Now, this could simply be a placeholder, not a genuine list of the upcoming Windows 8 editions. Still, it’s an interesting slip-up by HP. As Neowin points out, the revision notes for an "Alcor Micro Smart Card Reader Driver" on the company’s website including the following entries, all nestled amid the list of supported operating systems:
Microsoft Windows 8 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64 Edition
If the list is genuine, then hats off to Microsoft for simplifying Windows’ edition breakdown further. Provided the Enterprise edition remains unavailable at retail, as is the case with Windows 7, and retail-boxed copies of the operating system still include both 32-bit and 64-bit software, then shoppers might only have to choose between two editions.
That would be an improvement over Windows 7, which is broken down into three retail editions (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate) as well as several non-retail ones (including Starter, Home Basic, and Enterprise). Windows Vista was even more fragmented. Windows XP started out with two retail editions, but things later took a turn.