posted by David Adams on Fri 2nd Mar 2012 15:55 UTC, submitted by sawboss
IconBy all early reports, Windows 8 is going to be a good operating system. Microsoft's hegemony may be crumbling in a mobile computing onslaught, but its core empire remains undimmed. However, whereas Windows 7 had three versions, Windows 8 will apparently be ballooning to 9 versions.

According to the Windows 8 registry file, the nine versions are:

  • Windows 8 ARM edition
  • Windows 8 Starter Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic
  • Windows 8 Home Premium
  • Windows 8 Professional
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus
  • Windows 8 Ultimate
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
If past pricing practices are any indication, these different versions will probably start at under $100 going up to over $300. A Techcrunch article draws a comparison with Apple, which releases only one version of Mac OS, and has lately been charging $30, though has charged more in the past. But of course, as the article points out, Apple makes its money from both hardware and software, so it can afford to both simplify and charge less.

Microsoft may be strategically hapless at times, and had failed to extend its power into most of the new markets that it's branched out into, but one thing it's very good at is making money from its core products. I suspect that if Microsoft is really going to release nine versions of Windows 8, that's because they're certain that that's the best way to maximize revenue. Windows versions are segmented very carefully, to ensure that anyone who can afford to pay more will be sorely tempted to get the more expensive version.

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