Microsoft, via their Windows Team Blog, has announced three new versions of their much anticipated Windows 8 operating system. With Windows 8, Microsoft aims to give users the flexibility they need, whether they are on an x86/64 or a WOA PC. They can now use a touch screen or a keyboard and mouse, and switch anytime. Its fast and fluid design aims to encapsulate a wide range of hardware. Also, they have also revamped the Windows Store for downloading apps and games. All the editions of Windows 8 aim to offer a no-compromise experience. Here’s a quick brief on what the three editions aim to provide.
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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), there will be two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. For most consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice. It will include all the features mentioned above plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly, which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows. For China and a small set of select emerging markets, Microsoft 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 most likely want Windows 8 Pro.
Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family, also known as Windows on ARM or WOA, as mentioned 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 better 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 was unveiled in September and forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps across all genres.
Pricing and availability have not been mentioned as of now, but more information is certain to be divulged in the coming months, so stay tuned to this space.
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