Microsoft Strips Windows 8 of Unnecessary SKUs, Announces Three Main Versions (Two for x86)

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Shalbatana

I think this is totally the right step. Almost makes me think they listened to their consumers.

I would disagree with some of the posts below though. While I"m on the fence with adopting it on my Win7 machines, I would say it's far from a "service pack with a new interface added".

The only question for me is "if Microsoft doesn't see the light, and change it's mind about forcing metro on desktop users, how soon will a third party come out with a free utility that disables it in favor of some sort of start menu"?

My upgrade timeline will probably strictly revolve around that one question. I think metro is amazing...for phones and tablets. I don't want it sprawled across my desktop.

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loozer

I think there is already a utility in production to make the start screen not take the whole screen.

Then again, why would someone want that? The start menu shows more icons when it's full screen, and I really don't think it's that big of a deal that you can't see your windows while the start menu is open.

Edit:
http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/index.asp

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Shalbatana

I see your point, but I don't want it for two main reasons:
1) while useful on a phone, tablet or touchscreen, it's utterly ugly on a desktop. I like things ordered and neat

2) I like the idea of all my programs popping up at once and in alphabetical order. I get that with a std start menu. With metro I won't, or will have to constantly re-arrange, reshape and resize to make things just how I want them every time a new program is added. And if things get too small, there's the dreaded pan-over.

I could be wrong. Maybe I won't care about such things when I start working on it. Perhaps I'll change my mind when I actually get my hands on it and use it a bit. I'm skeptical of metro on a desktop, but I'll keep an open mind for now.

I thought stardock did something slightly different (similar to 7stacks), but I'll check it out again. Thanks.

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maxeeemum

I wouldn't upgrade to Windows 8 if it was "free",

How about K.I.S.S. for Windows 8!

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Scatter

Of course Windows 7 users will be able to easily upgrade. Windows 8 is nothing more than a service pack and a new shitty UI.

I'm also surprised at how many people are complaining that Windows Media Center won't come pre-installed since they all complained about the bloat when it came preloaded in previous version of Windows.

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aarcane

I for one am glad they're getting rid of Media Center. Now I don't have to worry about a crappy stock app taking over formats and launching unexpectedly. I can just use the CCCP and be done with it, like I'd like.
Now if they could just figure out how to get rid of IE. Perhaps replace it with some sort of simplified browser with no tabs, no scripting, and no plugins so that the user can download whatever it is they want to use :)

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Blaze589

You definitely haven't downloaded the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 because that's exactly what happens with pictures, music, and video; they'll all launch exclusively in the Metro apps unless you change it.

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loozer

Did you forget to uninstall all of the metro apps first thing? Afterwards, Windows 8 is a great OS.

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Blaze589

No I decided to keep them to check out their functionality. I did however go to the "Default Programs" and let it take care of it.

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Peanut Fox

Could I be interperting this wrong? Does Media Center not come with pro or home? Or is it included in Home, but an add on for Pro? Having it that way would make sense.

EDIT: Looking at the blog it seems that Windows 8 comes with Media Center while Pro does not.

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Blaze589

I was reading the blog and paying close attention to the wording and like you said, "Windows 8 comes with Media Center while Pro does not."

Having Pro users purchase MC seems like a smart idea because lets face it, the most pirated edition of W7 is Ultimate. You can't put all of the goodies in one basket lest it gets pirated to hell and back.

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aarcane

from the article: "None of the versions will ship with Windows Media Center"

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Blaze589

I've been reading up on this (googled it) and it seems like what Paul has stated is what other editors are posting: MC won't be on any edition of Win8. You'll have to pony up some cash and it's for Win8 Pro only. It's a bummer if that's true since I use MC.

I was thinking a while back that you could possibly use Metro like a MC except the MC button on the remote has to be reprogrammed to the Start logo but there won't be any tuner functionality...

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someuid

"None of the versions will ship with Windows Media Center, though it will be offered as an "economical" media pack add-on to Windows 8 Pro."

I swear. Who's the fart turd that thought this up?

Windows Media Center will be extra $ after you just dropped the $$$ on Pro?

I swear Microsoft. Fire the f'ing business managers and their stupid what-if scenario income spreadsheets and just release two SKUs: Windows 8 for x86 and Windows 8 for ARM and be done with it. Throw everything into the enchalada and stop worrying about trying to squeeze a few extra benjamins here and there. It will making your patching process simpler to manage, your contracts with system builders shorter, and solidfy you brand around Windows, not Windows-lite, Windows-Pro, Windows-on-Arm, Windows-no-you-can't-have-Media-Center, Windows-you-can't-change-the-background, Windows-oops-just-one-program-at-a-time, Windows-doesn't-support-over-4GB-ram, etc, etc etc.

