Finally Microsoft has announced that Windows 8 will be the official name for its upcoming OS, Windows 8 will comes with lots of new features like Windows Store, Metro Tile interface, re-designed Windows Explorer, Task Manager,support for Tablet pc and so on.

Windows 8 Editions

If you take a look on the Windows History then you will find that Microsoft always release so many version of its OS, like Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate.

It makes users confuse to choose the right kind of edition for them, now Microsoft has decided to release just 3 editions of Windows 7 :-

  • Windows 8,
  • Windows 8 Pro, and
  • Windows 8 RT

Windows 8

According to Microsoft Windows 8 will be the right choice for consumers, it will be basic edition, It will include all the features currently available in Windows 8 Consumer Preview and 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.

If you had Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium then you will be able to upgrade to it.

Windows 8 Pro

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. Windows 7  Professional, and Ultimate user will be able to upgrade to it.

Windows 8 RT

This 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. For new apps, the focus for Windows RT is development on the new Windows runtime, or WinRT.

Here is a quick comparison of Windows 8 Editions with their features :-

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