Microsoft outs Windows 8 editions; Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, plus...

Microsoft outs Windows 8 editions; Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, plus Windows RT for ARM

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Microsoft have announced the versions of Windows 8, and instead of being a lot of different SKU’s, there are basically 3. Oh, and if you wan’t Media Center then it’s an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro!

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These are the specifics about the versions which Microsoft posted earlier:

Windows 8 has the flexibility you need – whether you’re on an x86/64 or a WOA PC. You can use a touch screen or a keyboard and mouse – and switch anytime. It’s beautiful, fast, and fluid design is perfect for a wide range of hardware. And you’ll love browsing through the Windows Store and downloading all the apps you want. And those apps can work together too so you can share photos, maps, contacts, links and whatever else you want faster and easier. All editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience.

First, Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows.

For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), we will have two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice. It will include all the features above plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly (more details on this feature can be found in this blog post),which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows. For China and a small set of select emerging markets, we will offer a local language-only edition of Windows 8.

Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. It includes all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.

Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family – also known as Windows on ARM or WOA, as we’ve referred to it previously. This single edition will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with impressive battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For new apps, the focus for Windows RT is development on the new Windows runtime, or WinRT, which we unveiled in September and forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps of all kinds. For more details on WOA, we suggest reading this blog post which shares more detail on how we have been building Windows 8 to run on the ARM architecture.

So what do you think?

Personally I think calling Windows RT something that doesn’t have 8 in the title is very odd, and will confuse people!

Also, I am not sure yet what I think about Media Center being “an economical media pack”. Does this mean they will actually do some more development on it? Will it come with all the codecs I will ever need? Or is this just a way of Microsoft to make some extra money? And what do they mean by “economical”?

Tell us what you think!

[button link=”http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/04/16/announcing-the-windows-8-editions.aspx” style=”info”]Learn more about the different versions from here[/button]

  • http://gcoupe.wordpress.com/ Geoff Coupe

    I have zero interest in the additional “features” of Windows 8 Pro, but if I want to upgrade my HTPC, I would have to buy it in order to be able to add the Media Pack (something that’s included in Windows 7 Home Premium).

    It makes little sense to me. On the other hand, with this move, I suspect Microsoft is knifing Windows Media Center/Media Pack in the back. A small market is going to get miniscule, and then Microsoft will drop it and concentrate on Xbox.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ZakPack William Marczak

      +1.

      I don’t need, nor want, Domain Join, EFS, Boot from VHD, Group Policy or anything link that on my HTPC. My WHS 2011 box services my systems just fine without that extra stuff.

      Looks like I’ll be staying with Win7 for my MediaCenter/MediaBrowser viewing, unless MS changes their stance on this.

  • http://ipadboardgames.org James Bruce

    That’s it. I’m done. If media center is an optional update, unless its hugely improved, then I’m making all my pcs into hackintoshes, or selling them.