The name is 8… Windows 8

It’s official, Windows 8 is now, err… Windows 8.

Brandon LeBlanc over on the Blogging Windows blog announced the official name and the two three four versions available:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows RT
  • Windows 8 Enterprise

There’s a nice table (included below) that describes the differences between the first two version, which basically boil down to this – Windows 8 is for home users (can’t be joined to a Windows domain) and Windows 8 Pro is for corporate users (can be domain joined and adds business features, like BitLocker, Group Policy, Client Hyper-V, etc.).

Windows RT (Real Time?) is the pre-installed ARM-based version for tablets, mobile devices, and the like.  It will also include the Office suite.  It will not be available for sale separately.

The below chart breaks down key features by edition (this list should not be considered an exhaustive list of features):

Feature name Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro Windows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium
Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate x
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tiles x x x
Windows Store x x x
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video) x x x
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) x
Internet Explorer 10 x x x
Device encryption x
Connected standby x x x
Microsoft account x x x
Desktop x x x
Installation of x86/64 and desktop software x x
Updated Windows Explorer x x x
Windows Defender x x x
SmartScreen x x x
Windows Update x x x
Enhanced Task Manager x x x
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs) x x x
Better multiple monitor support x x x
Storage Spaces x x
Windows Media Player x x
Exchange ActiveSync x x x
File history x x x
ISO / VHD mount x x x
Mobile broadband features x x x
Picture password x x x
Play To x x x
Remote Desktop (client) x x x
Reset and refresh your PC x x x
Snap x x x
Touch and Thumb keyboard x x x
Trusted boot x x x
VPN client x x x
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go x
Boot from VHD x
Client Hyper-V x
Domain Join x
Encrypting File System x
Group Policy x
Remote Desktop (host) x

Windows 8 Enterprise is only available to business users with Microsoft Software Assurance agreements.  Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus features for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.