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back to article HP caught with SIX Windows 8 PC packages up its sleeve

Windows 8 is being re-packaged into six versions in a move that looks like it might kill off four editions of the desktop client currently sold. Documents posted on PC-partner Hewlett-Packard’s website here and picked up here say Windows 8 will come as a Windows 8 32- and 64-bit Edition, and an Enterprise and Professional …

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Anonymous Coward

Someone correct me here

...but didn't Windows 7 starter not include the ability to change the desktop background / wallpaper? I thought I recalled reading that it required third party software to "hack" a background of your choosing.

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Re: Someone correct me here

Indeed. A particularly pointless limitation - as if anyone is going to fork out £70 for the "anytime upgrade" just to change the wallpaper (although it is perhaps telling that they had to hobble it so obviously to justify the lower licensing cost compared to Home Basic - clearly the feature set was otherwise insufficiently different).

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WTF?

Given that all previous windows 7 versions with the exception of starter also came in 32 or 64bit versions I would suggest that your accounting is a bit dodgy and this is in fact a rationalisation from

Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise to just Home, Professional and Enterprise.

OEMs have always had to deal with 32/64bit SKUs separately as they need to know which version to install on a given machine.

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Anonymous Coward

Crippleware

Why don't they just simplify things?!

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Bronze badge

Re: Crippleware

Because people like to feel as if they are making a decision, and everyone has different points of view.

Taking just 4 levels:

Basic - For the cheapskate or the person that likes to get the extras from someone else.

Mid Tier - For those that don't want to be associated with cheapskates.

Above mid tier - For those that actually need that one piece of functionality. Also for those that don't want to get the extras from another company.

Enterprise - for the IT, the executives and the Sales/Marketing staff of corporations because they want the "best".

Quite frankly, they could sell it all for one price and remove the confusion. However, if you do that then you are leaving money on the table so to speak.

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Anonymous Coward

And there'll be another article along soon for the

similar but different (and presumably incompatible) range of packages for ARM hardware?

Or are those sold only via the WIntel AppUp Store?

I'm soooooo confused.

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Re: And there'll be another article along soon for the

WOA is not available to purchase separately, it only comes preinstalled. And given that all ARM SoCs are 32bit there should only be a single variant (unless there's an Enterprisey version too).

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Silver badge

Re: Re: And there'll be another article along soon for the

They could easily ship them all with Home and have the others available through their anytime upgrade thingy. They could also roll out an option of a "buy time" upgrade bundle or some such which you pay for at the initial purchase, perhaps discounted for incentive, where you would be automatically upgraded when you went through the activation/authorization process.

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Anonymous Coward

Ridiculous

I don't want to share an edition of Windows 8 with the hoi polloi.

I'm holding out for my own unique Fats Brannigan Mansion Superlative 256-bit for Intel, ARM, and LEGO edition.

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Joke

Re: Ridiculous

Do you want fries and a coke with that?

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Bronze badge
Stop

They should just copy that other company

One version, anything extra (Media Center, bitlocker, saving network passwords), you buy as an upgrade in the AppStore, installs, done, nice and easy.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 8 is being re-packaged

Why does this news deserve a whole article?

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Re: Windows 8 is being re-packaged

Would you have preferred it if the article stopped mid-sentence?

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Bronze badge

Do people buy basic?

I haven't seen a copy of 7 basic. With Vista basic used to appear on crummy laptops that weren't high enough spec to worth buying but I've only seen Home Premium or starter on netbooks.

Also if Ultimate is dropped how will the paranoid home user encrypt their drives?

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Technet

I've never understood why someone would pay $239 for Windows 7 Ultimate when for $199 they could buy _all_ of Microsoft's software from Technet? Yes, I know that strictly speaking the license is for "testing and development", but still, it's pretty good value...

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Re: Technet

@bigphil9009

"I've never understood why someone would pay $239 for Windows 7 Ultimate when for $199 they could buy _all_ of Microsoft's software from Technet? "

Because that $199 for Technet is a yearly fee?

A lot of folks haven't heard about Technet either.

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Facepalm

Why the bleep don't they just sell 'Windows XYZ' cheaply with a core feature set and include some sort of "App Shop"? That way everybody pays for just the features they want, -and- they separate 'Applications' from 'OS'.

Oh wait. That's sanity.

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Bronze badge

How many different OS installs do you want to support?

And things that don't work because it depends on another component program, which is missing?

You can play that game with Linux for free, so who needs an app store?

But I think (may be wrong) that in any normal Windows 7 version, all of the operating system software is there, a full distro - but some of it only fully works if you bought the right licence. Which you can do inside Windows Control Panel.

