By Jonathan Charles | Jul 07, 2012 09:29 AM EDT
The eighth version of Windows - Windows 8 - is probably Microsoft's biggest bet on the future of the operating system. The dual-OS approach, with the traditional desktop environment and the new Metro UI, has divided the community - both consumers and business - so what do the numbers show when comparing the operating systems?
0: the amount of money users upgrading to Windows 8 - whether digitally or through a retail copy - will have to pay for Windows Media Center, which can be downloaded for free as long as users upgrade to Windows 8 trough the Upgrade Offer. The upgrade itself costs $39.99 and $69.99 for the digital and retail version respectively. The offer ends January 31, 2013.
1: the number of upgrade editions available for Windows users as of writing - Windows Pro. Microsoft announced the Upgrade Offer earlier this week, and follows Apple's example of offering a single version of it's next revision of the operating system (OS X Mountain release July 2012).
For Windows 7, users coming from Vista Home Premium or Ultimate depending on the edition owned. Windows XP users had to do a custom installation.
2: the number of Surface tablets announced by Microsoft for Windows 8. There will be Windows Pro for Surface, and Windows RT for Surface.
3: the number of versions of Windows 7 that can upgrade to Windows 8 (Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7). Widnows 7 supported Windows Vista and Windows XP.
4: taking into account the 32GB and 64GB internal storage options for Surface, there will be four versions available when the tablets/PCs release around the availability of Windows 8.
5: the number of upgrades a single user can make through the Windows Upgrade Offer.
6: stands for Internet Explorer 6, the version of Microsoft's long-running browser than won't be supported in Windows 8. It's possible to get IE 6 working on Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
7: marks the version of Windows enterprise is likely to use, as Metro isn't proven as an operating system suited for business. That could change in the future, though.
8: the eighth generation of Windows.
9: 9 versions of Windows 8 were rumored, which included: Windows 8 Enterprise/Enterprise Eval Edition, Home Basic, Home Premium, a pre-release ARM edition, a standard pre-release edition, Windows 8 Professional, Professional Plus Edition, Windows 8 Starter Edition and the Ultimate Edition.
For Windows 7, there is: Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.
10: the new version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8 that brings a new UI, goes full screen and removes functions to the Charms bar. It's a good example of how a Metro app can create a completely different experience compared to the desktop side of the operating system.
Internet Explorer 8 came with Windows 7.
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