Oh man, and we were just getting used to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. According to the usually quite reliable people behind the site WinUnleaked, they have just gotten their hands on a ‘bunch’ of new Windows Sock Keeping Units, or SKUs.
Think of SKUs as versions. In short, the good men claim to have snagged some fresh code that contains a number of versions of Windows 8. This confirms that here will be, wait for it, a number of versions of Windows 8.
Of course, Windows on ARM (WOA) has already been announced. We have long presumed that there would be consumer, and business versions of Windows 8. That makes three. However, a ‘bunch’ doesn’t sound like two (we assume that they are referring to x86 builds of the operating system). Therefore, there are more than two, for normal computing environments.
Windows 8 has been built to be so lightweight that we honestly do not feel that multiple consumer editions are required. Also, do we really need an enterprise, or, God spare us, an ‘ultimate’ edition? No. However, given this leak, it appears likely that our story from ages past was right: there are going to be quite the slurry of Windows 8 SKUs to choose from, consumer confusion be damned.
From our previous coverage, dating back from April of last year, this is the list of builds that we found (note: this list does not include ‘E’ editions of Windows 8, which will not include Internet Explorer): Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. The astute among you will note that those are the exact same SKUs that Windows 7 supports.
Windows 8 is a rather progressive operating system for Microsoft, changing much of what many are accustomed to. However, the ridiculous, and time-worn practice of Microsoft shipping a dizzying array of versions of its code has apparently not been left in the past.