Windows 8, the latest OS from Microsoft is expected to hit stores some time in October this year. Microsoft has already released the beta version or the Consumer Preview. Meanwhile the official Windows blog has published the details of the versions in Windows 8. Unlike Window 7 which had starter, home premium, Professional and Ultimate edition, Windows 8 will come only in two flavours- Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.
For many consumers, Windows 8 will be the right choice. It will include all the features plus an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly. Windows 8 Pro is designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain 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.
One thing is clear from these two versions, Microsoft has made the versions based on the grouping consumers and business. There will also be a version Windows RT, the newest member of the Windows family – also known as Windows on ARM or WOA. This 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. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Here is the comparison of all the versions;
|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|
Pricing details are not available as of now. We will share more details about release dates and prices when we have more information on the same.