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.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • OldCabanaGuy

    I’m currently driving W7 Ultimate. If Thurrott is accurate (
    http://www.winsupersite.com/article/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/microsoft-stops-skuing-customers-windows-8-142840 ), I will not be eligible to upgrade to Windows 8, but only to W8 Pro which currently offers no extra features I want. Makes no sense to refuse my business.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I guess they can’t please everyone. Part of the joy of being Microsoft…

  • Lason1864

    One way to upgrade Windows is to trash it completely and go to another operating system.  Linux is stable and has office suites that are good!  Mac OS X (BSD) is good, also.  Micro$oft isn’t the only one in town. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jereese1 John E Reese

    MS dropping the Ultimate version was no surprise to me, MS never deliver the goods for Ultimate version.  Home user will have two choices, Win8 or Win8 Pro (32 – 64 bits) in same package.  When MS first talking about Win8, they talk about 128 bit system.   Did they drop this 128 bit system or save for version 9??

    Lason1864:
    The reason Linux not being major player is not a killer program which runs only in Linux.  I tried couple versions of Linux which I was not turn on to Linux.  If Apple would sell the Mac xOS to run only any x86 machine then I would look into using the OS.  But they will not allow this because they want to sell you a $500 machine for $1,500 or I can’t build a Mac machine.  I just can’t afford that over price hardware.    

  • CompUser

    I totally agree about the name Windows RT. What difference does it make to an end user what Microsoft decides to call their products, as long as they work and do what they’re supposed to do. Although I do think Windows OA would have been a much better name than Windows RT.  How many people will even know that the RT stands for Run Time (according to ComputerWorld), or what that means? I thought RT was Windows Release for Tablets or Ready for Tablets.

    From the ComputerWorld article:  “Microsoft also dubbed its new tablet-oriented operating system, which executives had previously called “Windows on ARM,” or WOA, as “Windows RT.” The new designation is a nod to WinRT, for “Windows Runtime,” the APIs (application programming interfaces) responsible for the Metro interface and its apps.”

    By the way, my Samsung Series 7 Slate came preinstalled with Office 2010. If I already owned Office 2010 Professional, I only needed to enter my CD Key to activate it, or I could select to continue using the Home/Student version (has Word and Excel, but no PowerPoint or Outlook) for free (with no CD Key and no limitations).

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      That’s good to know (about Office coming preinstalled).

  • ECM2

    Any indication that WinRT will have native support for Windows Phone Apps? There are now 70,000 of them – the vast majority of which are junk, anyway.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Stay tuned for an article on that…

  • Indra Nawawi Daeng Parani

    Dear Onuora,

    Moving through Windows Timeline history, I see no mistakes done by Windows Product. Windows is moving in the right direction following the increasing figure rule. The interesting figure started when Windows 7 was release after Windows Vista, and now Windows 8, maybe next time there will be Windows 9 and Windows 10, unless the Windows creator has something else in mind.

    Windows has made it easy for the user to choose what kind of product that is suitable for the machine. The freedom was given to operate any Windows 8 Product out of five different Windows Product that will match the given capacity of the machine. This is unusually done by Windows or is it just for the moment why Windows use abbreviation for the Windows Product name? Windows 8, Windows Local Language, and Windows Enterprise sound good, but Windows Pro and Windows RT will confused the computer user, only the few would understand and it need more explanations.

    It was understood that Windows will have a hard time competing the product in the market where the market today seems to have gone wild on the Software, would it be better if everything be made simple and understandable? From what my expereances penetrating the market, the previous Windows software has dominated the market in the place where I lived, it even has gone deep down into the village. Take the good chances.

    Thank you.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Thanks for the feedback.

  • Michael

    Best bet: The world must boycott Windows8 – let Microsoft know that its GAME OVER!

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      It’s not that bad..