Microsoft might reduce the number of SKUs available for its Windows 8 platform, recent reports suggest.
Apparently, the Redmond-based software company has concluded that the ultimate edition of its previous Windows versions did not sale well enough to offer it for Windows 8
Previously, the company has been offering the Windows platform in four SKUs, including Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate.
The Enterprise SKU is available only for companies, but the rest of the versions were released for the general public.
’s Stephen Chapman has managed to grab a series of leaked documents coming from Hewlett-Packard, which mention only three of these SKUs.
When Windows 8 arrives on shelves, there will be a generic flavor available for users, along with a Professional version, and the Enterprise iteration.
According to Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group, cited by Computerworld
, Microsoft decided to kill off the Ultimate SKU of Windows due to the lack of demand it had seen for it before.
"There had been interest in Windows 7 Ultimate," he notes. However, sales have been too slow when compared to those of Home Premium and Professional versions.
The analyst also notes that, if there is going be an Ultimate flavor of Windows 8, Microsoft will make it available only as an OEM SKU.
The software giant is also expected to plan renaming the Home Premium flavor of Windows 8
. This SKU, along with the Professional edition of the platform, will be the only two Windows 8 iteration made available for purchase for the public.
The Enterprise SKU will be there as well, but available only for businesses, and only for volume-license purchases.
Microsoft has yet to unveil info on the matter. The company plans on launching the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 as soon as next week, and some more details on the number of SKUs it will have up for sale when the final version arrives might be unveiled at that time.