So, you want to buy or upgrade to Windows 8? But which version of the operating system? Did you know that there are four different version or editions of Windows 8? Yes, there are 4 editions of the new operating system. They are: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise and Windows RT. Certain important differences makes them unique or different from each other. Why different editions? And what the differences between those? Read on to find out.
Four editions of Windows 8:
- Windows 8 Pro: The all featured-packed edition of Windows 8 operating system. It features Start Screen, Windows Store, Internet Explorer 10, Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, BitLocker, Virtual Hard Disk Booting, Remote Desktop Connection, Domain join, and more. It can run both third-party desktop apps and Windows Store apps. Moreover, Windows Media Center will only be available for Windows 8 Pro (as an additional package).
- Windows 8: The typical or basic Windows 8 version. Currently it comes preinstalled on some new PCs, laptops or tablets. It has almost all core features of the new operating system. For example: Start Screen, Windows Store, Internet Explorer 10 and more. But some features like data protection, Windows Media Center, Microsoft Office apps, Domain join and Remote Desktop Connection are not available in Windows 8.
- Windows RT: The special touch-optimized edition for mobile PCs and tablets. It comes with selected tablets and PCs powered by ARM processor. Features include Windows Store, Windows Defender, Internet Explorer 10, Windows Firewall, BitLocker technology, Windows Update etc. It also comes with Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview. Windows RT runs only included applications and apps downloaded from the Windows Store. Built-in apps include Mail, People, Messaging, SkyDrive, Photos, Music, Video and more. Features like HomeGroup creation, Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, Remote Desktop, Domain join are not available in Windows RT.
- Windows 8 Enterprise: The business or enterprise edition of Windows 8. This version comes with all the features of Windows 8, minus the ability to add Windows Media Center package. But it also has some unique features such as Windows To Go, VDI Enhancements, DirectAcces, AppLocker, BranchCache and Windows 8 App Deployment to Domain joined devices. Windows 8 Enterprise is offered to Software Assurance customers and subscribers of MSDN or TechNet Professional. A 90 day evaluation version is being offered to IT professionals via TechNet Professional Evaluation Center.
So, which one is right for you? The answer depends on what you do and how you use your computer. Windows 8 is enough for casual PC users, who don’t bother much about advanced features like encryption, data protection, virtualization and domain connectivity. On the other hand, advanced users like enthusiasts and tech professionals should go for Windows 8 Pro. It will let them experience all the features and power of the new operating system. And, if you want to try Windows on the go, buy a device supporting Windows RT. Windows 8 Enterprise is for businesses.
- Compare Windows Editions (from http://windows.microsoft.com)