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16 April, 2012

Microsoft Reveals Its Plan to Sell Windows 8

Microsoft Reveals Its Plan to Sell Windows 8
by Peter Pachal on Mashable

Microsoft just told the world what it’s going to call the next version of Windows, and — shocker — the official name will be “Windows 8.” It also revealed how many versions of Windows 8 there will be, and what the company will call them.

There are three main editions. At the basic level there’s plain, simple Windows 8, which Microsoft says should include everything most consumers will need for a typical PC.
windows-8-start-mash-600
Windows 8 will run on PCs (both 32- and 64-bit) and include pretty much everything we’ve seen so far, from Metro apps like Internet Explorer and the Xbox Live hub to the picture password tricks that Microsoft is so proud of. There’s also improved multi-monitor support, adding more variety to background images that extend across multiple displays.

Stepping up from there is Windows 8 Pro. The Pro version is meant for businesses, developers and “tech enthusiasts.” It adds many business-friendly features, including the ability to encrypt your file system, domain connectivity and booting from a virtual hard drive. For anyone with a Media Center PC, you’ll need the Pro edition, but you’ll also need a “media pack” add-on, which isn’t available for regular Windows 8.

Behind door number three we have the perplexingly named Windows RT. This is the official name of Windows on ARM, or the version that will run on most tablet devices (the RT stands for “run time,” apparently). These products are intended to be end-to-end devices, meaning Windows will come pre-installed when you buy them — Windows RT won’t be available separately. Included in Windows RT is a free version of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote), and there’s device encryption as well.

Wait, there’s more! If you’re an enterprise customer, you’ll want Windows 8 Enterprise, which includes all the Windows 8 Pro features and adds some extra goodies for IT pros so they can manage a network (or multiple networks) of PCs, employ advanced security and account for “new mobility scenarios.”
Finally, for China and few other countries, Microsoft will offer a version of the OS that’s in the local language only.
Whew! OK, so to recap, we have:
  • Windows 8, for most consumers.
  • Windows 8 Pro, for enthusiasts or businesses.
  • Windows RT, which is what you get installed on a Windows tablet.
  • Media Pack, an add-on for Windows 8 Pro that turns your machine into a Media Center PC.
  • Windows 8 Enterprise, what you want if you’re Pfizer.
  • Local-language Windows 8, if you live in China or other “select” markets.
  • Microsoft says PC customers running Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, depending on the edition. No pricing or availability dates as of yet.
    What do you think of how Microsoft has divvied up and named Windows 8? Have your say in the comments.


BONUS: A Tour of Windows 8



Start Menu
Here's what greets you every time you log into your Windows 8 machine. Yes, the tiles are customizable, though it's a little unwieldy in practice.

Sharing in Metro
Sharing is arguably Metro's most powerful feature. Although the sharing option is only populated with Mail right now, once Windows 8 apps get going, you'll see options here like Facebook, Twitter and all the rest -- in every app.

Finance Metro App
Many apps, like the native Finance app, look beautiful in Metro.

Traditional Desktop
You can still get back to the familiar desktop anytime you want in Windows 8. Note the absence of a Start button, which you get to by mousing into the lower-left corner.

Bing Maps
Bing Maps, like all Metro apps, makes use of the entire screen. Right-clicking brings up options.

Multitasking Menu
You can see which apps are running by pointing your mouse to one of the left corners and then moving it alongside. Right-clicking an app lets you stop it.

Action Menu
The side action menu slides out via the side and is the same no matter what app you're in.

Buggy Email
The consumer preview of Windows 8 still has lots of bugs in it, as evidenced by this screen shot of the email app.

Internet Explorer Tabs
Since the entire screen in Internet Explorer is dedicated to showing you the web page, right-clicking twice shows you the tabs that are open.

Messaging
Messaging ties with your People app, bringing in contacts on Windows Messenger or Facebook.

Flickr Integration
The Windows 8 Photo app has built-in integration with Flickr, but it wasn't working on our device.

SkyDrive
Your 25GB of free SkyDrive space is easily accessible via a live tile, and it integrates with the Photos app, letting you avoid sending large email attachments by uploading pics to SkyDrive.

Weather App
The Weather app also looks beautiful in Metro.

PC Settings
Through settings, you can make changes to your Windows profile, which will show up -- apps and all -- on any Windows 8 machine you log into.

Flash Player Download
Yep, you still need to download Flash to get your browsers to play many videos, like those on YouTube.

Adding Apps to Start Menu
You can customize your Start menu with specific apps, even if they're desktop-only apps like the browsers seen here.

Video Hub
The video hub doesn't just show video files -- it also promotes content as well. Whether that's a plus or a minus is up to you.

Solitaire
Solitaire was available on our Consumer Preview device via Xbox Live, though Microsoft said it couldn't guarantee it would be in the general release.

Windows 8 With a Mouse and Keyboard
Microsoft designed Windows 8 to be comfortable to use either by touch or with a mouse and keyboard. We found some functions counterintuitive, but it's still a powerful interface.







Source: Mashable.com

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