Windows 7 is the new Windows XP. Call me when Windows 9 ships.

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TechGoudy

I agree with you 100%!

Who in there right mind would think of such an idiotic purchasing idea?

I don't get it. Windows Media Center isn't that great as it is, why charge extra money for something so basic. I feel like Microsoft is going to take advantage of this and include even more standard applications we should have for free, in packages we have to pay for. This is ridiculous!

I do like the fact that they are limiting the platform to only 2 x86 platforms and 1 ARM platform. That will make things a lot better on our end, hopefully.

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Incognito

I'm pretty much speechless. The consumer market has become an arena of "Let's see how much we can get away with." The main reason it has gotten this bad is because too many sheep keep putting up with shenanigans and buying from companies who are abusive to their customers. I use Windows Media Center in my HTPC with a Ceton Cable Card Tuner and, like you said, they barely put any effort into it as it is and now they're going to charge extra for it? I'm pretty much done with Microsoft at this point. I'll use Windows 7 until it gets old and then I'll switch back to Linux and dual boot Windows 7 (or a pirated version of Windows X) to run games, if necessary.

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turbonugget

is windows metro being designed to work with kinect/pc?

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igoka

Nope.

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praack

interesting- the media center is only available for the SKU they will market to enterprise- and Media center is not used by enterprise

so someone at home who needs media center either buys the higher sku or goes for the other aftermarket products like they do now.

MS still does not understand home networking and streaming

but anyway- with a touch based system who will be putting win 8 on thier main system anyway?

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SleepyCatChris

And what the hell does "RT" stand for, anyway?

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Dorito Bandit

RT stands for "Really Tasteless", which is describing the new Windows 8 user interface! :P

Okay, "RT" stands for RunTime, the development platform introduced by Microsoft last year to create apps for its Metro interface.

Still, after using the Windows 8 preview for some time now, I really don't like it. I understand this doesn't reflect the final product, at least I hope not, but after using previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 can be irritating as you can't "easily" find and do the things you're used to from previous versions. If we will be able to customize the interface and desktop to our liking, then maybe I'll consider Win 8. Hopefully Microsoft will have this ability built-in so no third-party software will be needed!

As for wishful thinking; why not just ship with the basic operating system (no media player, messenger, outlook, or other resource hogging junk), and let us freely download form the Micosoft website any of the extras we want. I'd be willing to bet a lot of us use alternate programs for our needs any way. I use VLC for my audio/video files and Skype for my messenger service. As for email, I use a web-based email. I know some of you will want and need to use certain Microsoft programs, but it would be nice to have freedom of choice. I'm all for less bloat as I'm sure everyone else is too.

Another thing I'd love to see is this; after we've had our Windows 8 machines for awhile and feel the need to do a fresh, clean install, it would be nice if all of those Windows updates up to that particular time could be simply copied to a usb drive or cd/dvd and easily reapplied after we've completed the clean installation. This way would be quicker as we would not have to re-download those updates and safer as our non-updated machines didn't have to access the Internet.

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SleepyCatChris

Interesting that they specifically say Media Center will be an add-on for Windows 8 Pro. Are they really going to not make it available to the non-Pro edition?

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igoka

No media center no thanks.

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Zoandar

It's not like M$ to ever simplify anything. There must be a hidden catch somewhere. Perhaps the mention of that add-on pack hints at a future a-la-cart delivery system for purchasing desired OS features.

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aarcane

I've been suggesting this for years! I would LOVE to be able to purchase a desktop package and an IIS package and have my main system pull double duty as a dev server~

Only nearly every other operating system in the world right now works exactly like this.

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themohawkadmin

IIS is included in Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate. Just click on start and type "Turn Windows Features on or off" and enable IIS. :)

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teh 1337 haxxor

That's all fine and dandy, but how much do I have to pay for it???

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noobstix

Probably for the standard Windows 8, you'll have to pony up $300 at least for a full copy and maybe $200-250 for the upgrade. I would think that Windows 8 Pro would be around $400-500. Since MS is only releasing two flavors for PCs, they need to make some cash (unless down the road, they release a "Family Pack").

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Modred189

There's no way they'd charge that much. I suspect it'll be back to the XP/XP Pro days and price points of $199 for standard Win8 and $299 for pro.

Of course, it's "free" with a new PC purchase.

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praetor_alpha

Wow. Microsoft must be coming out of it's design-by-committee phase. Good for them!

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