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 name Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro Windows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium



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

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 is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. 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.

  2. indian786wedding

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

  3. Kornmm30

    windows 8 pro will have it

  4. 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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