Windows 8 will have three flavors according to a release from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The three different versions offered later this year will be named Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 is the version that will suit most customers according to the post on the company’s official blog.
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The Pro Version of the OS will be suited to customers in the business sphere rather than ordinary consumers. It will come equipped with features such as virtualization and encryption that will be well suited to business and enterprise clients.
The most interesting information in the post is that the ARM version of the company’s new OS will not be entitled Windows 8 at all but rather Windows RT. ARM is a type of chipset separate from Intel’s and requiring a reworked version of Windows to run on it.
ARM processors are known for their power efficiency and light weight and so are commonly found in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets and smart phones. It is likely that Windows RT will run mostly on tablets though some notebooks running the system may also become available.
Because of the differences in the two systems Windows RT will not be able to run most of the programs that run on Windows 8 though the company promises the look and feel of the two systems will be identical. Many Windows mainstays such as Microsoft Office will be readily available on the ARM machines but they will require their own apps tailored to suit the architecture’s needs.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has announced that it will also be making chipsets designed for tablets and so power users will not be entirely divorced from working on a tablet. An Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Windows 8 tablet will be able to run the same software as a notebook or desktop assuming performance requirements.
The fracturing of the Window’s landscape that the release of two separate operating systems could be a problem for the company going forward. Much has been made of the disadvantage the broken up versions of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android has meant to Google and it may mean the same for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
If developers and manufacturers side with ARM for Windows tablets and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) for Desktops the company’s decision to put the same OS on both could be meaningless with different apps available on both platforms and no consistency.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to launch windows 8 later this year, possibly some time in October. The launch is hotly anticipated and previews of the product have garnered much in the way of critical acclaim.