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Maybe Microsoft is finally learning a little something from Apple in the form of fewer versions of its Windows operating system. With the forthcoming Windows 8, the company is showing restraint with only three versions, and one of them is exclusively for ARM processors.
The Windows Blog announced on Monday that Windows 8 will only be available in three flavors, down from the five Windows 7 editions (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate, for those playing the home game). But in reality, there will simply be two versions of Windows 8 for most of us: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.
That’s because the third version, Windows RT, is an entirely new version of the operating system intended for ARM processors. “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,” the blog entry reveals. “Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.”
Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium users will want to upgrade to Windows 8, the base version of the software aimed at consumers, while users of Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate will find comfort in the loving arms of Windows 8 Pro, which adds remote desktop hosting, group policy, an encrypted file system and other features not typically found in consumer editions.
Kudos to Microsoft for finally taking a less confusing route for Windows 8, which is currently available to all with a public preview that can be downloaded from the company’s website.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter