The retail Windows 8 versions will launch soon and be available for the general public in store outlets from Oct 26th, 2012. Unlike Windows 7 and Vista, Windows 8 will come in a fewer versions. There will be no Started, Ultimate, Home Premium or Home Basic Editions. Windows 8 will come in 4 flavours. The features in these versions according to an Wikipedia article are as follows:
Windows 8 is the basic edition of Windows for the x86 and x86-64 architectures. This edition contains features aimed at the home market segment and provides all of the basic new, Windows 8 features including the Start screen with semantic zoom, live tiles, Windows Store, Internet Explorer 10, connected standby, Microsoft account integration, the Windows desktop, and more.
Windows 8 Pro
Windows 8 Pro succeeds Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate and is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users; it includes all the features of Windows 8. Additional features include operating as a Remote Desktop server, the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, and Virtual Hard Disk Booting, Group Policy as well as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. Windows Media Center functionality will be available only for Windows 8 Pro, as a free “add-on.
Windows 8 Enterprise
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Windows 8 Enterprise provides all the features in Windows 8 Pro (except the ability to install the Windows Media Center add-on), with additional features to assist with IT organization (see table below). This edition is available to Software Assurance customers, as well as MSDN and Technet Professional subscribers, and was released on August 15, 2012.
Windows 8 RT
- Windows RT will only be available pre-installed on ARM-based devices such as tablet PCs, and was named for the Windows Runtime (WinRT) development platform that Microsoft is introducing in Windows 8.It will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the basic set of Office 2013 applications to users—Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and support device encryption capabilities. Several business-focused features such as Group Policy and domain support are not included.
You can also see the Windows 8 upgrade path from Windows 7 in this graphic.
Price Comparison of different Windows 8 Versions?
According to a recent article on “laptopmag.com” (Aug 21st, 2012) the price list of different versions is as given below. We already have talked about the Windows 8 15 dollars upgrade which may be the cheapest price of obtaining the new tablet OS.
Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 if you buy a Windows 7 PC between June 2 and January 31, 2013. You’ll need to redeem the offer at WindowsUpgradeOffer.com. Don’t forget to bring your 25-digit Windows 7 product key! Microsoft opened registrations at the site yesterday; if you sign up now, the company will send you a download link via email when Windows 8 is released.
Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows XP, Vista or 7. Digital downloads will be available from Microsoft for $39.99 through the end of January.
Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro. If you buy a PC with Windows 8 pre-installed, the Verge reports that you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 through January 31st via an upgrade disc available at retailers. After January 31st the upgrade price leaps to $99.99.
Windows 8 Pro Retail Price. The Verge also reports that Windows 8 Pro will sell for $69.99 until January 31st. After that, the full MSRP is $199.99.
Microsoft has not yet released any report regarding pricing of basic Windows 8 version, Enterprise edition and RT edition. I’ll update this post at the earliest when these prices are released.
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PS: UK price for Windows 8 Upgrade would be £24.99 unlike our US people who have to shell $39.99. At the present exchange rate, both are equal till now.
Update – Oct 15th, 2012 : Microsoft released the pricing details of different Windows 8 versions. I’ll soon update about the prices in another article. Windows 8 Price List of different versions and devices from Best Buy, Staples etc.