updated 02:20 pm EST, Fri February 24, 2012
HP FTP shows no gap in home editoins
HP may have inadvertently spoiled Microsoft's plans for a simpler Windows 8 lineup after it posted a document for OS support with the future OS inside. The sheet lists just a basic Windows 8 as well as Professional and Enterprise editions. Apart from the necessary 32- and 64-bit splits, no mention was made of Home Basic, Home Premium, Starter, or other separate home versions that previous Windows versions have had in the past.
The lineup isn't definite and, even if accurate, could change between Friday and the presumed fall release of the finished Windows 8. Neither HP nor Microsoft has publicly confirmed or denied the selection and might not until at least the Windows 8 Consumer Preview arrives next week, if not later.
If real, however, it would show Microsoft once again trying to slim down the number of OS versions it makes available. In spite of promises to simplify, the Redmond-based developer has often been willing to heavily segment Windows with as many as six versions in Windows 7. While only some of these would face regular buyers, it created confusion as to which version was best for a given case and, in Vista, saw Microsoft charge a premium for Ultimate features that many saw as arbitrary.
Apple for OS X's history has kept it to a maximum of two versions, one for most common cases and a Server edition for those who knew they needed hosting features. Lion and onwards now have just one basic version and have server users pay a one-time extra to get what they need. [via Silicon Alley Insider]