Microsoft has decided to get back to simpler days and limit the number of versions that Windows 8 will be sold and distributed under.
According to a post from Brandon LeBlanc on the Windows Blog here is what we can expect when Windows 8 hits store shelves later this year:
PC’s and Tablets powered by x86 CPU’s (32 and 64 bit)
For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice. It will include all the features above plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly (more details on this feature can be found in this blog post), which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows. For China and a small set of select emerging markets, we will offer a local language-only edition of Windows 8.
Windows 8 Pro
This offering is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business / technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. It includes all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity.
WOA or Windows on ARM
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.
When you visit the post from Brandon be sure to scroll down and check out the table that lists all the specific features and what will be in each version of Windows 8.