8 interesting points I noticed from Microsoft’s Windows 8 SKU announcement

Yesterday, in a flurry of announcements, Microsoft detailed the new name for Windows 8, the different versions of Windows 8 and the new name for WOA.

In addition, today, Microsoft announced the new name for Windows Server 8 – Windows Server 2012.

I wanted to take a step back and look at some of the things we now know about Windows 8 from these announcements.

I found 8 interesting points from these announcements.

Windows 8 is the official (final) name

I think that was a little strange that this was announced again. We had after all been through a Developer Preview and Consumer Preview. The name Windows 8 has been plastered on all Windows websites and throughout ALL of Microsoft’s branding.

I think most people assumed that it was a done deal with the name so it was a little strange to see the subject revisited as recently as yesterday.

The new name Windows RT

No need to rehash all the Twitter noise online about this. It’s confusing to a lot of people and it seems like a very unpopular choice. Me personally, I don’t care much, I’m just glad there’s some clarity around Windows On Arm.

Upgrades from XP and Vista will not be supported

This will be an interesting point for businesses who have to make some tough upgrade choices. For all intents and purposes, the way to Windows 8 is through Windows 7 – no exceptions.

From  a licensing perspective, what does that mean for a company that actually is on XP or Vista? Do they have to buy licenses for Windows 7 and Windows 8?

From an upgrade perspective, how would this work – would the company have to build upgrade profiles to Windows 7 and then test those profiles on Windows 8 as well?

We will need to hear more about Microsoft’s upgrade recommendations for business.

Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will come with Windows RT

Not sure but isn’t this the first time Microsoft has actually pre-installed Microsoft Office on a version of Windows?

That’s pretty profound to me. Looking back at Windows 7 versions, I don’t see any reference to Microsoft Office at all. Interesting.

Storage Spaces won’t be available in Windows RT

I covered Windows 8 Storage Spaces here but in a nutshell, it’s a feature in Windows 8 that allows you to pool multiple hard drives to create a shadow mirror.

Windows 8 pools the available space in a logical fashion and does complex data management on your behalf. That’s the cliff notes version.

This is curious to me because my understanding of Windows RT is:

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.

PC’s will run Windows RT as well. It seems like a pretty key feature to keep out of the OS.

I assume that it is being left out because it’s a processor intensive task and they want to protect battery life.

Still, it was a little jarring to see.

Remote Desktop Hosting gone from Windows RT

Pretty big deal considering that plugged in PC’s will be part of this category. The inability to log in to my Windows RT PC seems like a big loss to me.

Windows Media Player absent from Windows RT

Not sure why this will be gone. There needs to be a Metro replacement announced before this is launched. People need to be able to play their media files on this version of Windows 8. Especially since these Windows RT tablets will be considered “Media Consumption Devices”.

Hopefully we’ll hear more about this.

Ability to join Domains is gone in Windows RT.

Well, that’s that then. Companies officially have no reason to buy Windows RT and since they will be forced to use x86/x64 Windows 8 Tablets, say goodbye to Windows 8 Tablets winning the enterprise war.

I am saying that based on the assumption that Windows RT devices will be cheaper, lighter and more attractive to companies. While they will have access to Windows 8 x64/x86 tablets, we’ll have to see if those will be able to compete with the iPad for battery life and price.

This was the most shocking piece of information on this list and I am hoping that Microsoft will at some point explain what the heck they are thinking.

I guess this means that Windows RT is officially for the consumer and businesses are encouraged to use other versions (Pro or Enterprise).

Crazy.

Those are my observations – your turn.

What struck you when you saw the Microsoft Windows 8 SKU announcement?

Use the comments below and let me know.

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