Compare Windows 8 vs. Windows 8 Pro vs. Windows RT vs. Windows 8 Enterprise (Feature-by-Feature)

Windows 8 vs. Windows 8 Pro vs. Windows RT vs. Windows 8 Enterprise SKUs

Microsoft has revealed the names for each edition of the upcoming version of the famous operating system. To simplify and in an effort not to confuse people, the company has narrowed them down to three main editions: Windows 8, Windows Pro, Windows RT, and a special version called Windows 8 Enterprise.

To learn more about each edition, read  — Windows 8 editions official unveiled by Microsoft (Hint: Get the last one).

Even though there are three major editions of the OS, the question remains: Which is the difference among the three main Windows 8 editions? The answer in the features that users will be able to use with each edition. The table below breaks down all the versions of the operating system by features to help you understand what you’ll be getting on each edition:

Note: As you read on the table below, the Windows 8 Enterprise — only available for enterprise consumers with Software Assurance agreement — was not listed, but it has all the features of Windows 8 Pro, plus specific IT focus features such as custom security and account for mobility, advanced network management, Windows To Go, among others.
Windows 8 Feature NamesWindows 8Windows 8 ProWindows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home PremiumYesYesNo
Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, UltimateNoYesNo
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live TilesYesYesYes
Windows StoreYesYesYes
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)YesYesYes
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote)NoNoYes
Internet Explorer 10YesYesYes
Device encryptionNoNoYes
Connected standbyYesYesYes
Microsoft accountYesYesYes
Installation of x86/64 and desktop softwareYesYesNo
Updated Windows ExplorerYesYesYes
Windows DefenderYesYesYes
Smart screenYesYesYes
Windows UpdateYesYesYes
Enhanced Task ManagerYesYesYes
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs)YesYesYes
Better multiple monitor supportYesYesYes
Storage SpacesYesYesNo
Windows Media PlayerYesYesNo
Exchange ActiveSyncYesYesYes
File historyYesYesYes
Dynamic volume supportYesYesYes
ISO / VHD mountYesYesYes
Mobile broadband featuresYesYesYes
Picture passwordYesYesYes
Play ToYesYesYes
Remote Desktop (host)NoYesNo
Remote Desktop (client)YesYesYes
Offline FilesNoYesNo
Reset and refresh your PCYesYesYes
Touch and Thumb keyboardYesYesYes
Trusted bootYesYesYes
VPN clientYesYesYes
BitLocker and BitLocker To GoNoYesNo
Boot from VHDNoYesNo
Client Hyper-VNoYesNo
Domain JoinNoYesNo
Encrypting File SystemNoYesNo
Group PolicyNoYesNo
Remote Desktop (host)NoYesNo
Windows SmartScreenYesYesYes
Digital Media: Dolby Digital encoder, H.264 and AACYesYesYes
Family SafetyYesYesYes
File ExplorerYesYesYes
Push Button ResetYesYesYes
Maximum number of CPUs 122
Maximum RAM4GB (x86) and 16GB (x64)4GB (x86) and 64GB (x64)4GB
Windows To Go (Enterprise edition only)NoNoNo
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].