April 16, 2012 09:48pm EST
Microsoft on Monday revealed more details about the four editions of Windows 8 it will release when it makes its next operating system available later this year, including some key features that will be part of Windows RT, the SKU that’s optimized for ARM processors.
“First, Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows,” Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Windows communications manager, wrote on the official Windows blog.
Microsoft’s next OS for PCs and tablets powered by 32-bit and 64-bit x86 chips will come in two flavors, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, that can be purchased by consumers. Another edition of the x86-optimized Windows 8 will be made available to bulk purchasers, while the Windows on ARM (WOA) offering, Windows RT, comes in just one flavor and is only available as a pre-installed OS.
With just four editions, and just two that most consumers will have to make an active choice between, Microsoft is at last going the simple route with an OS release. Moving away from the multi-edition OS releases it’s done in recent years is sure to please critics who have complained that it can be difficult for the average user to know which of several versions of Windows is best for their needs.