Summary: Windows 8 will come in only two retail flavors. One is the base edition, with no fancy marketing label, nothing to say it’s a home or consumer edition. So what do you get with the Pro edition? The list of Pro-only features is short and to the point. No complex matrix required.
Microsoft has now cleared up at least one mystery about Windows 8 with the announcement that only two versions will be available for conventional desktop and notebook PCs. (The third edition, Windows RT, is only for ARM-powered devices that are still months away from entering the market.)
New PCs sold through consumer channels will mostly come with Windows 8. No fancy marketing label, nothing to say it’s a home or consumer edition. It’s a base—perfectly useful for most consumers and small businesses. What’s especially refreshing is that the list of features available in the Pro edition is short and to the point. There’s no need for complex matrixes to explain what’s in each edition (for Vista I needed two separate posts, and for Windows 7 it took me six pages, although the breakdown was more rational than in Vista).
Just check the list of a half-dozen items in this post. If you see something here that you can’t live without, you’ll want to pay for the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. If not, save your dollars, pounds, or Euros.