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Difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro

As some of you may know, Windows 8 comes in four editions: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Enterprise, and Windows 8 RT. While Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise are for mainstream PCs, the other edition of Windows 8 RT is designed for tablets that are powered by ARM chips.

Computer users planning to install Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop should choose an edition of just two: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

If you plan to use your PC at home, you probably want the Windows 8 edition. It is the base edition of Windows 8 (as opposed to the Pro) but includes all the features found in the Windows 8 Pro edition except BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, Group Policy, Domain Join, Hyper-V Client, Encrypted File System, and Remote Desktop (Host).

So, if you are a home user and don’t need the advanced features mentioned above, Windows 8 is the ideal edition for you. The only problem is that none of the Windows 8 editions include the Windows Media Center program by default, and only Windows 8 Pro Edition users will be able to purchase and install the Media Center plug-in. That is, if you can’t live without Windows Media Center, you need the Pro edition to purchase and install the Media Center plug-in. Users of the Windows 8 edition can, of course, install third-party media center programs like XBMC.

The other edition, Windows 8 Pro, is designed for tech enthusiasts and professional / business users. This edition includes all Windows 8 features plus some advanced features like Hyper-V Client, Group Policy, and Domain Join.

Best of all, users running any edition of Windows 7 (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate) can upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro without losing files, installed programs, and Windows settings. . Although upgrading from XP and Vista is also supported, XP and Vista users will not be able to carry installed programs with them. You can refer to our upgrade guide from XP, Vista, and Windows 7 to Windows 8 for more details on upgrade options.

Take a look at the official table describing the main differences:

In simple terms, choose Windows 8 edition if you are upgrading from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic or Home Premium Edition and choose Windows 8 Pro if you are coming from Professional or Ultimate edition.