Microsoft recently launched its much-awaited latest operating system, Windows 8. As reported, it takes a significant departure from previous versions such as Windows 7 or Windows XP. The new platform requires a steeper learning curve; it also has a bunch of new features including a dramatic change in UI. Plus, Microsoft has embarked on a dramatic re-branding of Windows 8 editions (goodbye old Home Premium, Ultimate, etc.) to condense the different versions suitable for different types of consumers.
Take a look at these four versions of Windows 8 and find out which one is ideal for you.
Windows 8 is the “vanilla” version or the most basic edition of the new Windows OS ideal for x86 Intel and AMD computers. This version is targeted towards home users and provides basic Windows 8 features like the Start screen, live tiles, Windows Store, Internet Explorer 10, and more. It is for those who only use their computer for basic web browsing, email checking, and using Microsoft Office. Since you can switch the keyboard and the entire interface into the language you need, it is also ideal for basic users who speak more than one language or travel in different countries. Additionally, you can hook it up to another Windows 8 system using Remote Desktop or a VPN.
SEE ALSO: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Windows 8.
Windows 8 Pro
This edition is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users, since it includes all the important features of Microsoft’s new flagship OS. If you do a lot on your computer aside from the basic web and email browsing like watching movies and TV shows, then this one is for you. Take note though that Windows Media Center functionality is offered as a separate software package or add-in that will require you to pay extra. For the hardcore Windows users who dabble in geekery of some kind, there are other extras you can savor in this version like the ability to boot from a virtual hard drive (VHD), join a Windows domain, encrypt entire drives through BitLocker, and create Group Policies, among others.
Windows 8 Enterprise
If your company is going to issue a do-everything laptop for you, you’ll probably end up with Windows 8 Enterprise. This edition is only available to businesses that sign multi-computer deals with Microsoft for volume licensing. Essentially, it is identical to the full retail version, Windows 8 Pro, but it is said to have more business features like AppLocker, Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache, and RemoteFX virtualization. It is very ideal for businesses that need additional features for IT assistance and administration.
Windows RT is a special version available as a pre-installed OS meant only for ARM-based Windows devices such as tablet PCs. You can buy it in the open market as you would the other versions. It is designed to run apps downloaded and distributed via the Windows Store, and it won’t run usual x86 Windows programs or other legacy apps. Meaning, if you buy a Microsoft Surface (a Windows RT-powered tablet), you can’t download and launch the RingCentral call controller, browse using Firefox, or play movies using VLC Player on it. Similarly, machines that run RT can’t run Windows 8, since the computing power of these machines are fairly limited and running Windows 8 would require more resources that would bug the system down.
SEE ALSO: 8 Key Differences between Windows 8 and Windows RT.
So after weighing down your four options, which Windows 8 edition do you think best suits you?
What people are saying
Still did not update my Windows yet. For personal use, better to go for the basic version. The only reason I am not upgrading now is the fear of some games not working. Has anyone faced such issues yet?
Yeah some (very few) old games are not working on Windows 8. Download Windows upgrade assistant and it’ll tell you which installed games are compatible with Windows 8.
Well I can ignore the old ones, Not a problem about that. Just not sure if the latest ones such as Black Ops II, ACIII and others will work.
Use the software I suggested, it’ll let you know which installed games will work in Windows 8.
I think the Windows 8 Prop suits my needs perfectly. But for now, I will stick with my Windows 7 copy as there’s too much bold changes in Windows 8. :)
Thanks Henry for explaining the difference between these Windows 8 flavours.
It’s up to you! you can upgrade your OS :)
Now using windows 8 pro version and I am happy with this. It has some great features like online app store. There are a huge collection of free games and apps that we never used before.
Nice to hear that you’re happy with Windows 8 Pro version :)
Windows Pro is the best one out there till now and I think it has the most potential of being the most sold Windows 8 edition ever!
Currently I still use the old version of windows. I hear in the short time will issue windows 9. So I postpone to purchase windows 8 and waiting for the last version
I love Windows 8, It doesn’t offer much features, but it is tagged at a low price, packed with some great features
Windows 8 is the best operating system so far. Its security features are really amazing.
Wow, nice to got information about Windows 8 Pro version here, i was found your blog with i was search in google about win 8 pro. Thanks for sharing
Thanks for this post.You have explained the different versions of windows 8 beautifully .I am planning to upgrade to pro.
I’m still getting used to the Windows 8 Interface. It’s quite a big departure from previous versions. I do like the touch screen capability when cramped in a plane instead of using a laptop!
Thank you for this post .This clearly explains the advantages of Windows 8 over older version.
Thanks Henry! for explaining about the various versions of Windows 8..I would like to use Windows 8 PRO.:)
i like Windows 8 Pro This edition is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users, since it includes all the important features of Microsoft’s new flagship OS.
I have RT device and want to change the OS to windows 7 is there any solution?