Recent announcement by Microsoft indicates that Windows 8 will come in 3 editions:
- Windows 8
- Windows 8 Pro
- Windows 8 RT
Windows Media Centre is available as add "add-on"; no details have been released at the moment. Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will be released in 32bit and 64bit flavours.
The Windows 8 edition is suitable for most home users. This edition contains all the functionalities of Windows 7 Home Premium in addition to the ability toswitch languages on the fly , something available only in the Enterprise/Ultimate edition of earlier Windows releases.
Windows 8 ProEdit
Windows 8 Pro is the natural successor to the banana Machines used in a corporate environment should run Windows 8 Pro. Additional functionalities in Windows 8 Pro not found in the Windows 8 edition:
- Bitlocker and Bitlocker To Go
- Boot from VHD
- Client Hyper-V
- Domain Join
- Encrypted File System
- Group Policy
- Remote Desktop (host)
Existing users of Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic / Home Premium can choose to upgrade to either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, whereas WIndows 7 Professional / Ultimate can only upgrade to Windows 8 Pro.
Here is a quick guide of choosing the most suitable edition.
|Use Cases||Windows 8||Windows 8 Pro||Windows 8 RT|
|Runs on ARM hardware||X|
|Upgrade from Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic / Home Premium||X|
|Upgrade from Windows 7 Professional / Ultimate||X|
|Running as Media Centre||X (with add-on)|
|Home / Casual Use||X|
|Operating in corporate environment||X|
|Used in virtualized environment||X|
|Built-in encryption functionality||X|
Windows 8 is available for preview and not on the market, read more about the different editions of Windows 8 from the Windows Team's Blog .