Yesterday Microsoft announced the number of 'Windows 8' editions and its related features. There will be 4 different editions of Windows 8 (Windows 7 has 6 editions). Next to that Microsoft also confirmed 'Windows 8' as the official name for the next version of Windows.
The first one is 'Windows 8', this edition is similar to Windows 7 Home Premium and the best choice for the home user. New in this edition compared with Windows 7 Home Premium is the ability to change the interface language after the installation (not once but every time you want), in Windows 7 this feature is only available in the Enterprise and Ultimate editions. Please note that the 'Media Center' feature is not available (this is optional to Windows 8 Pro, read below).
Windows 8 Pro
Windows 8 Pro is the business edition of Windows 8 with support for Active Directory domain services, BitLocker and other features which are now available in Windows 7 Professional. Next to the standard features you'll have the ability to buy the optional 'Media Center'-package.
Windows 8 Enterprise
This edition will offer the same as Windows 8 Pro with some extra features like multiple deployment options, more security features, virtualization and computer management.
Windows 8 RT
This is an complete new version of Windows 8 to run on ARM-based devices (Phones and Tablets). This edition will only be available pre-installed. The Windows 8 RT edition will include modified versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote optimized for touchscreens.
See the chart below for an overview of all features by edition.
|Feature name||Windows 8||Windows 8 Pro||Windows RT|
|Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium||
|Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate||x|
|Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles||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|
|Installation of x86/64 and desktop software||x||x|
|Updated Windows Explorer||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|
|Windows Media Player||x||x|
|ISO / VHD mount||x||x||x|
|Mobile broadband features||x||x||x|
|Remote Desktop (client)||x||x||x|
|Reset and refresh your PC||x||x||x|
|Touch and Thumb keyboard||x||x||x|
|BitLocker and BitLocker To Go||x|
|Boot from VHD||x|
|Encrypting File System||x|
|Remote Desktop (host)||x|