Windows 8 Editions: Simple

Finally, Microsoft is simplifying buying Windows. No longer do you have to look through a list of features that you want to find one of the 7 different versions of the same operating system to find out which edition you need. Rather than go with Home, Home Premium, Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate, etc., you can go with Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro for x86 machines or for an ARM powered device: Windows 8 RT.

I’ve noticed a lot of back lash with the name of ‘RT’. I don’t get it, though. I don’t walk into a store and ask for an Android Ice Cream Sandwich powered handheld tablet device. I ask for an Android Tablet. Similar to Windows – I ask for a Windows Tablet. I’m not going to ask for a Windows 8 RT powered tablet device. It’s a brand name, and it will rarely get used outside of the tech community. If it is a Windows ARM device, it runs Windows 8 RT. You don’t need to know the full naming conventions to buy a Windows 8 tablet.

I’m going Pro for the desktop & have to get a Windows 8 RT powered electronic tablet touchscreen device for my portable device. As it stands now on my laptop: Windows 7. I have 8 on there now, but the touchpad needs some work to make Windows 8 better. It’s not bad, but it’s not better than 7 with the touchpad. So, I use an external USB mouse and I love it.

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.