Windows 8 - The different versions

This is the latest version of Microsoft Windows and is currently getting very mixed reviews.

Based on Windows 7 – but re-designed to be usable on both touch screen systems such as tablets and “Normal” desktop and laptop systems, Microsoft have made some radical changes to the look and feel of the desktop environment to accommodate touch operation.


Windows 8

This is the Basic or Standard edition, akin to previous Windows “Home” versions

For desktop, laptop and high-end tablets with Intel architecture (as opposed to ARM architecture) this is the basic version of Windows 8 targeting home users or small business users with only basic networking and file sharing and generally, no dedicated server for the business.

It is not possible to connect to a business network “Domain” (although access to shared folders may be possible) – and it is also not possible to remotely connect to the desktop of a standard “Windows 8” system for remote access to the system and applications.  It is possible to connect to a remote Windows 7 or 8 Professional system to access that system remotely, e.g. a system at home or work with remote access enabled.


Windows 8 Professional

This replaces previous “Professional” and “Ultimate” versions

Windows 8 Professional is designed to replace the Windows 7 “Professional” and “Ultimate” editions for more advanced home users and business users.  It fully supports connecting to business networks and domains with network file access and sharing between systems.

Windows 8 Professional also supports connections to allow remote access to the applications and data on the system, allowing specified users to see and use the desktop and applications as if in front of the PC.


Windows 8 Enterprise

This is only available to large corporations with some additional management and networking features over Windows 8 Pro.  Home users and small businesses need not consider this version.


Windows 8 RT

This is a tablet version only available to system builders and does not provide the traditional windows desktop environment to users.  Instead, it provides a new interface originally referred to as “Metro” with large rectangular or square icons more suited to touch operation and very plain and bland icons with little or none of the visual effects seen in the recent versions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.