There will be four different editions of Windows 8, Microsoft has informed us and posted on its blog. The four editions will be Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows Enterprise and Windows RT.

The differences between the editions are based on the platforms and features that each will contain. Windows 8 is the standard edition, likely to be found packaged with many OEM systems and will be the default recommendation for ‘many consumers’, says Microsoft.

Windows 8 Pro will ” help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies.” This version includes everything in the standard version plus encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Pro will have to have Media Center added on to it as a ‘media pack’ that Microsoft says will be economically priced. Windows 8 Pro has a bunch of exclusive features listed like BitLocker, Boot from VHD, Client Hyper-V, Group Policies and hosting Remote Desktops.

The third version will be called Windows RT and it will be installed on PCs and tablets that contain ARM-based processors. This will help these systems stay ‘thin and light’ and have better battery life than more power-hungry x86 processors.

Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Microsoft says that new applications based on the WinRT programming model will be revealed soon, calling them a “new generation of cloud-enabled, touch-enabled, web-connected apps.”

There will also be an enterprise version of Windows 8. Windows 8 Enterprise includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus tools for PC management, advanced security, virtualization and deployment.

You can see a full list of the differences between the features that come with the various versions of Windows 8 at Microsoft’s Windows Team Blog here.
More to follow.