Windows 8 Anytime Upgrade detailed

Earlier this week, we reported that WinUnleaked.tk had managed to get a hold of a new internal build of Windows 8. The site posted new screenshots from the build, and revealed more information about Windows 8, including the possibility of the release candidate version going live in late May or early June.

Now the same site has posted up a new batch of screenshots, this time showing the process Windows 8 might follow when a user decides to upgrade it from one SKU to another. In this case, the screenshots show how the Pro SKU can be updated to the ProfessionalWMC version. The site says it stands for 'Professional with Windows Media Center', but the branding on this particular build states it is called 'Windows 8 Pro Pack'.

The site has also posted some screenshots after the upgrade is completed. In addition to Windows Media Center, there's another new option shown in the Control Panel called Family Safety. WinUnleaked.tk also says that Windows To Go with Storage Spaces is also still a part of this new ProfessionalWMC/Pro Pack SKU.

Images via WinUnleaked.tk

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18 Comments

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butilikethecookie said,
I wonder how windows to go works. Is it like a live CD of Linux?

Yes, but better.

Windows to Go usb sticks are encrypted so they cannot be tampered with.

It is unfortunate Microsoft still continues with this retarted system of SKUs and the useless associated complexity.
Why not have only one consumer version with a decent popular price?

TheCyberKnight said,
Why not have only one consumer version with a decent popular price?

Then windows would be cost prohibitive. Part of the reason for the different sku/feature set is to reduce the retail price.

If Microsoft dropped to one version it would cost about 600 OEM / copy with 10 user CAL and retail for 850.

That's rediculous.

Also, the feature set for business is not needed by many home users, so why make them pay for something they don't want or won't use.

dotf said,

Then windows would be cost prohibitive. Part of the reason for the different sku/feature set is to reduce the retail price.

If Microsoft dropped to one version it would cost about 600 OEM / copy with 10 user CAL and retail for 850.

That's rediculous.

Also, the feature set for business is not needed by many home users, so why make them pay for something they don't want or won't use.

They could sell extra features or programs for an additional fee that would be tied to your windows product key.

dotf said,

Then windows would be cost prohibitive. Part of the reason for the different sku/feature set is to reduce the retail price.

If Microsoft dropped to one version it would cost about 600 OEM / copy with 10 user CAL and retail for 850.

That's rediculous.

Also, the feature set for business is not needed by many home users, so why make them pay for something they don't want or won't use.


Agreed. Even for power users, the only reason to have an Ultimate version installed is because of Bitlocker, and that's something Business orientated... AFAIK,.

So there goes around 150$ in savings... Home Premium does the job right

pack34 said,

They could sell extra features or programs for an additional fee that would be tied to your windows product key.

Yep. And they could call it... Windows Anytime Upgrade!

TheCyberKnight said,
It is unfortunate Microsoft still continues with this retarted system of SKUs and the useless associated complexity.
Why not have only one consumer version with a decent popular price?

OEMs...

If you are a system builder and want to hit a price point, and $20-50 is a lot to your profit, you can chose a lower end version and pass the cost on to your customer and that is if then even NEED the extra features.

This hit hard when XP was introduced, as the NT desktop version was about $200 OEM and the Win9X desktop version was about $85 OEM.

So Microsoft came up with 'Home' to bring the cost in line, and to separate the business class features that the full NT desktop version provided that was a premium price a lot of companies need and were willing to pay for as they had been adopting Windows 2000 desktop.

I personally think there is a need for a universal 'desktop' edition, but it would require either the business version costs going up or the home user costs going up to offset the merging into one version only.

There is also the UMPC and Netbook market that screamed when they were buying 'old' XP OEM copies for $15 and could not afford $80 for Windows on a device that was retailing for $200-300. This is where home 'starter' edition came from, and also some misconceptions, because people think it is 'leaner' and 'faster' because it was used on the low end netbooks. (Actually it is SLOWER than regular Home edition, since it disables the GPU assistance of the WDM and other performance features.)

This whole topic is still a debate even inside Microsoft. The Vista marketing team 'dictated' the versions, and when FREAKING nuts with the separation of features and what was 'separated' being technically inconsistent.

