Microsoft today announced via a blog post here that there will be a significant reduction in the different versions of Windows starting with Windows 8. This has got to be a good thing for the marketplace as there was always great confusion between the various versions of Windows 7 and previous OS’s in the past.
This blog post from Microsoft confirms a few things… Firstly that Windows 8 will be the official name of the next version of Windows. That bit is a no brainer really.
The next big thing is that they have simplified is the versions… in the past we’ve had Windows Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Now we will have Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, with an option pack providing the Media Centre extensions “at an economical cost”, and Windows 8 Enterprise. This is pretty much what the mainstream will use and it give us a simple solution to our clients – we simply tell them to “Go Pro” for anything they need in their business network and we can’t go wrong.
Windows 8 Enterprise will only be available to clients on Software Assurance agreements, with a few extra bits around deployment etc that will make them happy
Microsoft have also announce Windows RT which is a platform spinoff of Windows 8 – it also includes touch optimised versions of Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. This version is designed for the ARM processors used in many of the tablet PC’s at the moment.
All in all, this looks like a good compromise and it looks like Microsoft have really listened to the confusion that our feedback around this. Let’s hope it translates to reality in the marketplace as well.
I can’t wait to see what they’ve done with the Windows 8 Server versions… I’m really hoping they’ve simplified that a lot too.