Windows 8 Versions

Comparing Windows 8 Versions (Editions)Microsoft Windows 8 Versions

Remember that Windows 8 reports to be version 6.2 (Vista was 6.1 and XP 6.0).


Microsoft’s Four Versions of Windows 8

  1. Windows 8
    Basic edition for home market.
  2. Windows 8 Pro
    Business edition, joins domains.
  3. Windows 8 Enterprise
    Only for Software Assurance customers.
  4. Windows RT
    Run-time version for ARM devices.
    Only available directly to hardware manufacturers.

As an alternative to 'Edition' or 'Version' you may see SKU, this means stock keeping unit.

Windows Media Player
Freely available through the Control Panel: 'Turn Windows features on', scroll down to: 'Media features'.

Media Center (For watching TV shows)
You will need to purchase this as a separate product called Media Center Pack.  However, there may be a free Media Center promotion where you can 'Add feature' until January 2013.

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Costs for a Microsoft Windows 8 Upgrade

Upgrades to Windows 8 should be around these figure.  These deals are for XP, Vista as well as for Windows 7.

  • Windows 7 Professional online download: $40 (Until Jan 2013)
  • Windows 7 Professional new PC bought after June 2nd: $15
  • Windows 7 Professional packaged DVD: $70 (Until January 2013)

The Upgrade Assistant is on-hand to oversee the Windows 8 installation.  It creates a hardware and application compatibility report that shows you any actions needed before or after the upgrade.  Incidentally, the upgrade allows you to create your own .ISO file

Comparison Costs of Windows 7 Full-package
Windows 8 is likely to cost about the same as Windows 7.

  • Windows 8 Professional: $199 (Approx)

Upgrade Windows 8 Consumer Preview to Windows 8 RTM

This shocked me, if true it would be the first time I can remember beta software that could be upgraded to the (Release to Manufacturer) version.

Source: ComputerWorld, they say: "Users running Windows 8 Release Preview can upgrade using the upgrade tool and pay the $40."

Minimum Requirements for Windows 8

Each edition of Windows 8 edition has the same system requirements.  The minimum specifications for Windows 8 are the same as Windows 7, or slightly less than Vista, this means that your ‘old’ hardware is capable of running Windows 8.

Processor – 1 GHz
RAM – 2 MB for the 64-bit
Disk Space – 20 GB for the operating system
DirectX 9 Graphics WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 1.0
DVD drive to install the operating system.

It makes a welcome change for a new Microsoft operating system not to demand more CPU power and larger memory.


Windows 8 Milestone Estimates

  • Beta 1 September  2010 (M2)
  • Pre-release Version February 2011 (M3)
  • Developer Preview September 2011
  • Consumer Preview February 2012
  • Release Preview May 2012
  • Final Release To Manufacturers (RTM) August 2012 (M4)
  • General Availability (GA) October 2012
  • Windows 8.1 "Blue" October 2013

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Microsoft Windows 8 Milestone Topics

Windows 8 Overview  • Windows 8 Milestones  • Windows 8 Requirements  • Windows App Monitor

When Does Windows 8 Expire?  • How to Install Windows 8  • Windows 8 Microsoft Account

Windows 8 Versions  • Windows 10  • Windows 8 Image  • Windows 8.1 Blue