Microsoft has announced that its newest operating system, Windows 8, is to be made available in three different guises. The firm explained that for those consumers with Intel-compatible machines, the operating system will be available in two versions - Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Meanwhile, for those with handheld devices with ARM-designed chips there will be a Windows RT version.
Windows 8 is expected to ship in autumn 2012 and according to the tech firm, it will be the most significant launch since the landmark Windows 95 version. Since then, Microsoft has launched a range of different operating systems in all kinds of guises – many of which were ridiculed by people within the industry. Consequently, Microsoft has confirmed that it intends to simplify how it markets the new system.
The ARM version of the operating system, which is the newest edition, is the upshot of Microsoft's determination to synergise the engine known for running desktop computers with that for tablets and smartphones. Indeed, under Microsoft's new approach, Windows RT will sit alongside Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems.
In a blog post regarding the new operating system, Windows President Steven Sinofsky outlined some of the "daunting" challenges his team overcame to deliver the new system.
"What started out as an operating system for one person working solo with productivity software is now the foundation of a wide array of hardware and software technologies, a spectrum of connected Windows products, and an incredibly flexible approach to computing," he noted.
"With Windows 8, we have reimagined Windows from the chipset to the experience - and bringing this reimagined Windows to the ARM processor architecture is a significant part of this innovation. Expanding the view of the PC to cover a much wider range of form factors and designs than some think of today is an important part of these efforts."