Windows 8 Logo

Windows 8: The Editions

Windows8 LogoThis is great news from Microsoft. In a recent blog post (read it here), Microsoft announced the different versions of Windows that will be released. In essence, they’ve whittled this list down to four different versions. I have, for some time, thought that there were way too many versions of Windows, causing a large amount of confusion in the market (for consumers). In this recent announcement, Microsoft is smart  to remove some of the confusion, but is it perfect?

Not by a longshot. But it is progress. if you recall, Windows 7 comes in the following flavours (not including the 32bit/64bit options):

Windows 7 Starter
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise
Windows 7 Ultimate

There are some other sub-editions, but I won’t go there. For the purposes of confusing the consumer, the above list of Windows versions is a perfect storm. I’m willing to bet that there are zero people on the planet that can tell what the difference between “Starter” and “Home Premium” are when faced with the important decision of buying a computer. Because of that, Microsoft really needed to drop this down to either one or two versions.

Here is the list of Windows versions Microsoft will now be offering:

Windows 8
Windows 8 Professional
Windows 8 Enterprise
Windows 8 RT

The majority of people will buy a computer with simply “Windows 8” or “Windows 8 Professional” installed, while the RT version will be for computers that use the ARM architecture. The “Enterprise” will still exist for corporate customers (and those that pirate the operating system).
While many will still be confused as far as Windows 8 and Windows 8 Professional goes (Professional is intended for business use that include logging into the domains and management tools) – this is the kind of streamlining the product needs.

You can also queue the Windows 8 RT jokes, some I’ve already heard are:

Windows 8 ReTread
Windows 8 ReTweet
Windows 8 RTchoke

What do you think? An improvement?