Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Consumer and Business Editions
Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can buy. This is a significant improvement over
Windows Vista and Windows 7, which gave users six editions to contend with.
Some argue that any number of editions greater than one is too many. They
say it creates too much confusion in the marketplace. Unless you do your
homework, it is easy to buy an edition that is missing the features you need or to
waste money on features you can live without. That is a fair point.
However, it is important to recognize that Microsoft Windows serves more
than a billion PCs around the world. In addition, Microsoft sells to just about
every market type—consumers, small businesses, and large enterprises. With
such a diverse group of users, it is understandable that Microsoft must offer
different feature sets and price points to keep everyone happy.
Before I dive into the edition feature comparison, I want clear up any
confusion about Windows RT and the three versions of Windows 8.
Consumer and Business Editions
Microsoft offers two editions of Windows 8 and one edition of Windows RT for
consumers and small businesses:
Windows 8
Windows 8 Pro
Windows RT
Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro
If you walk into any computer store you will see these two editions on the
shelf. Offered in both Upgrade and Full Version packages, any consumer can
purchase a copy.
The Upgrade package is offered at the lowest price and is specifically for
upgrading an existing Windows PC to Windows 8. The terms on Microsoft’s
website state that your PC must have Windows XP or newer installed to qualify.
The Full Version package, also called the System Builder and sometimes the OEM
version, is for a new PC that never had a previous version of Windows installed.
Windows RT
Windows RT is a brand new version and edition of Windows that looks almost
identical to Windows 8, but has a limited feature set. Intended to run only on
tablet devices that have an ARM-based processor, consumers cannot purchase
a copy of Windows RT. In fact, only device OEMs can purchase a copy and
distribute it with their devices. For example, the Microsoft Surface RT includes
Windows RT.
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