Microsoft Makes Windows 8 Name Official And Names Windows On ARM As Windows RT

Today Microsoft confirmed that the next major version of Windows OS will be called ‘Windows 8’. Also Microsoft announced a new version of Windows called Windows RT. Windows RT is nothing but the Windows on ARM which will come pre-installed in ARM based PCs and you won’t be able to buy it individually. Also Windows RT will come with touch optimized version of Microsoft Office. Microsoft has also simplified the Windows 8 SKUs. It will come in 3 flavors other than Windows RT.

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition

Windows 8 will be the most common edition for most us which will include all the features above plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly, etc,. Windows 8 Pro is for professionals with features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro.

Feature nameWindows 8Windows 8 ProWindows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium



Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimatex
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tilesxxx
Windows Storexxx
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)xxx
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)x
Internet Explorer 10xxx
Device encryptionx
Connected standbyxxx
Microsoft accountxxx
Installation of x86/64 and desktop softwarexx
Updated Windows Explorerxxx
Windows Defenderxxx
Windows Updatexxx
Enhanced Task Managerxxx
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs)xxx
Better multiple monitor supportxxx
Storage Spacesxx
Windows Media Playerxx
Exchange ActiveSyncxxx
File historyxxx
ISO / VHD mountxxx
Mobile broadband featuresxxx
Picture passwordxxx
Play Toxxx
Remote Desktop (client)xxx
Reset and refresh your PCxxx
Touch and Thumb keyboardxxx
Trusted bootxxx
VPN clientxxx
BitLocker and BitLocker To Gox
Boot from VHDx
Client Hyper-Vx
Domain Joinx
Encrypting File Systemx
Group Policyx
Remote Desktop (host)x

Read more on it here.

  • Mark Richey

    I am glad to see language support on all versions now. I found it insulting to have to upgrade both Vista and Windows 7 to Ultimate in order to receive this very basic item.

  • Juan Barinas

    Glad to see they’ve simplified the ridiculous number of versions down to three. Yet still, two would be simpler and best. Windows 8, and Windows RT. That’s it.

    • J A

      The SKU is fine as is to differentiate and create value between basic, pro and enterprise, as you should understand that this is not an Apple product that is meant for consumers since it is so limited in featureset that only warrants a single SKU but rather Windows also caters to the SMBs/professionals and the enterprise. I think this SKU list fits quite well; one for consumers, one for SMBs/professionals and one for the enterprise then WinRT.

  • Anonymous

    Windows RT can’t join domains???  I wonder what the prices will be… Will the Windows Pro be priced to compete with iPads? 

    • J A

      This question really does not make sense but I will I will help you understand that the iPad is a device and Windows is software. Whether they are priced similarly is up to the OEM and the tablet hardware they put it on for the market. Besides the iPad is an overprised toy that does not do much beyond ‘consume’ the web, apps, iTunes, etc while Windows 8 is way beyond any of that for both serious work and play such that if you pay more to get a Windows 8 tablet you are much better off than buying an iPad.

      • Anonymous

        Okay… I will help you understand…  I’m referring to devices running Windows 8.  Why would business buy a windows 8 RT tablet over the more popular iPad? Only if the windows 8 RT tablet is cheaper.  They will only buy Windows 8 or pro tablets if it’s price competitive with the iPad. 

        I just don’t see the benefits of the Windows RT over the iPad.  Maybe you can explain that to me…

        • Anonymous


          • Anonymous

            Not everyone needs office and iPads have Office if they really need it.  I already am getting the Windows 8 but really am curious about the benefits of Windows RT over iPad.

          • Anonymous

            But we’re talking about businesses, right?  Not all business use Office, but a TON of them do and it’s simply integral part of their daily business.  There is no official and integrated Office product for the iPad as of now, so that is a benefit that really should be casually dismissed.

          • Anonymous

            So office is the only benefit of the Windows RT?

          • Anonymous

            I can’t really speak to that, as I have no done an exhaustive disection of what it has to offer (nor has MS or any of the OEM’s put all of the information out there), but it’s not really all that appealing to me personally.  I still don’t understand the fascination with tablets, but not being able to run any x86 programs is a bit of deal breaker for me personally.

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    this sounds amazing. people may say “ARM cant join domains bla bla” but RT has office which is a really nice add, and well honestly Intel chipsets doesn’t look to bad to say like ARM is needed for everything Pro version has.
    it may work and i think its a nice step for windows 8, so hopefully not many people complain about this.

  • CX1

    I can not for the life of me understand why they block domain access on ARM. Business users prefer bad battery life?

  • Josè Daniel

    I’m GLAD they cut back the outrageous number of SKUs! o/