Microsoft have revealed the differnent editions Window 8 will come in. They have announced that the official name of the product will be Windows 8 and there will be three editions, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT.
The standand edition is close in features to the Home Premium version of Windows 7 with the Pro edition adding things like domain and business features and the RT version is the ARM tablet edition which doesn’t support installing of desktop applications.
For Windows Media Center users there is going be an addon pack for Windows 8 Pro which will contain Media Center. Which means you have to pay for the pack and you have the extra cost of Pro version which I am sure is going to put off a lot of users, I can understand the extra cost due to licences for Dolby etc but why only for Pro users? It certainly means the end of casual users playing with Media Center with only enthusiasts like me paying the extra money, another nail in the coffin?
Read the post from Microsoft more details and they have a feature chart included in the post
Today I would like to share information with you on the editions that will be available for “Windows 8” when it is released to market. We have talked about Windows 8 as Windows reimagined, 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.
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 8and 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.
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 readingthis blog postwhich shares more detail on how we have been building Windows 8 to run on the ARM architecture.
The below chart breaks down key features by edition (this list should not be considered an exhaustive list of features):
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.