Windows 8: Microsoft unveils their versions
Microsoft has officially used the Windows 8 name for their future operating system by announcing three main versions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Enterprises will also have a dedicated edition.
Presented for release in the autumn, Microsoft’s operating system currently known as Windows 8 will be named... Windows 8 when it is finally released. Microsoft has officially used this name for the x86/64 editions of the OS.
The edition aimed at ARM architecture will be known as Windows RT, with this currently going by the name Windows on ARM or WOA.
Microsoft has now officially lifted the veil on their three main editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT.
Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are dedicated to computers and tablets that are powered by x86 processors (32 and 64 bits). Both will display a start-up screen, tiles, connected standby, secure boot, picture passwords, Windows Defender (antimalware), Internet Explorer 10, the Metro interface, the Windows Store and restore and reinitialisation... Microsoft is also pushing their updated Windows Explorer, task manager, better multi-screen support and the possibility of changing languages on the fly.
While Windows 8 is the general public version, Windows 8 Pro has been conceived for professionals and enthusiastic technology users. Windows 8 Pro brings with it all of the Windows 8 functions in addition to encryption technologies (BitLocker and BitLocker To Go), virtualisation (Hyper-V client) and domain management.
The Windows Media Centre will also be present, but only in the form of a media pack for Windows 8 Pro. It is therefore not targeting general users. Microsoft has also mentioned an economic pack which leaves us thinking that there will be an associated cost for this.
For companies with volume license contracts, Windows 8 Enterprise will be available. This will be Windows 8 Pro with more "deployment, advanced security, virtualisation, new scenarios and even more" options included.
Compared to Windows 7 and its Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Enterprise and Integral versions, Microsoft has made the choice of simplifying the options. Continuing with so many variations would have been frowned upon, especially when paired with the Metro interface.
Windows 8 not paired with ARM
There is also a version reserved for ARM hardware with this being called Windows RT. This denomination has come about from its new WinRT interface programming (Windows Runtime) for the development of Metro applications. Windows RT will be preinstalled (only) on tablets running the ARM architecture, with it not being adapted to the execution of x86 applications (or standard desktop applications).
Windows RT will be closely integrated with SkyDrive and of course the Metro interface. It should be noted that the integration of tactile versions of the desktop programs Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will be included.
For more information, read this blog posting (including a summery table). Information about prices and release dates are still not available.
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