Windows 8 will come in three flavors

Posted by Mark Raby

We're getting a few more details about Microsoft's next-generation operating system.

First up, Microsoft is now officially confirming that the name of the platform will indeed be Windows 8. Those days of coming up with something cool like "XP" or "Vista" are apparently over.

In addition, the software giant noted that Windows 8 will be available in three editions. There will be just standard, vanilla Windows 8 as well as Windows 8 Pro, for advanced users and high-end business accounts.

In addition, as has previously been confirmed, there will be an edition of the platform exclusively for tablet devices.

The most distinct aspect of Windows 8 is what's known as the "Metro UI," which allows users to have complete customization on their home page, including widgets, RSS readers, weather information, date/time, etc.

In addition, since this is such a revolutionary new platform, Microsoft wants to scrap out all remnants of the "old-school" look and feel. Instead of a Start bar, hovering your mouse over that corner of the screen will allow you to swap between the Metro UI and the traditional desktop. For the mobile version of Windows 8, the Metro UI will be the default interface.

The inclusion of only three versions may seem like a step back. Windows 7 was available in six SKUs - Home Basic, Starter Edition, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

It looks like Microsoft will be keeping things simple and elegant this time.