Microsoft to Roll Out Three Windows 8 Editions
Article by George Norman
On 25 Apr 2012
Or to phrase it differently than the title, Microsoft has recently presented the three Windows 8 editions it will market once the operating system reaches GA (General Availability) status. The Redmond-based software giant prides itself on the fact that with Windows 8 it reimagined the Windows operating system – the company also prides itself on the fact that it also reimagined the Windows 8 editions that will be released to the public.

The three editions in question are as follows: Windows 8, meant for regular or home users, Windows 8 Pro, meant to be used in a business environment by professionals, and Windows RT, previously known as Windows on ARM or WOA for short.


The first edition, Windows 8 is meant to be used by home and regular users on PCs or tablets powered by 32 or 64-bit processors. These editions will feature an updated Windows Explorer and Task Manager, better multi-monitor support, the option to easily switch languages (that’s something that only Windows Enterprise or Ultimate had to offer), a beautiful and fluid design, and apps available in a new Windows Store.

The second edition, Windows 8 Pro is meant to business or technical professionals as well as tech enthusiasts. Just like the Windows 8 edition, Windows 8 Pro works on PCs or tablets powered by 32 or 64-bit processors. As it is meant to pros, this edition has these extra features: encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows 8 Pro users who want to can get Windows Media Center as an economical “media pack” add-on.

The third edition, Windows RT, is the newest addition to the Windows family. This edition will not be available as a standalone product, it will only be available as a pre-installed OS on PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors. This edition will come with touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Microsoft provided a chart that displays the main differences between Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT. You can check it out below.

Please note that there will be an Windows 8 Enterprise edition for enterprise customers with Software Assurance Agreements. This edition provides all the features of Windows 8 Pro and adds features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more into the mix.

And here’s something that comes as no surprise to anyone: Microsoft has confirmed that the official name of Windows 8 is indeed Windows 8.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows 8
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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