Microsoft has announced the names of four versions of Windows 8. The four versions are called Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows RT. The first three options are expected to be released later this year and will be designed for machines made on x86 processors. Windows RT was designed for ARM processors and has been known as Windows on ARM (WOA) until now.
Windows 8 will be able to run on PCs and tablets powered by 32 or 64 bit x86 processors. The standard Windows 8 version is suitable for consumers and has an updated version of Windows Explorer, Task Manager, and better support for multiple screens. Windows 8 will be able to easily switch languages, except in the China edition which will have the local-language option only.
Windows 8 Pro is for business use and has been tailored for easy PC management, virtualization, encryption, and domain connectivity. Windows 8 Enterprise is a type of Windows 8 Pro for businesses that have a Software Assurance agreement with Microsoft. Windows 8 Enterprise has tools for advanced security, virtualization, and mobility options that have not yet been specified. The Pro and Enterprise versions have a set of features that are not included in the consumer version of Windows 8. This includes BitLocker, BitLocker To Go Drive Encryption, the ability to boot from a virtual hard drive, a Hyper-V virtual client, encrypted file system, group policy support, and remote-desktop host.
Windows RT stands for “runtime,” which is at the core of Windows 8 touchscreen capabilities. It will only come packaged with ARM hardware. The devices running Windows RT will be lightweight and will not consumer much power. They will come with versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Windows RT will be preloaded with native device encryption as well.
Pricing for all Windows 8 versions are yet to be announced.