Microsoft, in order to keep things simple and easy, released four editions of Windows 8 namely Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Pro, and Windows Enterprise. Below is a brief of what users can expect from Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.
This is a standard edition with all major features such as Metro User Interface (Metro UI), task manager, multi-monitor support, updated Internet Explorer, and the ability to navigate to different languages when on the fly. Windows 8 primarily targets normal users and includes full-feature desktop Windows, applications, live titles, connected standby, Windows Store, and start screen. This edition is the basic for x64 and IA 32 devices whose documentation is obtained from the Windows 8 book by Paul Thurrott and the Image X tool.
Though Windows 8 looks slightly complicated, the more it is used the better the feel it gives the users. This edition is much smoother and faster than its predecessor Windows 7. For the best experience, users can try running Windows 8 on PCs or laptops with a touch-screen. Microsoft had made changes to the OS including the start button being removed from Windows 8. The Windows applications are simple with an elegant interface.
Windows 8 is for devices that run on x86 processors. The requirements for Windows 8 include: 1 GHz or a faster processor; 1 GB and 2 GB RAM (32-bit and 64-bit respectively); 16 GB and 20 GB hard disk space (32-bit and 64-bit respectively); DirectX 9 graphics device with higher driver; and 1024×768 pixel resolution is mandatory.
Windows 8 is best suited if a user is planning to upgrade from Windows 7 starter, Home Premium Edition, and Home Basic Edition. Since this edition is a basic edition, it does not come with extra features such as BitLocker, group policy, Hyper-V, domain join, remote desktop, and encrypted file system. This edition is sans the Windows Media Center. Windows 8 allows third-party programs such as the XBMC and software to be installed.
Windows 8 Pro is compared to Windows 7 Ultimate and Professional. This edition’s primary targets include small businesses and enthusiastic users. Windows 8 Pro includes all the major features of Windows 8 along with additional features including encrypted file system, virtual hard disk, domain join, remote desktop connections, additional networking features, Hyper-V, Windows server domain, BitLocker, and group policy.
The functionality of Windows media player comes as a separate package only for Windows 8 Pro. This functionality allows users to record television shows via a TV tuner and also allows users to play the DVD. The system requirements for Windows 8 Pro are the same as Windows 8.
Windows 8 Pro is best suited if a user is planning to upgrade to Windows Ultimate or Professional edition.
On the whole, both Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro look and act the same with the exception of certain additional features. For normal users Windows 8 is the ideal choice while for business professionals, Windows 8 Pro is ideal.