Microsoft announced the three official versions for the upcoming release of Windows: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT.
In an April 16 post on the Windows Team Blog, Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows communications manager at Microsoft, laid out details on the three versions of Windows 8, which actually turn out to be four versions when Windows 8 Enterprise is included in the mix. LeBlanc's post includes a detailed chart that breaks down key features by edition.
"Windows 8 has the flexibility you need -- whether you're on an x86/64 or a WOA Windows on ARM PC," LeBlanc said. "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."
Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows, LeBlanc said. "For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), we will have two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro," LeBlanc said. 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."
And Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies, LeBlanc noted. "It includes all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity," he said. "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."