A peek inside the registry of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview suggests Redmond is gearing up to release up to nine different editions of its upcoming operating system, Windows 8. Some are obvious, such as an ARM version for tablets, but others, such as Professional Plus? Not so much.
Both Windows Vista and 7 featured six different versions appealing to average users, enthusiasts and businesses. Going by the above registry snap, Windows 8 could add up to three new types. We can likely rule out "Enterprise Eval" by its name alone and the ARM edition is no surprise, but what is "Professional Plus" exactly? Engadget speculates that it could include some of Microsoft collaboration tools, such as SharePoint, but we won't know until we hear an official announcement. Personally, it'd be nice to have a cheap, non-Ultimate enthusiast version that offered more technical bells and whistles than Home but less of the mum and dad stuff. This would be great for those situations where OEM versions won't cut it.
Speaking of SharePoint, I'm curious — does anyone use it? I've managed to get by on a combination of a custom Wordpress install, Google Docs and most recently, Google Hangouts, but I'm always open to more efficient and productive ways of doing things and I realise not everyone has the time or inclination to stuff around making their own collaboration tools.