Many users that are currently using Windows 8 or an even older version of Windows 8 are still puzzled by this question – what will I get if I switch to the ultimate, Windows 8 Pro version? This is a good question indeed, and we’ll have rundown of the features that are present only on Windows 8 Pro, so you could know if it’s worth the money or not. Windows 8 is just about right for the vast majority of people and the Pro version is only aimed at, well, professionals, right?
After all, paying $200 for Windows 8 Pro is no easy money, right? The price is much cheaper if you upgrade from Windows 8, of course. However, many are still angry over the fact that Media Center wasn’t included by default in Windows 8 and users have to add features to Windows 8 in order to obtain it. Let’s have a detailed look what you’ll be getting in the Windows 8 Pro version and isn’t featured in Windows 8. In the picture we’ve also included features of Windows 8 Entreprise, for those running a business.
Windows 8 Pro features: what’s different from Windows 8?
Unlike previous versions, with Windows 8, Microsoft has decided to limit the number of operating systems, releasing Windows RT, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 Pro is somewhat similar to what Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate used to be. The Media Center option, albeit free, is also not included by default in Windows 8 Pro, therefore you will have to add it on your own, by typing “add features” in the Search Charm bar. And if you are running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, the great news is that you’ll have to pay only $40 to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. This will definitely help increase the popularity of Windows 8 and the Pro edition, as well.
To keep it nice and simple and not puzzle the reader anymore with complex details, these are the things you’ll be getting with Windows 8 Pro, but if you’re a professional reading this, chances are you were already expecting this:
Domain-joining & Group Policy: Organizations using Windows Server domains and Group Policy will need the Professional edition of Windows 8.
Remote Desktop Server: You can connect to remote desktop servers from a Windows 8 PC, but you’ll need the Professional edition of Windows 8 to host a Remote Desktop server. However, you can use third-party remote desktop services like TeamViewer or VNC on the standard edition of Windows 8.
BitLocker and Encrypting File System: Windows’ encryption features are only offered on Windows 8 Professional. If you don’t swear by these features, you can install TrueCrypt for free on all editions of Windows 8.
Hyper-V: The Hyper-V technology found in Windows Server can be used by Windows 8 Pro users to run virtual machines. Everyone else can just download VirtualBox or VMware Player for free.
Virtual Hard Disk Booting: Windows 8 Pro can boot from a VHD file. If this means nothing to you, you don’t need this feature.
As you can see, these are really features that only IT or business users will need and that’s why Windows 8 Pro is precisely for them. Many people think Windows 8 Pro has some goodies even for the average users, but they are being confused. Windows 8 is just as good for you as it is!
Keep in mind that the most important features that you might need, are present in Windows 8 Home edition. Whenever you would like to do and fix, can be executed on this version. If you have the possibility to pay less on Home Edition – take it. It worth the money. So, if you are not one of the geeks that want to develop programs on your PC, do not bother about Windows 8 Pro.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2013 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.