Getting Acquainted with Different Windows 8.1 Editions

Just like its predecessors, Windows 8.1 also has different editions that are meant to meet the varying needs of its users. If you could remember, Windows 7 has a “Home Basic”, “Ultimate” and other editions and in the older Windows versions, you will find “Server” and “Professional” but in Windows 8.1, there are some newly added genre which now involves the hybrid devices (those that are touch and type capable). If you have not yet decided to make an upgrade to Windows 8.1 then you might want to get familiar with its different editions so you can make a wiser decision in choosing the right version that would fit your need.

Different Versions: Why are They Needed?

Computers have become an important part of our life. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to walk into a store, a school or an office without seeing a computer being used to speed up some processes. However, not all computers are the same, you can’t use the store computer at school or the office computer in your store. Companies also have computers which have some special features other than that which you use everyday in your office or even at home.

This is the main reason why different versions of a single operating system is made and it has been the trend since Windows XP. Today, with Microsoft’s efforts to merge two environments into one operating system dubbed as Windows 8.1, additional versions had to be created which works in devices that are touch as well as type enabled.

There are laptops which has a touchscreen monitor which needs a special Windows 8.1 edition as well but even these editions also work perfectly on the traditional laptops that we all know. To learn more about all of the available Windows 8.1 versions, we have listed each one of them below complete with descriptions of what features each one has as well as who and what each one can be used for.

Different Windows 8.1 Editions

Some users who have been so attached to the previous Windows versions such as XP, Vista and Windows 7 feel dread upon hearing Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. We can’t blame them though since Windows 8.1 took a lot of things out in its attempt to put two different types of user interfaces (mobile and PC) into one operating system.

There are some drastic changes which loyal users didn’t took that easily and most of them caused some stir especially in the earlier days of the operating system’s release. If you haven’t made the decision of upgrading to Windows 8.1 then here are some of its editions that you need to get acquainted with so that you can decide which one would you install on your computer.

1. Windows 8.1

If you are looking for the Windows 8.1 edition that would be perfect for home use or even some minor office tasks then the mainstream consumer edition of this operating system dubbed as “Windows 8.1” would be the perfect one that you can install on your machine or the one that you need to look for which comes preinstalled on the computer that you are planning to purchase.


Windows 8.1 has all the features that we have discussed in our tutorials on this website and we will be discussing more about it as we move along with some other future tutorials to make you use this new operating system like a pro but before anything else, let’s go over all the other Windows 8.1 editions that are also available for your to choose from.

2. Windows 8.1 Pro

Everything doesn’t just end with the mainstream consumer version! Windows 8.1 also has an edition that is intended for all those tech enthusiasts as well as technical and business professionals who are needing some special privileges and features to make the operating system work in other customized ways or have it partnered with some software which are used in business or office processes which would not work in the previous edition described above.


Windows 8.1 Pro also adds some other features such as BitLocker to Go which is very useful if you want to secure your files from theft or unauthorized access using the process called encryption. There’s also a feature that gives the user an ability to become a Remote Desktop host which can be used when trying to make computer users control other machines on a network or even over the Internet. This Windows 8.1 edition also allows joining a domain and other networking features among others!

3. Windows 8.1 Enterprise

This version is not available as individual license release but can only be purchased with Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Subscription Program. This means that this Windows 8.1 edition is only available for big companies needing computers that runs on the same Windows operating system platform.


Windows 8.1 Enterprise is very useful to those who are trying to use the operating system in the Windows Server environment. This edition also contains some other management tools which can make office or business processes a lot easier to accomplish. Security is also enhanced  with an available virtual desktop infrastructure as well as Direct Access, BranchCache and some other enterprise features which are nowhere to be found in all the other Windows 8.1 editions described above.

4. Windows RT

Looking to try something different? Are you tired of using the same desktop-based Windows operating system that has been the trend for many years? Well, if that is the case then you can try using a device that runs on the Windows RT operating system version. This special Windows 8.1 edition only runs in devices that are being run by ARM-based processors such as mobile tablets and smartphones and is not available as a stand-alone installer. This means that it comes preinstalled in compatible devices and unlike all the other Windows 8.1 editions that we have described above, Windows RT can never be purchased on a disk installer.


Windows RT might look the same as Windows 8.1’s desktop and laptop operating system editions but it lacks a little bit of features which are found in all the other versions that we have described and got acquainted with earlier in this article.

For instance, you cannot install software from CDs and DVDs into Windows RT or even those that are coming from the Internet especially for starters. However, you can always get some apps and other software from the Windows Store. A tablet version of Microsoft Office is also available which is very useful especially if you want to take some tasks with you even when you are out doing some other things.

Remember the 32-Bit and 64-Bit Specifications

Aside from choosing the right Windows 8.1 edition that you’d want to install on your machine or you want preloaded into your brand new computer or device, you also need to take not whether your machine is compatible to the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the operating system. We will be discussing the ways in how you can identify your machine’s system type in one of our future tutorials so be sure to stay tuned with us to learn more tips, tricks and secrets about the Windows 8.1 operating system.