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Windows 8: Three Products, Not An All-In-One

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Microsoft launches Windows 8 today, and the complete revamp of the interface has the Windows faithful scratching their heads. To add to the confusion, Microsoft is actually releasing three different versions of Windows 8, and you should be familiar with all three adaptations before buying your next Windows OS.

Three versions of Windows 8 may come as news to some readers, due in part to the way Microsoft has marketed its latest offering. Microsoft has done a great job showing us how the tile interface is designed to harmoniously bring together your devices and your PC; but the impression one can take away from the advertisements, is that the full Windows 8 OS that runs on your PC also runs on your devices. This is a classic too-good-to-be-true scenario.

All three versions of Windows 8 are each a unique operating system designed for a specific platform.

  • Windows 8: Desktops, Laptops, and Slates
  • Windows RT: Tablets
  • Windows Phone 8: Smartphones

Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 are both stripped down versions of Windows 8, with the device limitations in mind. This move by Microsoft should not come as a surprise, this practice has been the industry norm for as long as mobile devices have been popular. Due to computing restrictions of devices, it would actually be surprising if Microsoft pulled off a full desktop OS on a smartphone.

To give Microsoft credit, these three operating systems are designed to work together for maximum PC-to-device communication, but the compatibility rate is still short of 100 percent. For example, the apps you buy from the Windows Phone Store will only run on Windows Phone 8, and the Windows RT version of Microsoft Office 2013 does not include Outlook. These limitations may not necessarily be deal breakers for most customers, but it is always good to research what you can and can’t do with your device to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

With all the different gadgets on the market, you do have options if you really want a tablet that supports the full Windows 8 OS. Acer’s Iconia Tab W500 can run Windows 8, and it cost roughly the same as Microsoft’s much touted Surface tablet that runs Windows RT. Another option is to purchase a slate computer; Samsung makes a Series 5 and 7 slate that runs Windows 8. These Samsung slates are more powerful than the Acer tablet, but slates still lack several functions found on a laptop.

Before you buy a new PC, laptop, slate, tablet, or phone with a new OS, it is good to know what makes each product unique, and which will be the best fit your business or personal needs. We at TMS are familiar with the latest technology, all so we can better serve your IT needs, especially if that need is installing Windows 8 on your network. Call us at 1 (626) 737-2960 and let us find the best technology for you!