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Not the traditional SKUs then?

the really rubbish one

the one that looks bad, but kinda works, sometimes

the one that the EU insisted on

the one that you could afford

the one that you wanted

the top-of-the-range one that your boss plays Solitaire on all day

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32bit?

Isn't it time we got rid of 32-bit machines? Or rather, isn't it time we stop making 32 bit machines?

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Is it not time to draw a line under 32-bit and move users over to 64?

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Childcatcher

There are still plenty of computers out there with 32-bit processors.

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Anonymous Coward

Which are all slow...

... and quite old. Like Pentium 4, Core Duo or first gen Atom.

How many 32bit PCs really need to run Windows 8? Me thinks Windows 7 would be fine for them, we can't keep supporting every old computer going with new Windows versions and 32bit software runs just fine on 64bit Windows in my experience.

MS should drop the 32bit edition and people with only half the necessary bits can just stick with the quite fine and not at all old hat Windows 7 for their OS needs. Seems to me a 32bit Windows 8 is entirely unnecessary.

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Anonymous Coward

The issue is:

Drivers.

Yes, corporates on even a 5 year upgrade cycle will have 64bit machines, but those 10 year old printers/scanners/whatever in the corner don't, and never will have 64bit drivers.

They still work, have been provably reliable (or at least cheap enough to repair to not want to get a more expensive model).

Even slightly more recent hardware eschews 64bit due to lack of OS penetration. I mean, how many people are viewing this in a 32bit operating system, even where the hardware is 64bit capable?

Writing this from 32bit Vista.

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Re: The issue is:

Isn't this why the higher-end 64bit versions include the capability of running a 32bit copy of XP as a virtual machine?

For devices which are only used occasionally it's adequate for the job. It's far from a perfect solution but it does offer a limited lifeline for otherwise unsupportably-old apps and devices.

I believe that Apple's architecture change caused similar issues...

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Well, it's all nice & dandy but if Start Menu/Button will be indeed gone...

...and that fugly broken PoS Metro junk will be mandatory then it's a moot point: almost nobody I know will upgrade from Windows 7 and that's not a joke, MS' main chunk of money comes from us, corporations, not home users.

Great job setting up another spectacular failure, you fat bald fart et al.

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Surely most 32 bit computers won't run Win 8?

I thought with Windows 7 they'd drawn a line with older computers so why not just draw another line to say we don't support 32 bit at all now? Would seem logical and helps their hardware partners move things along a bit too....for those nuts enough to want to upgrade for Win 8.

Not sure if this move would save money for MS, but if so then it's a nice bonus for the shareholders too.

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Gimp

Re: Surely most 32 bit computers won't run Win 8?

Not supporting 32 bit would be a bad move commercially. There are just too many users (and even businesses) out there that will insist on clinging to their good old P4s until they finally melt down (or the owners can afford to replace them).

On the other hand, these same folks might still be tempted to cough up 79$ for the latest version of the OS, even if it doesn't run optimally or provide all features.

Backwards compatibility is almost invariably a win-win for the software vendor.

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Bronze badge

Visual Studio 2011 next edition?

That would be Visual Studio 2012, aka Visual Studio 11.

And the relevent question is, will the final release version drop support for Windows XP?

Note that the current version refuses to build for Win 2K, forcing people who want to create Win 7 software to drop Win 2K support.

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Anonymous Coward

"will the final release version drop support for Windows XP?"

From where I sit, in the companies I'm familiar with there's far more interest in retaining XP support than there is in moving to Studio 11. Losing Win2K would be far less of a concern, don't know of anyone who's still using that (who couldn't readily move to XP).

As for earlier comments re Pentium IV not being enough: In the last year or two I've acquired half a dozen or so refurb ex-"corporate" P4/XP systems (each costing well under £100) on behalf of neighbours, friends, relatives with needs that match those of 95%+ of PC users. Why pay more, why landfill these systems when they're perfectly adequate for lots of uses?

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Silver badge

32 vs 64 bit

No reason to support 64 bit on Starter. No reason to support 32 bit on Ultimate. I'd also argue there's no reason for 32 bit on Professional and Enterprise. Any corp customers conservative enough to want to get another year or two out of 32 bit hardware in 2013 are probably still working on upgrading from XP. Home is the only version that needs both 32 and 64 bit versions.

There, that totals six.

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Meh

A step in the right direction. There should be a desktop and server version. As for 32 v.s 64 bit it should be an option upon first installation that defaults to the capabilities of whatever architecture you are running. Being asked to buy a specific version is silly.

In other words it should be similar to how things used to be in the 1990s

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