Windows 8: reinventing the list of confusing editions →

The Verge’s Nilay Patel reports on Windows 8, Win 8 Pro, Win 8 Enterprise, and “Windows 8 RT,” the ARM version that they won’t sell to consumers but will only make available pre-installed on ARM machines.

It’s an interesting move for Microsoft — the company is insistent that “all editions of Windows 8 offer a no-compromise experience,” but by segmenting ARM devices off into Windows RT, it’s able to dramatically limit the functionality of the desktop and restrict the final feature list.

I believe this is what we call a “compromised experience” on our planet. This isn’t necessarily bad: iOS is a compromised experience compared to OS X, and that seems to be working out. (Conversely, Nokia’s Maemo was as good a Linux-on-a-phone experience as one could get.) But let’s be honest about it.

Also, the Verge reports that Windows RT will include Microsoft Office runnable in Windows 8’s “desktop mode,” but no other non-Metro apps will installable—and that Microsoft is pushing for touchscreen ultrabooks. These both strike me as compromises of their own kind, too. (A lot of people I’ve talked to seem more keen than I about touchscreen laptops than I am, though.)

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