Microsoft has announced four version of it’s new operating system, but what options does each one offer?
Microsoft’s largest operating system, Windows 8, will be available in just four versions – three for Intel and AMD PCs and, intriguingly, one that will run on ARM processors, allowing for greater adoptions of the OS in the tablet world. Only three of these will directly concern consumers, however.
Due to launch in late 2012, the four packages are: Windows 8; 8 Pro; RT and 8 Enterprise. The slimmed down line-up is designed to make things easier for consumers, many of whom were confused by the baffling number of Windows 7 versions. Customers currently using Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium will be able to upgrade to either Windows 8 or Pro.
In announcing the line-up, Microsoft said: “We have talked about Windows 8 as Windows re-imagined, from the chipset to the user experience. This also applies to the editions available – we have worked to make it easier for customers to know what edition will work best for them when they purchase a new Windows 8 PC or upgrade their existing PC.”
What Are Your Options?
Owners of Intel and AMD PCs and tablets with an x86 processor will be able to opt for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. The latter is designed for “tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals,” according to Microsoft, and offers features including encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Intriguingly, Windows Media Center will be available only as an economical ‘media pack’ add-on to Windows 8 Pro, making this version really only for those who wish to use their PC on a business environment.
Windows 8 Enterprise is the big business option and includes such extras as PC management and deployment, and advanced security. It will allow IT administrators to administer a fleet of Windows PCs from a remote location.
Microsoft’s decision to call the ARM version of its new operating system Windows RT has led to a hefty amount of comments about how confusion and bad the name is. It will also be available pre-installed only on PCs and tablets with ARM chips; current owners of ARM computers won’t be able to buy it. Touch-optimized desktop version of Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote will be included, as will support for hardware-accelerated HTML5 with Internet Explorer 10. It won’t come with Windows Media Player or support any installation of x86 software, though.
‘RT’ stands for ‘runtime’. Microsoft explained that: “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, we-connected apps of all kind.”
Or, to put it English: Microsoft understands that apps and connectivity are pivotal to the success of Windows 8 as a tablet platform. So much so, in fact, that it’s naming the OS after the developer tool. However, although Windows 8 and Pro are only distantly related to RT, Metro-style apps in the Windows Store can support both devices running Windows RT and Windows 8 on x86/64. If you buy an app on your PC, you’ll be able to run it on your tablet.
source: The Complete Guide To Windows 8