Microsoft announces Windows 8 Editions

Windows Team Blog has shared information on Windows 8 editions that will be available when released to market.

Windows 8 editions has been designed to make it easier for customers to know what edition will work best for them when they purchase a new Windows 8 PC or upgrade their existing PC.

First, Windows 8 is the official product name for the next x86/64 editions of Windows.

Windows 8 Editions

Windows 8 will come in three editions. For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32 and 64 bit), there are two editions: Windows 8and Windows 8 Pro. For China and a small set of select emerging markets, we will offer a local language-only edition of Windows 8.

For many end-users and consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice. It will include all the features above plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows.

Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. It includes all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.

Windows RT is the newest edition of Windows– also known as Windows on ARM or WOA. This single edition will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with impressive battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

These three will be the major editions that will be going to available in the market for general users. But like the previous version of Windows, there is also an edition of Windows 8 specifically for those enterprise customers with Software Assurance agreements. Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.

Windows 8 Editions comparing chart:

Feature name Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro Windows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium x x
Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate x
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles x x x
Windows Store x x x
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video) x x x
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) x
Internet Explorer 10 x x x
Device encryption x
Connected standby x x x
Microsoft account x x x
Desktop x x x
Installation of x86/64 and desktop software x x
Updated Windows Explorer x x x
Windows Defender x x x
SmartScreen x x x
Windows Update x x x
Enhanced Task Manager x x x
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs) x x x
Better multiple monitor support x x x
Storage Spaces x x
Windows Media Player x x
Exchange ActiveSync x x x
File history x x x
ISO / VHD mount x x x
Mobile broadband features x x x
Picture password x x x
Play To x x x
Remote Desktop (client) x x x
Reset and refresh your PC x x x
Snap x x x
Touch and Thumb keyboard x x x
Trusted boot x x x
VPN client x x x
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go x
Boot from VHD x
Client Hyper-V x
Domain Join x
Encrypting File System x
Group Policy x
Remote Desktop (host) x

Windows Team blog will share details on pricing of Windows 8 editions and limited-time programs and promotions that we will make available to customers in coming months.

You can use a touch screen or a keyboard and mouse enabled PC to enjoy the beauty of Windows 8. It’s beautiful, fast, and fluid design is perfect for a wide range of hardware. And you’ll love browsing through the Windows Store and downloading all the apps you want. And those apps can work together too so you can share photos, maps, contacts, links and whatever else you want faster and easier. To experience Windows 8 now, download Windows 8 Consumer Preview and install it on your PC.

About Nitin Agarwal

Nitin Agarwal is a Spritual Soul from India. He is a Windows and Windows Phone Expert and Blogger by birth. He has been awarded as Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for three times by Microsoft in Windows Expert category. People often calls him a Geek, techie, gadget freak and A Crazy Heart because of his passion towards doing things differently. Immensly inspired from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.
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