Rumor: New Windows 8 build screenshot shows new SKU?

Earlier today we reported that "Canouna", who runs the well known Windows 8 leaked information site Winunleaked.tk, posted on his Twitter page that he had somehow received a new internal build of Windows 8. He also said he had discovered some new SKU versions of Windows 8 in this new build.

While the main site has yet to be updated, he has continued to update his Twitter page today. At one point he actually posted up a screenshot of what he claims came from the "Release Candidate build 8306 ProWMC SKU" of Windows 8.

"WMC" almost certainly stands for Windows Media Center. If true that means Microsoft might be planning to release a Media Center SKU of Windows 8 for its final launch later this year. Microsoft has been mostly silent about its plans for Media Center features in Windows 8, saying only that it will a part of the OS in the final shipping version.

"Canouna's" Twitter page also says he discovered a Pro SKU in the new Windows 8 build and that he has found five SKUs mentioned. Hopefully we will learn more from this newly leaked information at some point this week

Image via Canouna/Winunleaked.tk

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19 Comments

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Microsoft...y u no have one edition of Windows...I thought the purpose of Metro was to unify the user experience not break it into little tiny SKU pieces.

butilikethecookie said,
Microsoft...y u no have one edition of Windows...I thought the purpose of Metro was to unify the user experience not break it into little tiny SKU pieces.

^^^ cosigned .... if anything at most there should be a home & pro edition, (not counting the server branch) ... really they dont even have to separate home & pro i agree with the consensus that MS should simply release "Windows 8" ... no editions, no more expensive version, just one. i see that being much easier to swallow for consumers buying the OS versus them having to research and decide what edition to get

Errmm one thing springs to mind guys, a Windows Apple Tv? Would make a world of sense as it can run on ARM now and if MS strip windows down enough, fit on a small amount of storage. Hell, it doesn't even have to be branded windows, could be Xbox Media Hub or something.

(And let me comment on the idiotic plans to now invest in a tablet PC are only going to make matters far worse. The short version is this: any PC maker would be wise to consider tablet PCs, as they have hardware synergies, distribution channel synergies, marketing, pricing and brand synergies. Like PC makers Apple and Samsung. Any mobile phone maker would be an idiot to consider tablet PCs as they have NO hardware synergies, distribution channel synergies, marketing, pricing nor brand synergies. Its a sure way to go from profits to loss-making, witness Motorola and RIM. Nokia is a fool to waste development efforts to try to battle Apple's iPad at its game.But this would - of course - be to Microsoft's advantage, getting Nokia to waste its efforts in this futile battle. And any Nokia CEO who would authorize such development waste would have to be a Microsoft Muppet. Read the full story at the link)

Too funny ...because Nokia made "internet devices" aka tablets when he was a Nokia exec. Remember the N700, N800 & N810 with Maemo ?

microsoft is the only company in the world that is still sku-ing (screwing?) their consumers with their commercial o.s. way to go, microsoft.

Albert said,
microsoft is the only company in the world that is still sku-ing (screwing?) their consumers with their commercial o.s. way to go, microsoft.

The only one, with the only competition being OSX which screws them in every other way. Linux doesn't really count here.

Anyway OSX also doesn't really have WMC or server versions. Why should a user pay for stuff they don't need or even can't use.

HawkMan said,

The only one, with the only competition being OSX which screws them in every other way. Linux doesn't really count here.

Anyway OSX also doesn't really have WMC or server versions. Why should a user pay for stuff they don't need or even can't use.

i must be hallucinating then
OSX Lion server
http://www.apple.com/macosx/server/

Albert said,
microsoft is the only company in the world that is still sku-ing (screwing?) their consumers with their commercial o.s. way to go, microsoft.

As pointed out above OS X have Lion Server. Linux has zounds of distros. . .
Yes skewing sounds like screwing *slow clap*

Albert said,
microsoft is the only company in the world that is still sku-ing (screwing?) their consumers with their commercial o.s. way to go, microsoft.

Yes, the rest of the big enterprise players have moved on to support contracts to screw their customers.

Seriously, Windows 8 is touted as a "No compromises" OS. The focus is on mobility and multimedia, why on earth would you separate Media Center? Windows 8 only needs Consumer and Business editions. The focus is the metro interface how are they going to tier that?

