Have you read my earlier article on Windows 8 Upgrade path and Price comparison ? As for now, Windows 8 comes in 4 different flavors.  In this evaluation,  we try to compare Windows 8 versions with emphasis on the difference in features, infographics and  reviews from other sites.

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 RT

The list of disparity between the features are given below.

    1. Support for Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium in all the Windows 8 versions, except RT. Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate supported in Pro and Enterprise versions only.
    2. Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote supported only in RT version.
    3. Device encryption supported only in RT version.
    4. Installation of x86/64 on desktop supported in the Windows 8, Pro and Enterprise versions only.
    5. Storages Spaces and Windows Media Player are not in RT version.
    6. BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, Boot from VHD, Client Hyper-V, Domain Join, Encrypting File System, Group Policy, Remote desktop (host) supported in Pro and Enterprise editions only.
    7. Windows To Go, Direct Access, BranchCache, AppLocker, VDI Enhancements, New Windows 8 App Deployment supported in Enterprise edition only.

You can see the remaining features supported by different versions of Windows 8 in this infographic.

The color indicators differentiate the features supported in each version. Green color indicates that the particular feature supported in that version. Red color indicates that the feature is not supported in that particular version.

The basic version of Windows 8 is mainly projected for all 32-bit and 64-bit PC’s and laptops and mobile devices that are not running on the ARM architecture. This is the simple and best version for an average user, who likes to surf the web and play a game.

The Pro version is for the tech enthusiasts. The advanced features like encryption, virtual machines and Group Policy Editor. You can also include Windows Media center which will be an add-on.

Do you know that there is a 5th Windows 8 version? Ah, not really! It’s the Local Language version basically. In developing countries like India and China, Microsoft will release a low-budget version of different Windows 8 editions.

Windows 8 Enterprise is primarily for companies and enterprises. If you already have Windows 7 Enterprise, then this version considered as a viable option if you are keen on upgrading your IT infrastructure, .

Well, finally about RT ! This is really for the 2013 user. If you are a mobile freak having an ARM CPU you need Windows 8 RT. This version adds Microsoft new Office with touch. This is basically for tablets and smartphones running on ARM CPU and not for desktops.

This ends the comparison of different Windows 8 editions. Hope, you got an idea of which version to buy for your computer usage. Please let me know of any problems or variations you faced in the different Windows 8 versions.

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