Last night Microsoft announced three cuts of its much anticipated new operating system: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Unlike previous incarnations of its operating systems, Microsoft pared the options down to three. But, even with just a few choices, like a pair of jeans, there's a right fit for each person.
The Windows maker didn't give any indication of the OS release date, or prices -- important factors for buyers -- looking at the features, we bet we can help find the right choice for your needs.
Windows 8: The Straight Leg Everyman's Jean
This standard version, akin to the consumer preview, will work for almost any type of Windows user. "For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice," writes Brandon LeBlanc on the Microsoft Windows blog. This version will have all the features Microsoft announced at the Mobile World Conference, including the new Metro influenced interface, navigability between gadgets, an app store and all sorts of navigation options. Microsoft has the full breakdown on that blog post. It's the simplest, most basic version of the new OS, that will fit most people's needs. For those not breathlessly following the Windows 8 hype, here's a little tour of your future OS.
Windows 8 Pro: The Bootcut All-Business Jean
As the "pro" tag indicates, this is for the more serious computing folks, like "tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals," explains LeBlanc. It has all the same jazz as Windows 8, but dressed up a bit. It's for the type of person that wants to build things on their computer. It includes, as the post explains "features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity," writes LeBlanc. "Windows Media Center will be available as an economical 'media pack' add-on to Windows 8 Pro. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro," he continues. It has the type of security and IT features that one might need in a business setting.
Windows 8 RT: The "Hip" Skinny Jean
Though the commenters are hating on the "RT" name for its vagueness, it sounds like just the right amount of obscurity for the most forward-thinking of our three cuts. Like a skinny jean, this will only fit a certain body or fashion type, as it only runs on ARM. Microsoft has a whole long post about what ARM means, but basically, it's the technology that enables tablets and smartphones. The cool part: RT comes with Microsoft Office. But unlike the other two Windows 8 systems, no other desktop apps will run on it, instead focusing on Metro based apps. So, it's a bit different.