Microsoft has announced the range of editions planned for Windows 8, which is now the official name (previously it was a code name).
Here is what I found interesting. Windows on Arm (WOA) is now called Windows RT and ships with Office included. However, Outlook is not included, confirming my suspicion that Outlook may gradually get de-emphasised in favour of separate email, calendar and task managers built into the operating system but with strong Exchange support – a good move since Outlook is perhaps the most confusing and over-complex application that Microsoft ships.
Windows RT is missing some features which are in the Intel versions, not least the ability to install desktop software, but has an unique feature of its own: device encryption.
I consider Windows RT as critical to the success of the Windows 8 project, and the only edition that may compete effectively with the Apple iPad in terms of price, convenience, battery life and usability. That said, the market will see the Intel version as primary, since it is the one that can run all our existing apps, but all the legacy baggage will also weigh it down. Users will suffer the disjunction between Metro and Desktop, and will need mouse or stylus and keyboard to use desktop applications. The danger is that Windows RT will get lost in the noise.