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By 17 April 2012 | Categories: news

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Microsoft recently released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the pre-release beta version of the company’s forthcoming new desktop, notebook and tablet operating system (OS). Now, the Redmond-based software giant has revealed the different editions that Windows 8 will be available in, when it is released to market.

According to a blogpost on Microsoft’s official The Windows Blog by Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc, Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows.

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro

PCs and tablets that are powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), will have two editions of the company’s OS to choose from, namely Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 is targeted at consumers and features connectivity to the Windows Store for downloading apps and the new Metro style user interface (UI), which is very similar to the one found on Windows Phone OS-running smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 800.

In addition, Windows 8 boasts an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, improved multi-monitor support as well as the ability to switch languages on the fly, a feature that was previously only available in Enterprise and Ultimate editions of the company’s desktop OS.

Windows 8 Pro is designed for technology enthusiasts, technical professionals as well as the corporate sector and includes some added functionality. Amongst these extra features are encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on for Windows 8 Pro.

A new version of Windows

Besides Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft will be releasing Windows RT (WinRT), the latest member of the Windows OS software range. This version was previously referred to as Windows on ARM (WOA) and will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets which are powered by ARM processors. WinRT will sport touch-optimised desktop versions of Microsoft Office, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

LeBlanc stated that pricing details and Windows 8 promotional offers will be announced during the “coming months”. Windows 8 is expected to be released later this year.  

In related news, Microsoft recently scored a victory in its patent war with Motorola Mobility, after being granted a temporary restraining order as well as a preliminary injunction against the Google-owned smartphone and tablet maker.

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