Microsoft discusses 4 SKUs for Windows 8
Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows RT. Those are the four official product names for Windows 8 products when they ship as discussed on the Blogging Windows site. Consumers will mostly only have to choose between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Four editions are not too much to manage but there will also be 32-bit and 64-bit variants.
Only if a consumer buys an ARM device with Windows 8 pre-installed, will they obtain Windows RT.
This single edition will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with impressive battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For new apps, the focus for Windows RT is development on the new Windows runtime, or WinRT, which we unveiled in September and forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps of all kinds. For more details on WOA, we suggest reading this blog post which shares more detail on how we have been building Windows 8 to run on the ARM architecture.
Windows 8 is the base edition while Pro builds upon it by adding “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.”
Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.
For a full feature break-down by edition, today’s blog article has a nice table comparing the SKUs.