Compare Windows 8.1 Editions


Along with the information that Volume License (VL) customers, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to access the Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM, Microsoft posted the following huge table which differentiated the various Windows 8.1 editions that will be available starting October. Windows RT 8.1 is only for OEMs, so you won’t be able to install it on your own. However, you can compare other Windows 8.1 editions to choose the one that suits you.

Feature name Windows RT 8.1 Windows 8.1 Edition Windows 8.1 Pro Edition Windows 8.1 Enterprise Edition
User experience
Apps launch other apps (new) x x x x
Customize multiple tiles at once (new) x x x x
Lock screen photo slide show (new) x x x x
Four tile sizes (new) x x x x
Microsoft account login x x x x
Multiple instances of same app (new) x x x x
                Open up to four variable sized windows at once (new) x x x x
Optional boot to the desktop/All apps screen/Start screen (new) x x x x
PC Settings improvements (new) x x x x
Portrait mode improvements (new) x x x x
Search powered by Bing (new) x x x x
Set the desktop wallpaper as Start background (new) x x x x
The Start button (new) x x x x
The Start screen and live tiles x x x x
Touch keyboard and thumb keyboard x x x x
Automatic app updates from Windows Store (new) x x x x
Built-in apps (Mail, Calendar, People, and more)i x x x x
Install and run desktop apps (x86/x64) x x x
Internet Explorer 11 (new) x x x x
Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 RT includedii x
Windows Media Playeriii x x x
Windows Store x x x x
Xbox SmartGlassiv with Play To / Play On x x x x
Devices and peripherals
3D printing support (new) x x x x
Biometric enrollment (new) x x x x
InstantGo v x x x x
MiraCast wireless display support (new) x x x x
Mobile hotspot / Wi-Fi tethering (new) x x x x
Multiple monitor improvements (new) x x x x
Storage Spaces x x x
Wi-Fi Direct wireless printing support (new) x x x x
CPU Sockets 1 1 2 2
Maximum RAM vi 4 GB 128 GB 512 GB 512 GB
Mount ISO / VHDs x x x x
Reset and refresh your PC x x x x
Switch languages on the fly (Language Packs) vii x x x x
VHD boot x x
Windows Update x x x x
Assigned access (new) x x x
Client Hyper-V x x
Device enrollment (new) x x x x
Domain Join x x
Exchange ActiveSync x x x x
Group Policy x x
Open MDM support (new) x x x x
Sideloading LOB apps <sold separately > <sold separately > x
Start screen controlviii(new) x
Windows To Go Creator x
Work folders (new) x x x x
Workplace join (new) x x x x
AppLocker x
Binary extension scanningix x x x x
BitLocker and BitLocker To Go x x
Device Encryptionx x x x x
Family Safety x x x x
Multi-factor authentication for BYOD (new) x x x x
Picture password x x x x
Remote business data removal (new) x x x x
Trusted Bootxi x x x x
Windows Defenderxii x x x x
Windows SmartScreen x x x x
BranchCache x
Built-in VPN clientsxiii x x x x
DirectAccess x
Remote Desktop (client) x x x x
Remote Desktop (host) x x
VDI enhancements x

Source: Microsoft

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • DoctorSnyder

    Nice List. Finally shows, how cool RT really is.

  • Yuan Taizong

    I’ve always found the notion of these editions to be interesting, but it’s true that non-professional users generally won’t use the ”pro” features.

    • grs_dev

      I predict that “Pro” edition to be the least popular of the 4 editions that’s of course if Microsoft figures out how to push RT.
      RT is the version of Windows they intend to ship on ARM devices, OK we get it…
      Pro will appeal to a very small portion of the market, specifically those who need more than 128 GB of RAM and for some reason cannot afford to go the Enterprise route.

  • Mark

    I wish the standard on Pro were just one version. I need to buy a cheap laptop for Windows Phone development when I’m traveling which needs Hyper-V for the emulation. But that is only available in the Pro version and it’s not worth the extra money for me to upgrade.

  • grs_dev

    It still doesn’t really explain why the market needs RT and this one shows that “Pro” will also not be needed by the majority of customers.
    Most home/office users will find the plain 8.1 edition more than enough. Unless they plan to restrict certain software from running on the base edition or prevent HW Virtualization from being exposed to guest OSes somehow, why would anyone buy “Pro”?

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