Microsoft recently announced its latest and much awaited Operating System Windows 8.The new Operating System is a complete overhaul of Windows since DOS and has many never seen before features. With Windows 8 being available in three different versions it would be good if you already knew whats in the package with each Windows 8 version.
This guide will discuss the main features and differences between different Windows 8 versions so that you can select the one that meets you needs.
Microsoft released three Windows 8 versions
- Windows 8 (for x86, Intel/AMD)
- Windows 8 Pro (for x86, Intel/AMD)
- Windows RT (for ARM)
- Windows 8 Enterprises
Windows 8 simply is the most basic version of Windows 8 targeted at Home users.It lacks features like joining a domain , Bit-locker Encryption , login to your PC from a remote location and Windows-To-Go.However other features like creating a ‘pool’ of hard drives is available. And perhaps one of the best features to switch the language of interface to your choice of language without the need to re-install the OS is also available.However Media Center won’t be available with this version.
Windows 8 Pro
This is perhaps the version you must go for as it has every feature except for those meant for enterprise users.It includes everything found in 8 plus features like Bit-Locker encryption, PC virtualization, domain connectivity and PC management.It is more targeted at Enthusiasts & Professionals. Windows Media Center functionality will be available only for Windows 8 Pro as a paid “add-on”. You can upgraded to Windows 8 PRO from any device running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, and Ultimate.
Windows RT is perhaps the most confusing version and there are many details you must pay attention to this version.First you must remember that Windows RT is meant only for ARM based devices.ARM is CPU architecture just like x86 is. Second these would only come pre-installed on devices and would not be available in retail until unless some hacker posts a download link to it. So you won’t be able to install it on your own. Moreover RT also includes device encryption and Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote).
Read a complete guide about Windows RT
Windows 8 Enterprise
Windows 8 Enterprise provides all the features in Windows 8 Pro (except the ability to install the Windows Media Center add-on), with additional features to assist with IT organization.It will be sold only by license to large businesses
If you haven’t yet planned to Upgrade to Windows 8 read our guide to Why you must upgrade to Windows 8. And if you have already planned to upgrade then read on Windows 8 system Requirements.