Windows 8 SKUs potentially leaked in driver documentation

By on February 24, 2012, 5:00 PM

Besides its uptight security and early software incompatibilities, the confusion surrounding Windows Vista's marketing fragmentation stood as one of critics' main complaints. There were six editions (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate) with four of them available at retail. Without a comparison table of features (and understanding what the heck they did), buying the right build was more difficult than it had to be.

Windows 7 improved the situation slightly by offering only three of its six editions at retail (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate are widely available, while Home Basic is limited to "emerging markets"), but there was still plenty of confusion about each version's distinct features and upgrade paths. By comparison, Windows XP was only initially offered in two iterations (Home and Professional), though other variants eventually slipped out.

It seems Microsoft might simplify the shopping process with its next OS. ZDNet's Stephen Chapman discovered a potential list of Windows 8 SKUs in HP driver documentation for an Alcor Micro Smart Card Reader. If accurate, Windows 8 will only ship in three configurations, each with 32- and 64-bit flavors: one plainly called "Windows 8" (presumably the consumer edition), one branded "Professional" and another labeled "Enterprise":

  • Microsoft Windows 8 32 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 8 64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 32 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64 Edition



User Comments: 13

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Lurker101 said:

Don't forget Basic and Ultimate

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I hope they do forget retail Basic and Ultimate versions. W7 Ultimate offered little over Professional. They should just integrate the Ultimate features with Professional... if it/they exist.

Guest said:

Why does microsoft still sell 32bit versions windows 7,8 .When 64bit windows 7,8 run 32bit programs fine ,Nothing pre 2004 should be running win7 onwards anyway.Make it even more simple run with 3 versions of windows 8 instead of the 6 listed above in news story.

Guest said:

Nice way of Microsoft to make more money make you pay for the same operating system but it has a small change.... you can either pay for 32bit or 64bit how happy do you feel... on another note why has microsoft not realized hackers can do a better job then them ???

SalaSSin said:

@hahahanoobs Ultimate + Professional == Enterprise ...

bexwhitt said:

Unlike apple microsoft don't totally abandon their user base.

On the 32bit 64bit the problem is drivers if there is no 64 bit driver for your printer for example (like my canon laser) you are screwed if you put 64 bit windows on

Guest said:

I agree 32bit is dead.... No one I know runs Windows 7 32bit. I doubt they make much money off the 32-bit so why hang onto old technology...Now is the time to dump 32-bit Microsoft...actually we should be seeing 128-bit windows ;)

Guest said:

Today's processors cant even address a full 64bit address space... For example AMD's chips ONLY have a 52-bit wide address bus meaning the chip has a theoretical limit of 4PB of RAM (4096TB). 128-bit windows or anything 128-bit is a complete waste of time as you'd need $20M half an office building to store the RAM chips to really utilize it it anyway. :)

SalaSSin said:

@Guest

I'm guessing this is for business. At our company we still have to use a lot of regulation software (like Honeywell & Siemens Step5) that doesn't work on x64.

gamoniac said:

Guest said:

Why does microsoft still sell 32bit versions windows 7,8 ...

ARM is still 32-bit.

RH00D RH00D said:

gamoniac said:

Guest said:

Why does microsoft still sell 32bit versions windows 7,8 ...

ARM is still 32-bit.

Is there any particular reason that it's still 32-bit? Like technical limitations, or is it just that most devices that use ARM processors have no need for 3.0GB+ RAM yet? If there are no limitations, it seems like an odd decision to stay on 32-bit.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I'm currently running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit retail box version. The Professional version will probably suffice if those are the only versions for Windows 8 since Enterprise would probably be overkill even for hardcore users.

MrBungle said:

The 32bit version can execute 16bit software the 64bit version can not. 32bit windows is for businesses that are running very old software that is critical to their operations.

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