Microsoft to release enterprise Windows 8 flavour

Apr 17, 2012 3:10 PM
Builds on features in 'Pro' x86 edition.

Microsoft has unveiled the various editions of the Windows 8 operating system it will offer at commercial launch later this year.

The company will provide two editions - Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro - for x86-powered PCs and tablet devices.

The Pro version comes with encryption, virtualisation, PC management and domain connectivity features not included in the basic consumer package.

Pro users can also choose a "media pack" add-on that is essentially Windows Media Center. Microsoft said the incremental cost would be "economical" but did not provide further details.

Microsoft said the Pro version was targeted at technically savvy users and businesses. However, enterprises with Software Assurance agreements would still be able to get their hands on a special enterprise flavour of the operating system.

"Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organisation that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualisation, new mobility scenarios, and much more," Microsoft said.

Also today, Microsoft unveiled the official name for the flavour of Windows 8 designed for devices based on ARM processors, which had previously been known by the codename WOA [Windows on ARM].

The so-called Windows RT edition will come installed on the ARM devices, with two major functional differences to the x86 versions of Windows 8.

Firstly, Windows RT comes packaged with "touch-optimised" versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. None of the desktop packages come bundled with Microsoft's productivity suite.

In addition, Windows RT comes with device encryption technology.