Windows 8 editions listed in HP driver notes

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.

Comments closed
    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    Hey MS how about this for a line up

    MS Windows 8
    MS Windows 8 Server

    and put back NFS services back in the standard versions dammit! Consumers use NFS too.

    Rant 2: And quit screwing over your Canadian customers on the anytime upgrades citing exchange rate as the reason for the nearly double the price tag between the US and Canadian prices (even though the Loonie is valued more). Hell even Apple is better on this front.

      • boing
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Consumers use NFS too.[/quote<]We do? What's NFS?

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Not surprising at all.

    Windows 8 is NT 6.2

    Which means it shares the same codebase and kernel as 7 and Vista……

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      Same kernel architecture, but not the same kernel. Quite the major changes to the code behind the interfaces.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        Most of those changes happen at the toolkit / API level and not so much at the kernel level.

          • bcronce
          • 8 years ago

          He said “Win7 and Vista”. So I’m targeting more the difference since Vista, not Win7.

          Some of the biggest changes were how threads, IO, and memory are handled. That’s all kernel. Win8 even goes as far as changing up kernel memory structures to reduce swap thrashing under heavy load, which also reduces random memory access. Win8 also now understands “low priority” memory. So you app can flag certain memory allocations to get swapped out first. Memory deduplication is quite cool also. This allows the kernel to map mutiple protected memory pages to the same page, assuming they have identical data. This also requires the kernel to copy-on-write, as not to let an application change another apps memory.

          Another interesting thing about Win8 is it *by default* ran under HyperV, even the lowly home version, assuming it detects that your hardware supports it. Win8 kernel had to change up some stuff to allow a Type1 hypervisor to run along with your GPU/etc.

          There were a lot of “toolkit / API level” changes as well, I completely agree, but there were also very large changes to the kernel.

          Comparing Win8 to Vista is like comparing Linux 2.2 to 2.6. but…but.. it’s still 2.x

          The biggest change is the UI, and I’m not sure about how that will go. Win8 isn’t a must have, but I do love knowing it will make better use of my computer’s resources.

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]Comparing Win8 to Vista is like comparing Linux 2.2 to 2.6. but...but.. it's still 2.x[/quote<] Not quite, it is more equivelent to comparing 2.6.16 and 2.6.26 (which carried comparable changes to windows 8 with rewrites of the i/o and the addition of CFS). 2.2/2.6 were drastically different to the points of a complete rewrite from scratch for almost everything and if you were to put those two in comparible windows versions it would be NT 3.5 vs NT 6.1.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Microsoft has commented on the “NT 6.x” thing before, but nice try with the FUD.

      [quote<]We learned a lot about using 5.1 for XP and how that helped developers with version checking for API compatibility. We also had the lesson reinforced when we applied the version number in the Windows Vista code as Windows 6.0-- that changing basic version numbers can cause application compatibility issues.[/quote<] [url<]http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/archive/b/windowsvista/archive/2008/10/14/why-7.aspx[/url<]

    • Duck
    • 8 years ago

    So still no bloat free version then?

    The ‘home’ version will probably come with a load of crap I don’t want to pay for like media centre I bet. Let’s hope the pro version is more bare-bones AND cheaper.

      • DancinJack
      • 8 years ago

      You know that’s not how it works. Pro will never be cheaper than “home.”

      What else do you think is “bloat?”

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        Tonnes of stuff. I want to take out everything except notepad, regedit, windows update, windows firewall, remote desktop… think that’s everything.

        I want the most basic, non crippled and cheapest version.

          • DancinJack
          • 8 years ago

          Sounds like you should compile your own distro of linux…

          • Chrispy_
          • 8 years ago

          I thougth that was everything too, but then I thought about it harder and I’ve actually also used calc, snipping tool, mspaint(!) and wordpad at least a few times.

          I agree they should seperate Media Player, Media Center and Internet Explorer, into optional downloads like they did with Outlook Express, MSN Messenger etc.

            • DancinJack
            • 8 years ago

            You can “delete” a lot of those programs including MP, MC, and IE from the control panel.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            I believe the complaint is that you have to manually track down every conceivable thing that isn’t needed just for the computer to work, and it’s certainly not limited to the uninstaller list.

            You really can’t find it all, so it would be nice if MS would just sell it as a “clean slate.” I know lots of people pirate modified versions of Windows for this reason. It is yet another instance of piracy instigated by the complete failure to provide a service that’s in demand.

            If nothing else, it’s baffling to me that MS doesn’t present the options that a regular installer does when you are setting up windows, where it will have:

            Minimum
            Typical
            Custom

            And then custom has a check box for every component, going beyond just files you’d be able to delete afterwards.

            • DancinJack
            • 8 years ago

            I understand why one would want a barebones version. Heck, I would too. I just think that Windows, the way it is and what you have access to disable/enable, should be able to work for everyone if you want to run Windows.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            I don’t think there’s any way around the OEM installations coming that way.

            Where they’ve lost me is how installing it yourself is handled. The options you are given are pretty much what to name your account and setting the clock lol.

            • aceuk
            • 8 years ago

            …or via DISM.

