Difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro

Key Difference: Windows 8 is known as the ‘core’ version and is the basic version available for the software. Windows 8 is aimed at all the home users and is also available through OEMs on the latest laptops and PCs by the company. Windows 8 offers many of the features that were available on the Windows 7 professional edition. Windows 8 Pro is similar to the Windows 7 Professional and is designed for enthusiasts and business users. It offers all off the features of the Windows 8 along with extra features for small business owners.

Windows 8 is the latest operating system by Microsoft and was launched in October 2012. The company has revamped the look of the start menu and eliminated the menu bar and in place has introduced Live Tiles similar to the ones that have been launched on the Windows Mobile phones. The company has been constantly following this trend of launching various different versions to allow people to pay only for what they need. However, unlike the six versions of its previous operating system; the company has limited the editions to four: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise and Windows 8 RT.

Windows 8 is known as the ‘core’ version and is the basic version available for the software. Windows 8 is aimed at all the home users and is also available through OEMs on the latest laptops and PCs by the company. Windows 8 offers all the features that were available on the Windows 7 professional edition. Features include the new Smart screen, live tiles format, touch capability, built in apps (Mail, Calendar, Messaging, Photos, and SkyDrive), syncing capabilities using cloud network, Internet Explorer 10, Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, Windows Update. It also allows select business features such as ability to join a domain, encrypting the system’s disk using BitLocker, ability to log in PC remotely, Remote Desktop, VPN, ability to combine multiple hard drives into one storage, ability to mount VHD and ISO images. It also offers the multiple language package that enables the user to convert the whole interface in another language.

Windows 8 Pro is similar to the Windows 7 Professional and is designed for enthusiasts and business users. It offers all off the features of the Windows 8 such as Start screen, Live tiles, Internet Explorer 10, Windows Store, connected standby, Windows desktop, etc. In addition to these features, it also has features such as Remote Desktop, ability to participate in a Windows Server domain, Virtual Hard Disk Booting, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, Group Policy, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. These features are important when working or running a small business. It does not offer built-in Windows Media Center, which can be purchased as a separate package for a small fee. There is also a specific upgrade path that must be followed when upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro. All of the Windows 7 editions, except the Enterprise can upgrade to the Windows 8 Pro edition.

The following table has been taken from Wikipedia.

 

Windows 8

Windows 8 Pro

Availability

Most channels

Most channels

Architecture

IA-32 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit)

IA-32 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit)

Maximum physical memory (RAM)

4 GB on IA-32

128 GB on x64

4 GB on IA-32

512 GB on x64

Trusted boot

YES

YES

Picture password

YES

YES

Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles

YES

YES

Touch and Thumb keyboard

YES

YES

Language packs

YES

YES

Updated File Explorer

YES

YES

Standard apps

YES

YES

File History

YES

YES

Refresh and reset of OS

YES

YES

Play To

YES

YES

Connected standby

YES

YES

Windows Update

YES

YES

Windows Defender

YES

YES

Better multi-monitor support

YES

YES

New Windows Task Manager

YES

YES

ISO image and VHD mounting

YES

YES

Mobile broadband features

YES

YES

Microsoft account integration

YES

YES

Internet Explorer 10

YES

YES

SmartScreen

YES

YES

Windows Store

YES

YES

Xbox Live (including Xbox Live Arcade)

YES

YES

Exchange ActiveSync

YES

YES

Snap

YES

YES

Can connect to a VPN

YES

YES

Desktop

YES

YES

Supported third-party apps

Windows Store and desktop

Windows Store and desktop

Remote Desktop

Client only

Client and host

Storage Spaces

YES

YES

Windows Media Player

YES

YES

Encryption features

 

BitLocker and EFS

Sideload Windows Store apps

 

Partial

Boot from VHD

 

YES

Can join a Windows domain

 

YES

Group Policy

 

YES

Hyper-V

 

On 64-bit versions only with SLAT capable CPU

AppLocker

 

 

Windows To Go

 

 

DirectAccess

 

 

BranchCache

 

 

Can be virtualized by RemoteFX?

 

 

Services for Network File System

 

 

Subsystem for Unix-based Applications

 

 

Windows Media Center

 

Via an add-in

Microsoft Office apps bundled with OS

 

 

Image Courtesy: theverge.com, mahmood1.com

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