There is also the K and N editions, that Microsoft was 'FORCED' to provide, and created nightmares for EU vendors that didn't want the crap versions and the support nightmares of people wanting to play a freaking song and having to download Media Player to do it, when the core WMP technology was still in the OS.

The whole architecture and nature of NT's design was an OS model that could run as a desktop (or other) OS, and scale up to run as a Server on both mini/micros as well as a mainframe or coordinated supercomputer. All from a single code base with only the HAL being different for the various architectures.

This is why NT 3.1-5.0 desktop and server were the same binaries, and the difference between desktop and server was cosmetic with registry settings and the missing server services in the desktop version so that they could sell the desktop version cheaper.

NT could be one product even today, ship on a single DVD with x86 x64 and ARM and play the role of just a kernel embedded install all the way up to a full server install.

The problem is the licensing and costs. There is a lot of technology in the services running on NT server, and for Microsoft to be expected to just give them away, even when RedHat doesn't, is a bit crazy. It would also create support nightmares as home users would turn on server features and get themselves into a mess.

The ARM version is also another issue, as again it needs to be 'cheaper' than the traditional desktop OS, as a $100 tablet can't pay $70 for the Windows license.


There was also the whole industry of 'too many features' install for business users, and 'wasting' performance. Part of which comes from a lack of understanding of NT architecture, and these 'tech' people and users assumed that because Media Center and its lower level drivers and services were included, that when Media Center wasn't running, the lower level stuff still was. (Which is what you see in the *nix world, especially Linux and often OS X as well.)

However this is a 'sane' part of 'too much' argument which provide a no-IT needed install setup that is just for a business user that doesn't load games or feature they do not want their employees monkeying with. (An IT based install it should not matter, as the IT people should know how to create the feature set they want, and even have it automated from the Windows Server to add/remove and set policiies based on the functionality the company uses.)

So...

I personally would like to see...

A ARM & x86/x64 Home version that is cheap and must be preinstalled, with its only limits being features that a Tablet user would not need. (For example, a Tablet doesn't need several of the services and administration type tools, etc.)
Cost $15 OEM - (Like WP7 licensing essentially, or MS Android Licensing LOL )

A Desktop Version for Home that has everything but 'AD' features and other Business tools that home users just won't use.
Cost $60 OEM, $100 Regular/Upgrade

A Profession Desktop Version for Business that includes everything, but by default doesn't turn on things like Games, but they still can be turned back on.
OEM $150, Regular $300

And then Windows Server and consolidate it back down as well.

Windows Server Standard (Can run in various separate roles, Web, SB, Standard Server)
Cost $800 OEM, $1000 Regular

Windows Server Enterprise (Can also run in roles, but has the ability to do high end things like Media conversion streaming and other features that Enterprise also now offers.
Cost $1500 OEM, $2000 Regular

(With the variable and guaranteed licensing, most companies won't even hit or eat higher costs of the Professional Desktop increase and it will help offset any loss from Retail and a slightly better OEM pricing model.)

Ok so I'm confused...Windows Anytime Upgrade is NOT a new feature, certainly not to Windows 8. It was introduced with Windows Vista.

Secondly, Family Safety is currently a function available for Windows 7 in the Live Essentials package. This allows a parent/guardian to lock down websites and usage of a system - really great functionality for those inclined to lock down their childs PC usage.

All thats news here is it seems they've embedded Family Safety into the Windows 8 product as opposed to requiring Live Essentials to get it...and the mention of the ProfessionalWMC/Pro Pack SKU...

AlterBridge86 said,
Ok so I'm confused...Windows Anytime Upgrade is NOT a new feature, certainly not to Windows 8. It was introduced with Windows Vista.

Secondly, Family Safety is currently a function available for Windows 7 in the Live Essentials package. This allows a parent/guardian to lock down websites and usage of a system - really great functionality for those inclined to lock down their childs PC usage.

All thats news here is it seems they've embedded Family Safety into the Windows 8 product as opposed to requiring Live Essentials to get it...and the mention of the ProfessionalWMC/Pro Pack SKU...

I think the news here is that Microsoft are testing upgradable edition in Windows 8, and that some will include Family Safety and Media Center as standard.

News to me.