            [code<]DISM.exe /Online /Disable-Feature /FeatureName:MediaCenter[/code<] You could also create an AutoUnattend.xml file for your Windows 7 install disc so that certain features are not installed.

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            [url<]http://www.rt7lite.com/[/url<] I've used that to get Windows 7 x64 SP1 iso down from 3.1GB to 1.4GB. It was a lot of work testing for broken features. Can take hours to then rebuild and test again. It installs to a 8GB partition with some 3.5GB free space. I never got round to trying it outside of a virtual machine though. Plus you need to start off with the professional edition to get remote desktop.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            why? did you only have 2gb of hard drive space? storage is cheap. i don’t see the point.

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            Installed size saves about 8GB.

            The point is to have a small and lightweight version as possible. If you don’t see the value in that then I doubt I can say anything to change your mind.

            • bthylafh
            • 8 years ago

            /shrug

            8GB is peanuts given how cheap hard drives are. Unless you’re putting this into a smallish SSD I don’t think it’d be worth the effort.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      The ARM version ought to be less bloated. :p

      The changes to background processes should help the x86 version out, too.

      Those have always driven me mad because the default for so many services is to load at startup and continue to run 24/7, despite the fact that most function identically when set to only start when needed, and many relate to devices you may not even have connected to your computer at all lol.

      It [i<]looks[/i<] like MS finally caught on to that, but the configuration of the retail release is all that will matter.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      Except they will call it “Media Center” and not how you spelled it. Really, Windows Media Center has become a very good option for HTPC users. I’ve been really happy with it since the Vista version. I’ll get whatever version needed to have it for my HTPC.

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      MS response: You’ll buy it and you’ll like it (either that or we’ll put out a service pack called Windows 9 and you’ll buy and like that).

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 8 years ago

    I hope they actually did drop the “home” moniker and it’s not just omitted there. I always felt like that was a bit misleading.

    I know people who would buy whatever the non-home version was, regardless of its current name, just because they had the mindset, “Oh, this computer isn’t just for home things!” *face palm*

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      And then thay go and surf the net and play solitaire …..

        • burntham77
        • 8 years ago

        Are you spying on my stepdad?

          • Deanjo
          • 8 years ago

          /me refrains from obvious setup of mom reply

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    /facepalm

    Since it was apparently the big companies who pushed to keep 32-bit Windows, it’d be A WHOLE LOT SMARTER if they’d restrict 32-bit to Enterprise.

    Let 32-bit die already. It should have died with Win7.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      They wanted everything that could run Windows 7 to be able to run Windows 8. That includes your old Pentium III and Athlon XP systems.

      • jstern
      • 8 years ago

      In the future I would like to get nettop that can play older 32-bit games, so it would be nice to have the Windows 8 option.

      Doesn’t sound like a big deal, since it won’t really affect a person’s 64-bit purchase.

        • cmrcmk
        • 8 years ago

        I’d also like an older computer to just play old games, but for compatibility reasons, it would be XP or 2K. I have games that didn’t run on Vista or 7. I doubt 8 will suddenly be compatible with FF7.

          • jstern
          • 8 years ago

          I mean yeah, I do plan on having XP on it, but the more options the better is my point. As long as the 32-bit version is only available through digital download I don’t mind that there’s a 32-bit version.

        • bthylafh
        • 8 years ago

        You want a virtual machine, something like 7’s XP Mode running a previous version of Windows.

        If you want a better VM program than Microsoft’s Virtual PC (and who doesn’t?) VMware Player 4 can import XP Mode VMs, and it does an okay job of accelerating 3D graphics.

          • jstern
          • 8 years ago

          I have virtual machines, but I would also like a tiny dedicated computer.

          I have Virtual PC and Virtual Box. Can I drag and drop from host to client with VMware? Virtual Box is much better than Virtual PC, but doesn’t support that simple feature.

            • cygnus1
            • 8 years ago

            that’s really not that simple of a feature for a VM. however, i do know vmware workstation does shared folders between host and guest, so drag and drop may work on newer versions

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      This isn’t going to be the problem it was a few years back.

      We are already in the day and age of $400 laptops with 6GB of RAM. At the end of this year, OEMs definitely aren’t going to be randomly putting 32 bit installs on laptops with 3-4GB.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      It should have died with Vista. For once I wish Microsoft would pull an Apple move and force people to give up legacy hardware and software. If they want Windows 8 to be this bold new direction for the OS, then just go all in Microsoft.

      Besides, I hear the 32-bit thing comes from certain lines of Intel CPUs that are not 64-bit ready that are still being used for some reason. Which falls under the category of “Really?”

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Simpul is gud! Of course, the ARM editions have yet to appear.

      • jdaven
      • 8 years ago

      No one will be able to buy boxed copies of Windows for ARM so its all gud.

      • DancinJack
      • 8 years ago

      I wonder if they will even sell ARM editions at retail. I doubt it.

        • cygnus1
        • 8 years ago

        you may have missed jdaven’s accurate post about a minute before yours. MS already said in one of the building windows 8 blogs that there will be no retail copies of windows on arm (WOA). it will only come preinstalled on oem hardware

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