Full details of the Windows 8 SKUs have appeared in the documentation on the HP website. The document, a revision note for the Alcor Micro Smart Card Reader Driver, lists, the supported operating systems.
Deep down the list of supported Windows operating systems in between Windows 7 and Windows Vista, a stack of following Windows 8 versions that could indicate Microsoft's SKU plans for the operating system makes a appearence.
The editions listed below are only the client versions of Windows 8 for Intel x86, and we should also be seeing at least one x86-64 server SKU and one ARM client SKU.
Microsoft Windows 8 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64 Edition
Stephen Chapman of ZDNet, who first discovered the references to these Windows 8 SKUs also notes that while searching, he also found a document that quite nicely shows exactly which flavors of Windows 8 we will have (though not particular SKUs for each):
Also, a MSDN pages make the following references:
For Windows 8 Beta SKUs: The name of the product is used. For example, for Windows 8 Enterprise, the string "Windows 8 Enterprise" is used.
For Windows Server 8 Beta SKUs: the name of the product is used. For example, for Windows Server 8 Enterprise, the string "Windows Server 8 Enterprise" is used.
All Windows 8 systems targeted for client SKUs are required to support a graphics mode via UEFI GOP.
On Wednesday, HP CEO Meg Whitman, during a gathering of Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurs and executives said. "it expects that the company will release its first x86 processor-based PCs with Windows 8 installed sometime before the end of 2012."
Whitman, today admitted that HP's first attempt at a tablet device did not have "a happy ending." Adding, she confirmed that HP would release a Windows 8-based tablet designed for the business market. According to Whitman, the tablet would be created with stronger security features than the normal tablet, such as the iPad, that is made mostly for consumers.
"There is a big trend to BYOD to work; which is all well and good until there is a security breach. We are going to provide an alternative," Whitman said.