Consumer Preview reveals Windows 8 SKUs?

Previously we reported that the Windows 8 SKUs were potentially revealed in a HP driver document on their website. The listing showed the possibility of just three Windows 8 SKUs: standard (known just as “Windows 8”), Professional and Enterprise; each for 32- and 64-bit. This list of SKUs has a bit of competition for truth thanks to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Discovered in the registry of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview by Windows8Beta appears to be a list of SKUs for the operating system. The registry keys indicate that there will be more than just three versions of Windows 8; in fact it could be more than the amount of SKUs for Windows 7.

You’ll notice from the list the same SKUs from Windows 7: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. However, there is also the inclusion of a “prerelease ARM” SKU, which will most likely be finalized into the ARM version, a “Professional Plus” SKU and “Enterprise Eval” along with a simply named “prerelease” edition. The guys at Windows8Beta also took a screenshot of the same registry keys in Windows 7, which we have included below.

Now at a first glance you would see that Windows 8 might have more editions than previous versions, but there is also another possible explanation. The editions that were not in Windows 7 could be the actual planned SKUs, with the ones from Windows 7 simply being leftover registry keys. Adding more weight to this hypothesis is that most of the ones not included in Windows 7 are named “prerelease” or “Eval” (with the exception being Professional Plus), which is exactly what the Consumer Preview is: a pre-release and evaluation copy.

When you take the new SKUs in the Windows 8 registry by themselves, this is what you get.

  • “EnterpriseEval” → Windows 8 Enterprise
  • “prereleaseARM” → Windows 8 ARM Edition
  • “prerelease” → Windows 8 (standard)
  • “ProfessionalPlus” → Windows 8 Professional

Now what does this look like? Yep, the list of SKUs revealed by HP (plus the ARM edition). Could this be the actual list of Windows 8 editions? Microsoft has yet to confirm anything, but the evidence is growing stronger.

Thanks to Sagar for the tip!

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42 Comments

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satukoro said,
Can't we just have Windows 8 Home and Windows 8 Professional?
There's no point calling it "Home". It would be best to just have Windows 8, Windows 8 Professional and Windows 8 Server. There's no need for an enterprise specific version; it should just be a different licencing model.

Way too many. I mean what's the point in Ultimate unless we have a lot of new features, or they severely limit the consumer version. I mean Windows 7 Ultimate's highlights were languages (now in all versions), the Ultimate extra which were useful and a few other little bits).

Possession said,
Way too many. I mean what's the point in Ultimate unless we have a lot of new features, or they severely limit the consumer version. I mean Windows 7 Ultimate's highlights were languages (now in all versions), the Ultimate extra which were useful and a few other little bits).

You haven't a clue, have you?

Ultimate debuted in Vista and was the amalgamation of the "Home" lines (i.e. Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium) and the "Business" lines (i.e. Business, Enterprise) features in one package (the "Home" editions featured stuff that wasn't in the "Business" editions and vice versa). Also with this "Ultimate" edition came "Ultimate Extras".

Ultimate for 7 was different, it didn't come with any "Ultimate Extras" and it was exactly the same as Enterprise (which contained everything that "Professional had and more"), the only difference was the licence.

No one is forcing anyone to buy Ultimate and in fact Ultimate isn't generally available off the shelf anyway. Of course, if someone really needed the Enterprise features of 7 at home, they can have it - Ultimate is it.

testman said,

You haven't a clue, have you?

Ultimate debuted in Vista and was the amalgamation of the "Home" lines (i.e. Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium) and the "Business" lines (i.e. Business, Enterprise) features in one package (the "Home" editions featured stuff that wasn't in the "Business" editions and vice versa). Also with this "Ultimate" edition came "Ultimate Extras".

Ultimate for 7 was different, it didn't come with any "Ultimate Extras" and it was exactly the same as Enterprise (which contained everything that "Professional had and more"), the only difference was the licence.

No one is forcing anyone to buy Ultimate and in fact Ultimate isn't generally available off the shelf anyway. Of course, if someone really needed the Enterprise features of 7 at home, they can have it - Ultimate is it.

Ahh, thank you for clearing it up for me.

Windows Enterprise Evaluation is not new, they released a windows 7 enterprise edition that lasted 200 days or so, I got it.

Professional and Professional Plus?

I wonder if Enterprise and Ultimate will have option to disable Metro and switch to old Start Menu. It could be only Enterprise. I am sure businesses will get option to disable Metro and new Start Menu.

techguy77 said,
Professional and Professional Plus?

I wonder if Enterprise and Ultimate will have option to disable Metro and switch to old Start Menu. It could be only Enterprise. I am sure businesses will get option to disable Metro and new Start Menu.

Seems logical. An enterprise version might have more options for just that reason as I can see how IT depts. would be reluctant to have everyone /boggling over a start screen. At least if they did that it would shut some people up.

techguy77 said,
Professional and Professional Plus?

I wonder if Enterprise and Ultimate will have option to disable Metro and switch to old Start Menu. It could be only Enterprise. I am sure businesses will get option to disable Metro and new Start Menu.

there is no "metro" disable that was rumored, only boot to desktop instead of boot to "start" the metro thing... start menu is dead unfortinuatly

techguy77 said,
Professional and Professional Plus?

I wonder if Enterprise and Ultimate will have option to disable Metro and switch to old Start Menu. It could be only Enterprise. I am sure businesses will get option to disable Metro and new Start Menu.

Microsoft stated a long time ago, that Win8 would run looking just like Win7 for business users as they migrated more to Metro needs.

