Choosing Between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro
Now that you are armed with the information in the previous tables, choosing between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro should be relatively straightforward. You just need to consider whether you need any of the following Pro‑only features. If you do, then you should get Windows 8 Pro.
• Upgrades from Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate: If you intend to perform an in‑place upgrade with an existing PC and are currently running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, you will need to purchase Windows 8 Pro.
• BitLocker and BitLocker To Go: These features provide full‑disk encryption for fixed and removable disks, respectively, providing protection for your data even when the drive is removed and accessed from elsewhere.
• Client Hyper‑V: Microsoft’s server‑based virtualization solution makes its way to the Windows client for the first time, providing a powerful, hypervisor‑based platform for creating and managing virtual machines.
• Boot from VHD: This new capability allows you to create a virtual hard disk, or VHD, in Client Hyper‑V and then boot your physical PC from this disk file rather than from a physical disk.
• Domain join: If you need to sign in to an Active Directory‑based domain with Windows 8, you will need Windows 8 Pro (or Enterprise).
• Encrypting File System: EFS is somewhat de‑emphasized in Windows 8 thanks to BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, but it provides a way to encrypt individual drives, folders, or even files, protecting them from being accessed externally should the drive be removed from your PC.
• Group Policy: Microsoft’s policy‑based management technology requires an Active Directory domain and thus Windows 8 Pro.
Remote Desktop (host): While any Windows 8 PC or device can use a Remote Desktop client to remotely access other PCs or servers, only Windows 8 Pro can host such a session, allowing you or others to remotely access your own PC.
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