4 Editions of Microsoft Windows 8

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.

Windows 8

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
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

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