Much like you can pretty much count on things like death and taxes, you can also count on new versions of Microsoft’s Windows OS to come along. You can also count on their being some confusion regarding the different versions of the OS and what the can or can’t do.
Fortunately, it seems Microsoft has learned a lesson from the release of Windows Vista and Windows 7 and has simplified things a bit for their upcoming new OS: Windows 8. This week the company announced there will be three editions of its next-generation Windows 8 operating system: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT.
Microsoft made the announcement on its blog and further promised “all editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience.” Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will support PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, while Windows RT works with ARM-powered devices. Windows 8 is aimed at the average consumer, while Windows 8 Pro is designed for tech enthusiasts, business people and tech professionals. The RT edition is intended for lighter-duty devices.
Going for the Pro edition of Windows 8 gets you premium features such as encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. “If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.”
Windows RT (the OS formerly known as Windows on ARM) will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors. It will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
Microsoft is set to finish Windows 8 this Summer with PCs and tablets powered by the new platform following in October. Windows 8 looks pretty good, and we’ve payed with it a bit, so we’re very interested in seeing the final version when its released.