Windows 8 Consumer Preview - thumbRemember how annoying it was that there were six versions of Windows 7? Well, you’ll be glad to know there aren’t six versions of Windows 8! … There’s eight.

One of the biggest annoyances with Windows 7 was that when you went to buy a system, you had to look at which version of the operating system it came with.  Then you usually ended up having to look at a chart to remember why each version was different.  It was a bit of a pain, and one that you hoped might go away in Windows 8.  Sadly, Windows 8 Beta has learned differently.  After digging around in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview that was released the other day, they found screenshot you see above.  In short, there will be eight versions of the next iteration of the Windows operating system, and they include:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Premium edition
  • Windows 8 ARM edition
  • Windows 8 Professional edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus edition
  • Windows 8 Starter edition
  • Windows 8 Ultimate edition

If you’ve installed the Consumer Preview you can locate this list at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\PackageIndex\Product.

The only one that puzzles us a bit is the Enterprise Eval edition which we suspect may be short for “Evaluation,” and may be more like trial software.  We just don’t know yet.

What we do know, however, is when you head out to buy a Windows 8 machine once they are launched, you may want to take a comparison chart with you of all the features.

[via Windows 8 Beta]