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Microsoft to bake Windows 8 in three flavours

'8' and '8 Pro' for PCs, 'RT' for tablets

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will come in three versions.

A post on the Windows Team Blog says “For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), we will have two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.”

So far so mundane.

But the post goes on to let us all know that there's a third version, Windows RT.

“Windows RT is the newest member of the Windows family,” the post says, going on to explain that the new name replaces “Windows on ARM or WOA” and that this version of Windows “will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors.”

There's no explanation of the name RT, but the post does say “Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For new apps, the focus for Windows RT is development on the new Windows runtime, or WinRT, which we unveiled in September and forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps of all kinds.”

We therefore deduce that the cunning naming squad at Redmond has made WinRT all friendly by re-jigging it as “Windows RT”. We also suspect that if the product is a dud, a rather nasty and derogatory nickname has been made painfully obvious. Commentards will know what we mean.

The post also offers the handy table, reproduced below, which explains what makes it into each version of Windows 8. ®

Feature name

Windows 8

Windows 8 Pro

Windows RT

Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium

x

x

 

Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate

 

x

 

Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles

x

x

x

Windows Store

x

x

x

Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)

x

x

x

Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)

   

x

Internet Explorer 10

x

x

x

Device encryption

   

x

Connected standby

x

x

x

Microsoft account

x

x

x

Desktop

x

x

x

Installation of x86/64 and desktop software

x

x

 

Updated Windows Explorer

x

x

x

Windows Defender

x

x

x

SmartScreen

x

x

x

Windows Update

x

x

x

Enhanced Task Manager

x

x

x

Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs)

x

x

x

Better multiple monitor support

x

x

x

Storage Spaces

x

x

 

Windows Media Player

x

x

 

Exchange ActiveSync

x

x

x

File history

x

x

x

ISO / VHD mount

x

x

x

Mobile broadband features

x

x

x

Picture password

x

x

x

Play To

x

x

x

Remote Desktop (client)

x

x

x

Reset and refresh your PC

x

x

x

Snap

x

x

x

Touch and Thumb keyboard

x

x

x

Trusted boot

x

x

x

VPN client

x

x

x

BitLocker and BitLocker To Go

 

x

 

Boot from VHD

 

x

 

Client Hyper-V

 

x

 

Domain Join

 

x

 

Encrypting File System

 

x

 

Group Policy

 

x

 

Remote Desktop (host)

 

x

 

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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