The much awaited Windows 8 editions details have finally been announced. New and prospective Windows customers will be delighted to know that Microsoft has decided to do away with the different types of editions available with earlier versions, you know the Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate editions. Instead there are now just two versions for users to upgrade to – Windows 8 and Windows Pro and one that comes pre-installed on PCs and tablets. So here’s the breakdown of the Windows 8 editions.
Windows 8 Editions Unpacked
- Windows 8
- Windows 8 Pro
- Windows RT
PCs and tablets that run on both 32 and 64 bit operating system will have to choose between two editions: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Most users can simply settle for the Windows 8 edition which promises to allow users to use both the touch screen as well as a physical keyboard and mouse and switch between the two anytime. There’s also access to the Windows Store and options to share photos, contacts, links and other stuff. Windows 8 will also feature an updated Windows Explorer, Task manager, among other features.
Windows 8 Pro
This edition is focussed towards business users who look for advanced features such as encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center is being made an add-on pack in Windows 8 Pro.
Windows RT (RunTime) is the newest entrant to the Windows family. This is the edition that will come pre installed on tablets and PCs running on ARM processors. This edition will feature desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote that are touch optimized.
This table says it all!
|Feature||Windows 8||Windows 8 Pro||Windows RT|
|Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium Upgrade||Yes||Yes||Not Applicable|
|Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate Upgrade||No||Yes||Not Applicable|
|Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Internet Explorer 10||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Updated Windows Explorer||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Enhanced Task Manager||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple monitor support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ISO / VHD mount||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile broadband features||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Desktop (client)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Reset and refresh your PC||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Touch and Thumb keyboard||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Media Player||Yes||Yes||No|
|Installation of x86/64 and desktop software||Yes||Yes||No|
|Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote||No||No||Yes|
|BitLocker and BitLocker To Go||No||Yes||No|
|Boot from VHD||No||Yes||No|
|Encrypting File System||No||Yes||No|
|Remote Desktop (host)||No||Yes||No|
Source: The Windows Blog
Windows 8 RT has unfortunately generated a lot of negative reviews as far as its name is concerned. Reminds me of Alicia Silverstone calling her new born Bear Blu!
Like it or not, these editions are here to stay, and it still does not make the upgrade process any easier as users are still going to be having tons of questions figuring it all out. Only this time, the choice of editions is limited. So until then, chew on this information and keep your eyes opened for more updates and info on Windows 8.