I don't see them abandoning this, but I have seen stranger things.

As it is right now, there should be full 'classic' modes for all versions, they are just not letting users turn off Metro easily as they want developers and users 'testing Metro' to find issues, bugs and also to get use to it and give it a chance.

BumbleBritches57 said,
Why?!?! Whatever, I can't wait until more people switch to Mac ^_^

If anything, people will just stay with Windows 7 instead of getting disposable computers.

If Microsoft wants to sell Windows 8 on desktops, they should go for an extremely low price, so everyone will buy it. Otherwise this will be the new ME for sure, well.. for desktops anyway. Tablets will do great.

Dannydeman said,
If Microsoft wants to sell Windows 8 on desktops, they should go for an extremely low price, so everyone will buy it. Otherwise this will be the new ME for sure, well.. for desktops anyway. Tablets will do great.

Most people get a new OS with new hardware.

SK[ said,]I don't get it. Why is knowing these SKUs news?
Last time I checked Neowin is for the people who want to know what the SKUs are for the next version of Windows. Been that way since the beginning.

can't we just have a "Home" a "Pro" and a "server" edition like the old days? and have home edition drastically cheaper....

neufuse said,
can't we just have a "Home" a "Pro" and a "server" edition like the old days? and have home edition drastically cheaper....

You do - Home Premium, Professional and Server. The other editions are special case editions for specific situations that 98% of ordinary consumers will not encounter.

You're only confusing yourself - stop overthinking things.

Jdawg683 said,
where's the SKU for "desktop version that doesnt suck"?

Where's confirmation that you're a troll? Oh yeah, your comment above...

WP7 said,

Where's confirmation that you're a troll? Oh yeah, your comment above...

fine by me. win8, in its current form, is terrible for Desktops. everyone else is trolling then too. (see comments below and above)

Jdawg683 said,
where's the SKU for "desktop version that doesnt suck"?

What's wrong with the desktop? It works fine for me. /shrug

this has always been one of my Microsoft peeves. Can't they just make it simple for the consumer. All you need is a consumer/prosumer/server(enterprise) version.

wv@gt said,
this has always been one of my Microsoft peeves. Can't they just make it simple for the consumer. All you need is a consumer/prosumer/server(enterprise) version.

It is simple for the consumer. It is preloaded on their PC. From there, they don't care what edition it is.

DClark said,

It is simple for the consumer. It is preloaded on their PC. From there, they don't care what edition it is.

unless it comes with a starter edition wich ridicoulsy cant let you change your background.. and even a 8 years girl would like to change it

jkrlox said,

unless it comes with a starter edition wich ridicoulsy cant let you change your background.. and even a 8 years girl would like to change it

Which was born from XP discounted versions for Netbooks, that OEMs still wanted, instead of paying the extra $10-15 to give their users the full version.

Starter needs to go away. It was not only confusing and limited, but people thought it was 'faster' because it shipped on cheap computers, when in reality, it is the slowest version of Windows 7, as it disables Aero and other aspects that speed up a lot of things on low end devices, like netbooks.

evacchi said,

I wonder what pro+ would be


A new version of Windows that comes with a free pack of caffeine tablets!

Would be good to only have 3 versions of this OS. Win 8, Win 8 Pro and Win 8 Ent. No more confusion and hassle needed!

Exactly! Microsoft is touting Metro and OS consistency across devices so why do we need Starter, Basic and premium? As you say Win 8 for everything, Pro for those who need more power user features and Enterprise for the obvious set.

Shahrad said,
Would be good to only have 3 versions of this OS. Win 8, Win 8 Pro and Win 8 Ent. No more confusion and hassle needed!

Why should there be both a "Pro" and an "Enterprise" version? Why not just one for home users and one for business users?

Sadelwo said,
Exactly! Microsoft is touting Metro and OS consistency across devices so why do we need Starter, Basic and premium? As you say Win 8 for everything, Pro for those who need more power user features and Enterprise for the obvious set.

OEMs demanded 'starter' as they wanted a $15 copy that they could put on cheap netbooks.

This then forked out into some insane marketing decisions at Microsoft, with many of the people behind the crazy number of versions 'dismissed' now.

The whole concept of NT as a single code base was for compatibility and simplicity, yet the marketing team forced the developers to create 'differences' in features for no real reason other than they wanted to follow the previous pricing models.

There really should be two versions.
Desktop and Server for each architecture.

With a different licensing model for 'business' users to enable domain and business interoperability features. I can understand Microsoft not wanting to giveaway the 'cheap' oem home user discounts, but there is no reason to make it a different product, just crack down on business licensing, just as a company was found to be using Office 2010 student edition on 100 workstations.

The Vista and Win7 also had to deal with versions N, and K, and they had to supply the complete 'offerings in these as well, increasing the SKUs to a crazy number. (Thank the EU for that fun.)


http://www.theverge.com/2012/3...8-professional-plus-edition

Windows 8 Starter edition
Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
Windows 8 Home Premium edition
Windows 8 Professional edition
Windows 8 Professional Plus edition
Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
Windows 8 Ultimate edition
Windows 8 ARM edition

According to TheVerge.com, Microsoft has said it plans to reveal Enterprise editions and features of Windows 8 at CeBIT next week, so the firm might clear up this naming shortly. We will be attending CeBIT, which kicks off on March 6th, so stay tuned for more information.

I found website here http://www.cebit.de/home Are Neowin staff going to CeBIT in Germany for news reporting?