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 nameWindows 8Windows 8 ProWindows RT
Upgrades from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium
Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate x
Start screen, Semantic Zoom, Live Tilesxxx
Windows Storexxx
Apps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Reader, Music, Video)xxx
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) x
Internet Explorer 10xxx
Device encryption x
Connected standbyxxx
Microsoft accountxxx
Installation of x86/64 and desktop softwarexx
Updated Windows Explorerxxx
Windows Defenderxxx
Windows Updatexxx
Enhanced Task Managerxxx
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs)xxx
Better multiple monitor supportxxx
Storage Spacesxx
Windows Media Player xx
Exchange ActiveSync xxx
File historyxxx
ISO / VHD mount xxx
Mobile broadband featuresxxx
Picture passwordxxx
Play Toxxx
Remote Desktop (client)xxx
Reset and refresh your PC xxx
Touch and Thumb keyboardxxx
Trusted bootxxx
VPN clientxxx
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.