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Windows 8 will, AFAIK, be available in two very different flavors: One that supports old Windows programs (intel processor, I think) and the other will be an ARM processor which does NOT support x86 programs.

I need to know how to refer to these to let customers clearly know which version of Windows we (currently) support.

It looks like the terminology is:

  • Windows 8 : This will be backward compatible with Win 32 apps.
  • Windows RT: Runs on ARM-based processor devices (probably mainly tablets) and does not support
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3 Answers

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Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are for x86/x64 architectures. Windows RT is for ARM architectures.

Besides the fact that windows RT will only be able to run in ARM architectures, i will NOT be sold separately AFAIK. You can only get it "bundled" with a device, like Microsoft Surface.

I also read that win RT WILL always come with office preinstaled, though it will be a "reduced" version of office, office 2013-RT (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote); which also will NOT let run macros.

In general, RT does not only mean that it is intended for ARM architectures, but also it is a DIFFERENT version of windows, with some limitations, as for example not being able to install any program that hasnt been designes specifically for win RT, and you will only be able to get apps from the new windows store.

Think of windows RT as similar to iOS or Android, and Windows 8/Pro as the well know "desktop" version of windows, intended for desktops and notebooks.

I'm afraid that a LOT of users will get confused and will start to get tablets with windows RT expecting they can do exactly the same they can with their regular notebook/desktop. They will NOT.

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You're pretty much right. There are three versions of Windows for Intel though: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise for volume licensing.

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I'm used to them being called SKU (which wasn't quite the right usage of them term) but now they are called Editions, and RT is one of them.

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