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Windows 8 May Have Longer List of SKUs After All

By - Source: Windows 8 Beta | B 66 comments

A new list of Windows 8 SKUs has emerged from the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Earlier this week, we reported that Windows 8 may have fewer SKUs than Windows Vista and Windows 7. The evidence was discovered within revision notes for the Alcor Micro Smart Card Reader Driver located on HP's website, listing a mere three Windows 8 "client" SKUs (or six if you count the 32-bit and 64-bit versions separately). But the documents were edited by HP or some other party, eliminating the SKUs and leading to speculation that they may have been mere document fillers.

According to the HP documents, the Windows 8 SKUs included Microsoft Windows 8 32 Edition and 64 Edition, Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 32 Edition and 64 Edition, and Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition and 64 Edition. Six possible SKUs in all, but only three separate versions of the OS and a list definitely shorter than the SKUs offered for Windows Vista and perhaps even Windows 7.

But now thanks to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview released just days ago, we now have a longer list of SKUs to consider. After digging through the registry, Windows 8 Beta provides a completely different lineup than what the HP documents offered. The list includes the following:

Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
Windows 8 Enterprise Eval Edition
Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
Windows 8 Home Premium Edition
Windows 8 ARM Edition
Windows 8 Professional Edition
Windows 8 Professional Plus Edition
Windows 8 Starter Edition
Windows 8 Ultimate Edition

Given the list came from the public Windows 8 beta, there's a possibility it could change before Windows 8 goes live later this year. Engadget points out that Windows 8 Professional Plus Edition may have similar collaborative tools as Office 2010 Pro Plus which offers extra integration with Sharepoint and Office Communications Server. Windows 8 Enterprise Eval Edition is likely a trial for businesses itching to upgrade, but don't want to make the plunge quite yet.

Like Windows 7, only a certain number may be widely available at retail. These will likely include Windows 8 Home Premium, Windows 8 Professional, Windows 8 Professional Plus, and Windows 8 Ultimate. Windows 8 Starter, like Windows 7 Starter, may be pre-installed on devices offered by manufacturers whereas Windows 8 Home Basic will be provided to "emerging markets." Windows On ARM will be pre-installed by manufacturers and not offered on the market to consumers.

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Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    victorintelr , March 3, 2012 7:58 PM
    maybe the most expensive version will actually have.... A Start Button!
  • 31 Hide
    drwho1 , March 3, 2012 7:31 PM
    "Professional Plus" edition? WTF!
  • 25 Hide
    memadmax , March 3, 2012 8:09 PM
    victorintelrmaybe the most expensive version will actually have.... A Start Button!

    I'm willing to bet money on that one.......
Other Comments
    Display all 66 comments.
  • 31 Hide
    drwho1 , March 3, 2012 7:31 PM
    "Professional Plus" edition? WTF!
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , March 3, 2012 7:35 PM
    Just another reason for me not to upgrade to Windows 8. I look for Windows 7 to become the next Windows XP. because who wants to deal with this?
  • 18 Hide
    hannibal , March 3, 2012 7:37 PM
    But well expected. The segmentation is for money...
  • 12 Hide
    tolham , March 3, 2012 7:49 PM
    what's the difference between all these?
  • 32 Hide
    victorintelr , March 3, 2012 7:58 PM
    maybe the most expensive version will actually have.... A Start Button!
  • 25 Hide
    memadmax , March 3, 2012 8:09 PM
    victorintelrmaybe the most expensive version will actually have.... A Start Button!

    I'm willing to bet money on that one.......
  • -8 Hide
    sockso , March 3, 2012 8:13 PM
    At this point, I think I'm going to skip windows 8 on general principle.
  • 14 Hide
    richarduk , March 3, 2012 8:22 PM
    "Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition" Sorry, but if you're a professional user then you need to be using the 64bit version. And if you're missing a driver then MS need to pay to get it written even though it is not their hardware, it's why you 'pay' for this OS. I think all 32Bit versions should go, if you're shipping 32bit x86 only hardware then use Win7, the hardware is old stop supporting it then you can concentrate on fixing bugs.
  • -7 Hide
    victorious 3930k , March 3, 2012 8:37 PM
    What's the point of a start button when all it does is... .... .... .... .... get you into the metro start screen!
  • 2 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , March 3, 2012 8:48 PM
    I honestly think it's a good idea to integrate the Metro UI right onto the Desktop. But forcing users to start ON the Metro UI was a horrible idea for Desktop users. Omitting the Start button was even worse. I have yet to see the functionality/usability of Windows 8 after having a lot of programs installed onto it. Where would I've gotten as far as installing Mozilla Firefox onto my Windows 8 VirtualBox and the icon is on the Desktop, but, there's only so much Desktop space.

    I REALLY dislike the name "Charms". It just sounds...ugh, I can't say that anymore. You get what I'm saying...maybe.
  • -3 Hide
    stingray71 , March 3, 2012 8:51 PM
    In other news, demand for Mac's is at an all time high. Should only have 3 SKU's imho, basic, home, pro. Better yet, Gamer (stripped down no frills OS), Home, and Pro.
  • -5 Hide
    kcotton , March 3, 2012 9:04 PM
    Being annoyed due to there being 8 sku's? Skipping the whole OS due to the number of options? Really?

    I don't want to be rude but but christ, I it's a level of petty I rarely get to see.

    Not only that but the idea that you want fewer options is ridiculous.

  • 13 Hide
    rantoc , March 3, 2012 9:13 PM
    tolhamwhat's the difference between all these?

    A flag set in the compiling process...
  • 3 Hide
    Benihana , March 3, 2012 9:18 PM
    Well if higher Windows versions came with more features, then it's not so bad. But with Windows, it feels more like they're removing features for lower end systems. Just look at Windows 7. ( A feature that IMO should be with even the lowest end Windows is "Work in the language of your choice and switch between any of 35 languages." To have to buy the highest tiered Windows just to use another language is a little silly. Now bitlocker and whatnot, sure go ahead an limit those into higher tiers, but language?

    And I'm sure they won't release all of these, as there aren't enough features to justify these many versions. Not to mention not nearly these many subgroups of consumers. You have casual home users, business users, IT administrators, and hardcore geeks. 4 versions tops is the way I see it.
  • -4 Hide
    video_master , March 3, 2012 9:34 PM
    Actually using a professional 64bit system is usually a bad thing, especially if the print server is a 32bit OS. 64bit desktop OS's have a very hard time accessing a 32bit print server. I deal with this day in and day out and we deploy all computers now with a 32bit version. There is no reason to go to 64bit unless you really want to go above 4GB of memory.
  • 5 Hide
    Maxor127 , March 3, 2012 9:50 PM
    Windows should have one version and not be so overpriced. Instead, they strip features away so that the product is less usable for no reason other than to squeeze more money. I skipped Windows 7 in anticipation for Windows 8, but I everything I've heard has either not impressed me or made me wonder WTF they're thinking.
  • 2 Hide
    jojesa , March 3, 2012 9:53 PM
    tolhamwhat's the difference between all these?

    If you have it, then buy more expensive version
  • 7 Hide
    joytech22 , March 3, 2012 10:00 PM
    Windows 8 Enterprise *EVIL* Edition

    First thing that popped up into my mind, especially after they included two professional versions.
    Which is utterly stupid and just to make money.
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , March 3, 2012 10:02 PM
    Well, we'll know when it comes out won't we.... Thank god I have this up to date news everyday...
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