Difference between Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro & Windows 8 RT

Microsoft has announced the different versions of Windows 8 SKUs. It has also confirmed that Windows 8 will be the official name of the new operating system.

Many will be happy to see that Microsoft has reduced the number of offerings to just three: Windows  8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT. Apart from this, it will also offers SKUs for Enterprise and Emerging Markets.

For home users, Windows 8 would be the right choice, as it will offer all the features that a normal Windows home user may need. Apart from all this, Windows 8 Edition  will also offer some features which were earlier offered only in the Ultimate/Enterprise editions of Windows.

Windows 8 Pro edition, will offer a bit more. This edition is meant for tech enthusiasts and  professionals and offers 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. If you are an enthusiast or you want to use your PC in a business environment, you will want Windows 8 Pro.

A local language-only edition of Windows 8 will be offered for China and a select set of other emerging markets.

Microsoft has also introduced Windows 8 RT, the newest member of the Windows family – also known as Windows on ARM or WOA. 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.

Microsoft will also offer an edition of Windows 8 specifically for those enterprise customers with Software Assurance agreements. Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and more.

Difference between Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro & Windows 8 RT

This chart sourced from Microsoft will show you the diffecence in each of the editions.

Feature nameWindows 8Windows 8 ProWindows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium



Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimatex
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tilesxxx
Windows Storexxx
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)xxx
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)x
Internet Explorer 10xxx
Device encryptionx
Connected standbyxxx
Microsoft accountxxx
Installation of x86/64 and desktop softwarexx
Updated Windows Explorerxxx
Windows Defenderxxx
Windows Updatexxx
Enhanced Task Managerxxx
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs)xxx
Better multiple monitor supportxxx
Storage Spacesxx
Windows Media Player xx
Exchange ActiveSync xxx
File historyxxx
ISO / VHD mount xxx
Mobile broadband featuresxxx
Picture passwordxxx
Play Toxxx
Remote Desktop (client)xxx
Reset and refresh your PC xxx
Touch and Thumb keyboardxxx
Trusted bootxxx
VPN clientxxx
BitLocker and BitLocker To Gox
Boot from VHDx
Client Hyper-Vx
Domain Join x
Encrypting File Systemx
Group Policyx
Remote Desktop (host)x

Good to see that Microsoft  simplified the offerings of Windows SKUs to just 3!

Thanks Vasudev.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • jimsing59

    I have been using Windows 8 and watch live TV via Windows Media Center. Now, I hear that it will be gone in the standard version. The only problem is that I can’t get other free media centers that play live TV to work with Windows 8, yet. The only solution for me is to run the beta until it expires or downgrade back to Windows 7 and hope for new features in Service Pack 2 and wait for a Windows 9 public beta. Although, I would upgrade to Windows 8 if I bought a Windows phone or Windows tablet. Going back to Windows 7 will be a relief as Windows 8 UI will work you.

  • indian786wedding

    Excellent post. It will be useful to everyone who will be able to use this information, including myself. Keep up the good work.

  • Kornmm30

    windows 8 pro will have it

  • JuanitaC

    I am using ChrisTV app just fine. settings sometimes go wonky but now using release ver of windows 8 I have 8400 – Not missing a thing in windows 8 except the crashes so far :-*

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