Difference between Windows 8 Pro and Pro Pack

Key Difference: 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. Microsoft 8 Pro Pack is not an official edition but an upgrade pack. This pack does not have any physical media but rather a license that allows users to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center.

Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Pro Pack are two different types of Windows 8 versions that are available on the market and are causing a lot of confusion among users. This confusing is derived from the fact that not a lot of differences exist between the Pro and the Pro Pack. The main visible difference is that Pro Pack comes with Windows Media Player, while the Pro edition lacks it. However, there is another major difference between the two. Windows 8 Pro enables the user to update Windows from any other versions (XP, Vista, 7, etc.), while Pro Pack is only a licensing pack that allows users to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro + Windows Media Player.

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.

Microsoft 8 Pro Pack is not an official edition but an upgrade pack. This pack does not have any physical media but rather a license that allows users to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center. There is a catch though, users that are currently running older versions of Windows operating systems, such as Windows 7, XP, Vista, etc. they are not eligible to upgrade using this pack. This license is only available for users that are already running Windows 8 system.  If users want to upgrade from other versions to Windows 8, they must first purchase windows 8 and then the upgrade or directly upgrade it to Windows 8 Pro. The Windows 8 Pro Pack provides professional-grade features such as: BitLocker, SmartScreen, DirectAccess and Windows Media Center. The Media Center is the center of this whole package as it allows users to watch, record TV using a TV tuner. The company has also stated that if a user purchases a new PC with Windows 8 installed and later upgrades it with Windows 8 Pro Pack, Windows 8 Media Center Pack, a volume license edition, or a retail edition, then the user will not be able to install apps that are provided exclusively from the PC manufacturer through the Windows Store.

The following table has been taken from Wikipedia.

 

Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Pro Pack

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

512 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 and host

Client and host

Storage Spaces

YES

YES

Windows Media Player

YES

YES

Encryption features

BitLocker and EFS

BitLocker and EFS

Sideload Windows Store apps

Partial

Partial

Boot from VHD

YES

YES

Can join a Windows domain

YES

YES

Group Policy

YES

YES

Hyper-V

On 64-bit versions only with SLAT capable CPU

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

YES

Image Courtesy: mahmood1.com, microsoftstore.com

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