Before we go straight to the new announced edition, there were 3 editions announced last Monday — namely Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Many believed that these are few compared to how many editions Windows XP, Vista and 7 had. But now we know there is a fourth edition, Windows 8 Enterprise. What’s next? Will we see Windows 8 Ultimate soon?
History Repeats Itself?
Let’s go back in history and recall the editions published by Microsoft for the last 10 years. Windows XP had Starter Edition, Home Edition, Professional and Media Center Edition. Not to mention there were several 64-bit flavors of these, as well as special editions without Windows Media Player or Windows Messenger on different territories namely, Windows XP N, Windows XP K and Windows XP KN. With the rise of netbooks we also saw Windows XP Home Edition ULCPC which means “ultra low-cost personal computer” . To add more, there was XP Embedded, commonly known as XPe for embedded systems.
Windows Vista is terrible in having so many editions too but at least the naming schemes are much easier to understand. There were Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions. All except Starter supports x86 and 64-bit processors. Similar to Windows XP, there were N and KN versions such as Home Basic N and Business N which removes Windows media player to conform with European Union and Fair Trade Commission in South Korea respectively.
The most recent and the more successful predecessor to Vista, Windows 7had similar editions namely Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Again, all except Starter supports x86 and 64-bit processors. It also has N and KN versions.
Windows 8 Enterprise
Enter Windows 8 Enterprise. I was quite happy Microsoft only introduced 3 versions. I thought they are finally reducing the number of editions in Windows 8… but they just announced the fourth version. What is special about this? According in Windows team blog, Windows 8 Enterprise will get all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus more. It will get premium features designed mainly for mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization.
Some of these features are: Windows To Go – think bootable Windows 8 on your USB flash drive. For many years Linux supports this feature and Windows is catching up on this trend. It allows companies to support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or in this case, bring your own PC. DirectAccess function like built-in corporate VPN which allows you remote access inside your company’s network. BranchCache optimize bandwidth over WAN connections by caching files, websites and other content on a central server. AppLocker lets administrators restrict files and applications that any user can run.
Other features include VDI enhancements and New Windows 8 App Deployment.
Windows 8 Editions Comparison Chart
You may compare the known editions of Windows 8 below.
So after the announcement of Windows 8 Enterprise, do you think we will see more editions of Windows 8?
By the way, did anyone think of Windows RT as Windows ReTweet?