Microsoft has announced the various upcoming versions of Windows, which I predict will create massive annoyances, confusion, and probably anger for consumers and employees alike. IT departments, start buying cases of headache remedies.
CIOs and even consumers are used to Microsoft offering numerous versions of Windows. For Windows 7, consumers typically use Windows Home Premium, while some techies and small businesses opt for Windows Professional. Large businesses might pick Windows Ultimate, though corporations typically license long-term "enterprise" versions from Microsoft.
At first glance, Windows 8 might be a bit easier to understand, because there will be fewer versions. The monikers of "Home Premium" and "Ultimate" are being dropped. Instead, there will be Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Just plain Windows 8 is what most consumers and many small businesses will use. Windows 8 Pro will include business features, such as Bitlocker and file encryption. The Windows 8 Enterprise package will include everything in Windows 8 Pro, plus a variety of IT capabilities, such as policy controls, virtualization, and advanced security.