Microsoft just told the world what it’s going to call the next version of Windows, and - shocker - the official name will be “Windows 8.” It also revealed how many versions of Windows 8 there will be, and what the company will call them.
There are three main editions. At the basic level there’s plain, simple Windows 8, which Microsoft says should include everything most consumers will need for a typical PC.
Windows 8 will run on PCs (both 32- and 64-bit) and include pretty much everything we’ve seen so far, from Metro apps like Internet Explorer and the Xbox Live hub to the picture password tricks that Microsoft is so proud of. There’s also improved multi-monitor support, adding more variety to background images that extend across multiple displays.
Stepping up from there is Windows 8 Pro. The Pro version is meant for businesses, developers and “tech enthusiasts.” It adds many business-friendly features, including the ability to encrypt your file system, domain connectivity and booting from a virtual hard drive. For anyone with a Media Center PC, you’ll need the Pro edition, but you’ll also need a “media pack” add-on, which isn’t available for regular Windows 8.
Behind door number three we have the perplexingly named Windows RT. This is the official name of Windows on ARM, or the version that will run on most tablet devices (the RT stands for “run time,” apparently). These products are intended to be end-to-end devices, meaning Windows will come pre-installed when you buy them - Windows RT won’t be available separately. Included in Windows RT is a free version of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote), and there’s device encryption as well.
Wait, there’s more! If you’re an enterprise customer, you’ll want Windows 8 Enterprise, which includes all the Windows 8 Pro features and adds some extra goodies for IT pros so they can manage a network (or multiple networks) of PCs, employ advanced security and account for “new mobility scenarios.”
Finally, for China and few other countries, Microsoft will offer a version of the OS that’s in the local language only.
Whew! OK, so to recap, we have:
-Windows 8, for most consumers.
-Windows 8 Pro, for enthusiasts or businesses.
-Windows RT, which is what you get installed on a Windows tablet.
-Media Pack, an add-on for Windows 8 Pro that turns your machine into a Media Center PC.
-Windows 8 Enterprise, what you want if you’re Pfizer.
-Local-language Windows 8, if you live in China or other “select” markets.
Microsoft says PC customers running Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, depending on the edition. No pricing or availability dates as of yet.
What do you think of how Microsoft has divvied up and named Windows 8? Have your say in the comments.
Author: / Posted: 17-04-2012