Windows 8 editions officially unveiled by Microsoft (Hint: Get the last one)

Rearrange tile - Start Screen - Windows 8

Microsoft just unveiled that the official name for the upcoming version of Windows will be… wait for it… Windows 8. The company also detailed all the Windows 8 editions (or Windows SKUs) and their names.

The operating system be released with three main editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT. The everyday version (the home for the regular customer) will just be called Windows 8, long gone is “Starter” or “Home Premium”, now you won’t longer feel that you are missing out on something.

There will be a Windows 8 32-bit (x86) and a 64-bit (x64) version and they are set to ship with most of the features we’ve seen so far in the Previews, like the new Metro style environment, Internet Explorer 10 with the Metro style version, Xbox Companion, Music, Messaging, the new Windows Store, SkyDrive, and picture password. Windows 8 will also handle better multi-monitor set ups and more.

Moving to a more feature packed edition is Windows 8 Pro. This edition is target for businesses, developers and geeks, and it includes a number of features that businesses can take advantage of such as booting up a virtual hard drive, ability to connect to a Windows domain environment, and also encryption capabilities. In order to use Windows Media Center the home intended version of the OS will not cut it, you’ll need to step up to this Pro edition, which also is going to require a new media pack add-on that cannot be installed in the regular version.

The third and last main edition there is Windows RT (a.k.a Windows on ARM or WOA, you may also read it as WinRT) — Oh! And “RT” stands for runtime a Microsoft’s developer platform for Windows 8 that allows programmers to create apps once and run them on both PCs and ARM –, which is the official name for Windows 8 that runs on ARM’s hardware, you’ll commonly see this Windows 8 edition on mobile devices such as tablets — not in phones, remember that in that area you have the Windows Phone OS –. This is not going to be an version that anyone but OEMs will be able to buy, it will only come pre-installed on specific devices, which will also include a new version of Office 15 and not other desktop application will be able to be installed in Windows RT. 

And there is one more… for enterprises, Microsoft has a special edition: Windows 8 Enterprise edition, which will be the equivalent to Widows 7 Ultimate, this is going to include all the features that Windows 8 can offer, many of which are going to come in handy to IT professionals, like custom security and account for mobility, advanced network management and much more.

The last big thing is that Microsoft is going to offer a version of Windows 8 that will include local languages, for example, Chinese and other specific countries.

Official Windows 8 SKUs:

  • Windows 8: Home use and most common users.
  • Windows 8 Pro: Business, developers and geeks.
  • Windows RT: Only comes pre-installed in Windows tablets and you won’t be able to buy this version.
  • Windows 8 Enterprises: All features that the upcoming version of Windows has to offer — Special edition.


  • Media Pack: This is an add-on that can be installed in Windows 8 Pro and it will install Windows Media Center.
  • Windows 8 Local language: Windows specific language Chinese or other specific languages.

The software giant hasn’t release any kind of prices yet, but the company has said in many occasions that any PC running Windows 7 will be able to run Windows 8 or 8 Pro.

Do you want to know more about Windows 8? Check our extensive coverage! Haven’t you yet tried Windows 8? Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview and see what’s new. But don’t use your primary PC, you’ll be better of using a virtual machine. Don’t know how? Don’t worry we’ve got you cover: How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on VirtualBox [Virtual Machine] — How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a virtual machine [VMware Workstation].

Now we are seeing that the upcoming version of Windows is finally taking shape. Do you think that this time around Microsoft divided the Windows 8 editions correctly? Are you OK with Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows RT, and Windows 8 Enterprise names? Tell us in the comments below.

Source Blogging Windows

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].