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Microsoft confirms Windows 8 flavours

If Microsoft could go back in time and fix mistakes, then alongside the late move to creating a decent browser, no doubt it would also want to reduce how many versions of Windows Vista it put onto the market. While Apple offers ‘products with an operating system that just works’, Microsoft has made you work on your operating system choice. Until now. KitGuru picks up a sanitised scooper and delves into the tub marked ‘Windows 8’.

Launched in a Windows XP-loving world, where Asus was in pioneering mood with the Linux-based EeePC and developers had to wrap their heads around a new driver model – it’s no surprise that Microsoft made a complete pig’s ear of the Windows Vista launch. It was cumbersome, prone to crashes [many of which were not its own fault – Ed] and it ran as slow as molasses in Arctic conditions. It also came in more flavours than Lucozade.

Don’t cheat and hit Wikipedia, just see for yourself if you can distinguish between these options:-

  1. Windows Vista Starter
  2. Windows Vista Home Basic
  3. Windows Vista Home Premium
  4. Windows Vista Business
  5. Windows Vista Enterprise
  6. Windows Vista Ultimate

Nope?  Not to worry, we can’t either. More importantly, the PC buying public had no idea what was going on.

In reality, Microsoft was stepping into a world where Apple sells operating systems like Lion for around £30 and the Windows sales team wanted to see if they could take more than £150 off you for a less stable, less attractive and slower operating system. Aspirational stuff – but if you look at a ‘share diagram’ of the OS market from 2005 to 2012, you’ll see that it wasn’t really successful.

For Windows 8, Microsoft has gone for a dirty great KISS.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

  • Windows 8: Suitable for most users – containing everything you need for everyday use
  • Windows 8 Pro: Adds in networking features, virtualisation, encryption etc
  • Windows 8 RT: Cheapo version that lets Microsoft beg/steal/borrow the tiniest sliver of tablet market share from Apple and Android

The most important feature here is that Microsoft has coded ‘Windows 8 RT’ for the ARM processor ONLY – guaranteeing ZERO support for Intel. Harsh? Fair?

Can Steve Ballmer step out from the shadows cast by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs?

KitGuru says: Looks like WinTel is a thing of the past. Microsoft and Intel may or may not succeed in evolving into the mobile space, but the d-i-v-o-r-c-e is final when it comes to tablets. It seems. We’ve heard experts say that Microsoft is working on loads of tablets with Intel hardware, but it’s hard to see how they will be price competitive if they can’t run RT.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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