A new GamesBeat event is around the corner! Learn more about what comes next.
Microsoft has finally shed some light on the different versions of Windows 8 we’ll see upon release, and thankfully, things are much simpler than past versions.
This time around, there are only three flavors Microsoft is pushing heavily: Windows 8, the version geared towards most consumers; Windows 8 Pro, for enterprise and enthusiast users; and Windows RT, which is the new name for Windows on low-power ARM processors (previously called WOA).
And fret not, IT workers. Microsoft says another version of the OS, Windows 8 Enterprise, will be available to organizations with Software Assurance agreements. It’s basically an offshoot of Windows 8 Pro, since it contains all of the features of that version plus an increased IT-management feature.
Notably, Windows RT will only be available pre-installed on ARM-powered devices like tablets and ultraportable laptops, so you’ll only have to worry about the other two versions of Windows 8 when deciding to upgrade your current computer. (For Media Center fans, Microsoft says it will be available as an “economical add-on pack” for Windows 8 Pro.)
The standard version of Windows 8 will include all of the great features we’ve already seen in the OS, including the new tablet-friendly Metro interface, updated Windows Explorer, and support for new Metro apps. Windows 8 Pro will add encryption, virtualization, PC management, and domain connection features, according Windows Communication Manager Brandon LeBlanc.
As we’ve covered previously, Windows RT will include touch-optimized Office apps. Explaining the Windows RT name, LeBlanc said the focus of the OS is on the new Windows runtime, which “forms the foundation of a new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps of all kinds.”
Below, check out a comparison chart between the three versions of Windows 8.
|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|
|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|
|Installation of x86/64 and desktop software||x||x|
|Updated Windows Explorer||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|
|Windows Media Player||x||x|
|ISO / VHD mount||x||x||x|
|Mobile broadband features||x||x||x|
|Remote Desktop (client)||x||x||x|
|Reset and refresh your PC||x||x||x|
|Touch and Thumb keyboard||x||x||x|
|BitLocker and BitLocker To Go||x|
|Boot from VHD||x|
|Encrypting File System||x|
|Remote Desktop (host)||x|
Photo via Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
VentureBeatVentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
- up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
- our newsletters
- gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
- networking features, and more