laptops and tablets for better security.