What Will Be the Different Windows 8 Versions for Consumers


The wait for

Windows 8

is going to end very soon. The Windows team recently announced the versions in which Windows 8 will be available.

Though the post reveals three versions, I sense some ambiguity in it.

This because, Brandon LeBlanc has named them as Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Now, where is the third version? Windows RT is all about ARM devices, doesn’t have an 8 in it and won’t be available as an independent pack.

This single 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”, is what the post says.

So, people like you and me will actually have two products to choose from. Unlike Windows 7 they have trimmed down the choices for users to select from.. good or bad? Nevertheless, it features user flexibility to switch between touch screen or a keyboard and mouse which connotes that it would support a wide range of devices.

Another thing to take note is that you will not be able to upgrade from Windows XP or Windows Vista. You may, however, upgrade Windows 7 (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and/or Ultimate) to Windows Pro. Others will need to purchase a fresh pack.

Windows 8 Explorer

Going by the standards, Windows 8 is aimed for general consumers and Windows 8 Pro for businesses. “Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies”, added Blanc. However, I would recommend you to take a personal stand based on your requirements.

Over the basics of Windows 8, Pro will support features like:-

  • Encryption
  • Virtualization
  • Domain Connectivity
  • Group Policy and
  • Remote Desktop (host)

MS Office hasn’t yet been integrated (though Windows RT has it) while all variants will be allowed to download apps from Windows Store. Besides, “Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro”, described Microsoft. To learn about the details of Windows 8 Pro features, check this article at ZDNet by Ed Bott. (Image Credit: ZDNet)

Group Policy E1334897072272

Most of us have already heard and read about the new Windows Explorer, the Metro Interface, better Task Manager and simplified multi-monitor support. To add, Windows 8 presents the ability to switch languages like it was on Enterprise/Ultimate earlier. But then, it wasn’t pleasant to read, “For China and a small set of select emerging markets, we will offer a local language-only edition of Windows 8”.

Let us have a look at what the comparison table from Windows Blog tells.

Comparision Table


I think overall it’s good that Microsoft decided to take the clutter out of Windows version names and simplified it to the point that an average consumer understands what he should or can buy, and what he shouldn’t.

Some might say that this is an another act of copying Apple, because Apple has always had only 2 versions of its OS X operating systems – one for the consumer and one for businesses. But then, no harm in copying the good practices of your competitors, right?

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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