Microsoft has officially announced that there will primarily be three editions of Windows 8: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT. While Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are designed for x86 and x64 processors, Windows 8 RT will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors.
In addition to the above mentioned three editions, there will be an exclusive edition for the corporate world. Windows 8 Enterprise edition will include all features available in Windows 8 Pro edition plus some additional features for the IT organization. According to the official Windows team blog, a local language-only edition will be available for China and a small set of select emerging markets.
As we mentioned already, Windows 8 RT is exclusive for Windows running on ARM processors and can’t be installed on x86 and x64 processors. Storage Spaces, Windows Media Player, Remote Desktop (host), Group Policy, Encrypting File System, Domain Join, Client Hyper-V, Boot from VHD, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go features will not be available in Windows 8 RT edition.
But the best thing is that you won’t need to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office for your Windows 8 RT edition as Microsoft has decided to include Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) in Windows RT edition.
So, if you are a desktop, notebook, netbook, or ultrabook user, you will have only two editions to choose from. To get all features of Windows 8, you need to go for Windows 8 Pro edition.
To know more about the differences between all three editions of Windows 8, check out the given below chart.
As you can see in the above comparison chart, one can’t upgrade from Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate edition to Windows 8 edition. That is, one can upgrade Professional or Ultimate editions of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro edition only. The base edition of Windows 8 won’t include Drive Encryption, Group Policy, Remote Desktop (host), Domain Join, Client Hyper-V, Boot from VHD, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, Encrypting File System features.