Microsoft Corp. this week announced four editions of Windows 8 to be sold in the consumer, enterprise, and business retail levels.

For consumers, Windows 8 will be sold in Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro SKUs.

The Windows 8 SKU will include an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, and better multi-monitor support.

The Windows 8 Pro SKU will include all features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. A Windows Media Center add-on pack will be available for the Pro SKU.

Finally, Windows 8 RT will be sold to manufacture businesses as a pre-installed operating system for ARM-based PCs and tablets. RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Microsoft in late Feb. released the Window 8 Consumer Preview.

Windows 8 will be released in 2012 for desktops, notebooks, and tablets.

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