NT Workstation may make a return with new high-end desktop Windows SKU

Enlarge / Back in the olden days, the “workstation” appellation truly meant something, with both Windows and Unix workstations (such as this SGI Indigo 2) using exotic hardware in fabulous colors. One only hopes that the new generation of Windows workstations can live up to the high standards by these 90s-era relics. (credit: Kai Wegner)

People have been poring over the bad Windows builds that Microsoft accidentally distributed to members of the Windows Insider program last week, and they’ve found signs that Microsoft is planning to release yet more variations of Windows 10.

Each Insider build contains a file enumerating all the different SKUs and their respective product keys. The build that was released last week included keys for three new variants: a version of Windows Server 2016 named “ServerRdsh” and two variants of “Windows 10 Pro for Advanced PCs” (one a standard variant, one an “N” variant that omits certain minor features to appease the EU).

It’s not immediately clear what “ServerRdsh” means, so the contents of the Server 2016 release are uncertain, but there’s a clearer picture of what’s in the Windows 10 version thanks to some leaked slides. The slides use a different (temporary) name—Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs—bringing to mind the very earliest days of Windows NT where the desktop version was branded “Workstation” to indicate that it was for big, powerful desktop PCs, unlike its low-end Windows 95 sibling. Whether it’s for “Workstation” PCs or “Advanced” PCs, the contents appear to be the same: it’s a version of Windows 10 designed for high-end, performance systems used for compute- and graphics-intensive workloads.

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