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.

Windows 8Edit

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)

Upgrade PathEdit

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.

Guide to choosing Windows 8 editions
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 .