What are and how many Different versions of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system (OS) .
Microsoft released its latest Windows 8 operating system which supports desktops computers, tablets and Smartphone as well. But, do you know which are the four different versions of Windows 8 and how do they differ from each-other? If you are planning to buy a new computer, then now you will be having chance to choose one out of the four different Windows 8 versions.
Microsoft offers four versions as four different flavors of Windows 8. These are Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise. Of course, I will not include Windows Developers Preview in the main versions of Windows 8, as it was not a complete version but a working dummy of the final product. Below is how these four versions of Windows are different from one another.
This version of Windows has been designed for iPad and tablets, taking long-battery life in mind. Windows RT comes pre-installed on touch-enabled devices like touch screen tablets and laptops; so you can neither install nor buy it separately. Windows RT runs the Start Screen and applications, but has a limited desktop that does not run Windows programs except the ones downloaded from Windows Store. It comes with pre-installed Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications.
The OS has the Windows Store app pre-installed from where the users will be able to download various apps to their Windows RT supported devices. As Microsoft’s storefront, Windows Store app will be serving both free and paid apps.
Windows RT has a limited desktop that include Windows File Manager, the Control Panel and other Windows Utilities. To enjoy traditional programs on the Windows RT, we will have to wait them to be released in Windows RT supported versions, however, Windows Store serve a variety of apps which can be downloaded and enjoyed by the users.
Windows RT does support the full desktop, hence saves the power and serves the longest battery life out of the four versions of Windows 8.
Microsoft’s new Surface tablet will come with Windows RT installed, once released.
This is the only version of Windows 8 that is actually titled as ‘Windows 8’. Windows 8 is mainly aimed at home users to enjoy simply amazing features of Windows 8 which everything that is generally used by home users on a Windows running computer. It is more powerful than Windows RT and also serves a fully featured desktop and Start Screen. It supports the traditional programs and apps as previous versions of Windows did.
As it supports a full desktop, it requires more power than Windows RT. Thus, does not serves long lasting battery life as Windows RT.
It does not include pre-installed Microsoft Office programs; however, you can buy/download and install them separately by paying extra money later.
Windows 8 Pro
This version of Windows 8 aims at small business market and home users. It is for such users who want everything in a single version. It includes and supports everything that Windows 8 does plus advanced features such as Remote Desktop, data encryption, virtual hard drives, business management tools and a few other features.
Microsoft’s second version of Surface tablet comes with Windows 8 Pro.
Windows 8 Enterprise
This version of Windows 8 is aimed as large businesses and enterprises and sold only by license to large businesses. Windows 8 Enterprise is similar to Windows 8 Pro supporting all the features of Windows 8 Pro as well as with a few technical programs and business tools. It offers extra networking features to run large networks.
Microsoft is selling its Windows 8 Enterprise version’s license to businesses in bulk at discount.
DVD playback support for Windows 8
As DVD drives are not included in tablets and ultra-thin tablets, neither of Windows 8 versions support DVD playback nor do these include Media Center. Windows RT and Windows 8 users can use apps that offer DVD playback support. Owners of Windows 8 Pro are given a DVD option; they may upgrade to a Media Pack, which offers DVD playback and Media Center app as well. Windows Media Center has a TV-tuner card support and can play as well as record TV programs (shows) as well.