It would be a mistake to separate WMC from the base OS again. It was really annoying with XP and made everything so much easier when they integrated it in with Home Premium in Vista. There really isn't a reason to separate it. I doubt enough people would even pay for the WMC version to make it worth their time.

mrp04 said,
It would be a mistake to separate WMC from the base OS again. It was really annoying with XP and made everything so much easier when they integrated it in with Home Premium in Vista. There really isn't a reason to separate it. I doubt enough people would even pay for the WMC version to make it worth their time.

I'm in two minds about this. Whilst it would be nice to have it included in all versions, it might actually be better if this scenario were true.

Hear me out. Microsoft appear to have neglected work on WMC and there have been very few useful improvements since it's original inception. WMC has never been the unique selling point of Windows 7 and therefore there hasn't really been any incentive for them to work on it, it's been an afterthought. If they're really going to drive efforts to make WMC (possibly with a fullscreen Metro style remote or kinect controlled interface) a decent competitor for the likes of XBMC, Boxee, AppleTV, then from a profit-driven perspective, this approach makes perfect sense. It would make even more sense if MS were to license the Media-centric version of the OS to hardware manufacturers in order to compete with the Apple TV.

Thoughts?

Axel said,
Thoughts?

Interesting.
However, I see something different with Windows Media Center.
I first off see the product group has worked itself into obsolescence within the Microsoft ecosystem. This was achieved by failing to adopt XAML for Vista WMC.
This failure to adopt XAML has crippled the product.

My message to Microsoft would be more about making all their UIs XAML based, to reduce the complexity and time to market for partners.

Microsoft have 3 xml markup syntaxes for UI development.
There's XAML which is used for WPF/Silverlight/Metro.... AKA future technologies.
There's MPF, which is the Mediaroom presentation framework. ASP.NET pages emit an XML syntax which the WindowsCE based Set top boxes in turn render on-screen.
The third is MCML, the Media Center Markup Language. When XAML was being drafted, the Media Center team didn't participate or plan on rolling it into their product. The net result is that Microsoft want to deprecate this technology in favor of the new features of Metro, allowing content providers to deliver their own app experiences.

In terms of actually connecting cable providers to the computer, they will most likely lift that out of media center and make it an API layer in a custom SKU for the service providers' to integrate on.

There are 4 common types of television, terrestrial broadcast, digital cable (delivered over coax), satellite and finally, IPTV, Each have a different set of technologies to deliver a television signal to the set top box, or Media Center application. The first three technologies require capture, tuner and decoding hardware. Microsoft haven't gotten much love from the cable providers for media center in the past, with companies slow to get the flaky hardware to market. In the IPTV space, everything can be done in software.

In the cable realm, Microsoft are hard at work on their Windows Embedded product for set top box use to provide enhanced functionality pioneered on mediaroom.

So, Knowing that the television landscape is in such a state of flux in terms of technology and consumer options, Microsoft would be hard pressed to establish a strategy which will appease all players in the game.

Add on top of that mess, Network operators are now augmenting traditional delivery mechanisms with over the top internet rebroadcasting. There has been quite a shift for networks to deliver content to their existing subscribers on this new medium. A few of them have the moxy to attract new customers in an internet only capacity. Your HBO, BBC, etc.

In Canada we've had a huge shift in the way television works, with two of the major operators actually buying the networks. This changes the game entirely since one cable operator owns one network and the leading satellite/IPTV provider owns another. I do not know exactly HOW this impacts television on the PC, but I'm sure some consideration needs to be made.

In terms of Microsoft's history with purpose built OSes, those are usually the last ones to receive service packs and rarely receive updates to enhance or improve the application-specific functionality. The last thing MS should want is to fragment their OS ecosystem like it was back in the days of Windows XP, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, Windows XP Media Center Edition, … .


So now that I've rambled a bit about a couple of points let's summarize into something a little more coherent.


Media Center has crippled itself by being so late to the XAML game (required for Metro).
Networks and Operators do not really want their broadcasts delivered to the PC due to copyright issues.
Xbox now competes with AppleTV since adding Silverlight to the dash and allow for an app ecosystem to occur there. If they do provide something to OEMs it will most likely be either a) xbox based hardware/software without the brand or b) Windows Embedded based product for broadcast/cable/satellite/IPTV offerings.

Lastly, Creating purpose built versions of the OS for different consumer applications hasn't worked yet.

Those are my thoughts, as incoherent as they may be.