Selecting the right edition of Windows 8

Source: Brunei Times


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MICROSOFT Windows 8, which was released on October 26, 2012, has created a buzz in the technology industry. Windows 8 comes in different flavours, or editions. Let’s have a brief look at the available Windows 8 editions:

Windows RT: Windows RT is only available through the Microsoft OEM partner channel and comes preinstalled on PCs and tablets that are powered by ARM processors. This is the Windows edition installed on the Microsoft Surface RT devices and other Windows RT PCs and tablets.

Windows 8: This edition is available for the consumer market (home users) and is filled with new features and enhancements from its predecessor Windows 7.

Optimised for touch, Windows 8 has a lovely new start screen with live tiles. It comes with a bunch of built-in apps to boost productivity, such as Mail, Calendar, People, and Messaging, to name a few.

The built-in People and Photos apps are integrated with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Its Internet Explorer 10 provides a fast and fluid browsing experience, and supports HTML5-based sites.

Meanwhile, SkyDrive helps users to store data in the cloud, which can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, with the help of Windows Defender and the built-in Windows Firewall to fight against malware and intruders, Windows 8 can be considered one of the most secure client operating systems in the market today.

Windows 8 Pro: This edition was released to target small- and medium- sized businesses. In addition to containing all the features of Windows 8, the Professional edition is optimised for more security by including features like BitLocker and BitLocker To Go which helps users encrypt their computer’s hard drive or external USB storage. In case the computer or external storage is misplaced, no one can retrieve the data/information except for the user.

The ability to join a domain network and configured with various group policies makes the Windows 8 Pro more controlled in a corporate world. With features like Client Hyper-V, Offline files, Remote Desktop, IT folks can be more productive and connected.

Windows 8 Enterprise: This edition is only available to Microsoft volume licensing customers. Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the critical business features of Windows 8 Professional and additional enterprise level features and functionalities such as Direct Access, Branch Cache, Applocker, Windows To Go, etc.

If you are currently using any of the previous versions of Windows and planning to upgrade to Windows 8, I strongly suggest that you use the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which can be downloaded.

The upgrade assistant will scan your current PC to see if it is ready for Windows 8 and provide you a report.

To install Windows 8 on a new computer, the following are the minimum requirements:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2.
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit).
Hard disk space: 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.
Look forward to tips and tricks and cool features of Windows 8 and other client operating systems in the next couple of weeks.

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