A deep dive into Windows 8 Pro features

A deep dive into Windows 8 Pro features

Summary: You don't need a complicated matrix to understand the differences between the base version of Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. The Pro-only feature list is short and straightforward. Here's what to expect.


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  • BitLocker To Go was previously only available in Ultimate and Entrprise Windows editions. With Windows 8 it will be available with the mainstream business SKU, Windows 8 Pro.

  • If you forget the password for a flash drive protected by BitLocker To Go, your data is lost for good. Unless you can come up with a recovery key, that is. Windows 8 builds in the option to save the recovery key to your SkyDrive account, where it's secure but readily accessible.

  • When you plug a BitLocker-encrypted flash drive into a Windows 8 PC, this Metro style dialog box prompts you to enter the necessary credentials to unlock the data. (BitLocker To Go is also compatible with Windows 7.)

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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  • Ambiguity

    "Windows 8 saves BitLocker recovery keys...", "Windows 8 builds in the option..."

    So does Windows 8 do these things, or Windows 8 Pro? This is a slide deck of Pro features, so I assume Windows 8 Pro, but you haven't said that. You need to use "Pro" every time if a feature is Pro only.

    Same with "Window 8 adds a new virtual hard disk format". Is it in Window 8? Or Windows 8 Pro?

    • This gallery is all about Pro features

      All of the descriptions in here are of features that will only be available in the Pro edition. (The new VHD format is available in both editions, but I am talking about it in the context of Boot to VHD, which is Pro-only.)
      Ed Bott
  • Too complex!

    Just enumerate the features. I hope windows 8 pro is less complicated than your presentation.
    • Re: Too complex!

      I think you missed the fact that this article is termed 'Deep Dive.'
  • i'm hoping...

    that windows 8 would not be bloated with services and processes that i have to chase and stop to reclaim resources. MS should have an option to switch to gaming mode after post.
  • Win8 versus Win8 Pro?

    Although a *few* of us will desire/require VMs on our own computers, will the general "business" populace? I don't see much use for it in many of the businesses I've worked in.

    Once again, I'll be paying extra for the privilege to join a Windows AD Domain, and that's about the only thing 99% of my desktop/laptop users will ever actually use from the Pro version.

    The other bit (Ultimate) just swirled down the drain, as they're trying to integrate all platforms with the same look and feel, and data too - making Media Centers a thing of the past.
    • Virtualization was an Enterprise feature with Hyper-V

      So far - Hyper-V as a product was targeted at large and medium enterprises. With Windows 8 Pro, I think Microsoft wants to push virtualization into small and medium business market and possibly even consumer market.

      This is actually great news since use of virtualization will help with better OS feature management.

      I have always found Linux client like Ubuntu being good for certain tasks like programming while Windows client being good for certain tasks like document workflow. But that was always on two different workstations.

      With Windows 8 Pro, I should be able to do this on a single client machine. That should save money on hardware.
  • Upgrade Path

    I'm still running Windows Visa Ultimate 64-bit. Does this still mean my only choice is to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro 64-bit, since my only choice with Windows 7 is the Ultimate 64-bit upgrade version?
  • windows 8

    do not go by what they are saying about windows 8 it SUCKS IT IS DOA DEAD ON ARRIVAL i tested it and i have to by a new hard drive and it does not work with a lot of the progarms at all
    • What are you talking about?

      While I detest the Metro interface and like 99.5 of Windows users do NOT have a touch screen monitor so Metro is USELESS pretty much, there is not one program I have found that runs on Win 7 and will not run on Win 8.
  • What is an ARM device

    Please send me a link to what describes an ARM device. It makes no sense to me when you throw an acronym out in your discussion and no explanation. Please send link to felixmonclova@yahoo.com

    One question I have on the new Win8 Pro/Basic. Will the Win8 Basic be able to join a domain and network with other versions of Windows and be able to access resources and share its resources? Thanks!!
    • Ed was refering to ARM processor based Win 8 OS SKU

      It is called WinRT. WinRT is MSFT's OS for ARM processor based tablet devices. These are not released yet. I mean even the hardware tablet device.

      ARM refers to Advanced RISC Machine. It is a CPU architecture made by license from ARM Holdings which is a UK company. CPU makers of ARM variety include Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Apple (yes) and Samsung. We can add Nvidia. Check this link:

      ARM architecture rivals include x86 (from Intel and AMD) which is a CISC CPU type architecture.

      If you want to know more about RISC versus CISC type CPU architectures, read from search on Wikipedia to start with.

      With Win 8, MSFT supports both x86 and ARM CPU architectures. But the license for Win8 for x86 differs from that for ARM. ARM Win8 licenses cannot be bought as they come only pre-installed on an ARM device (say from an OEM like HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc). Whereas x86 Win8 licenses can be bought for existing hardware and new PC/notebook/tablet hardware from the same OEMs. And Ed covered one license Win8 Pro with his article.

      Hopefully Ed will also write a new article on the Win8 Enterprise SKU.
  • I'm bored; not even interested

    I became bored after only reviewing half of the presentation. Too complex. What is the advantage of going from Win 7 to Win 8?
    • Multiple reasons

      #1 The future of UI (User Interface) expands beyond mouse and keyboard. It will also include touch, voice and gesture. Win 8 is Microsoft's first step in recognizing this expansion in UI formats and in trying to handle the new UI.
      So if you want to try touch with *new* tablet/ultrabook devices, then get Win 8. Otherwise no.

      #2 Win 8 introduces server-like virtualization into the client world for the first time in Windows history. So if you like Hyper-V on client PC or laptop, buy Win 8 Pro. Otherwise no.

      #3 Additional features include Virtual Hard Disks for ease of boot for multiple OS instances and BitLocker. If you use multiple OSes (from MSFT or otherwise) and want ease of boot, then you can buy Win 8 Pro. Otherwise no.
    • There is no advantage other than...

      it costs $200 and that helps Ballmer make their numbers. Other than that its just a waste of money, but one of these days, they'll discontinue selling Windows 7.

      I'm shocked the Enterprise crowd let's Microsoft get away with this crap.

      I would have dropped Windows and gone with OS X. Much less support hassle. Apple seems to be able to run their R&D, marketing, sales, support system using OS X and iOS laptops, desktops, and tablets just fine. I wonder how much they actually spend in terms internal support vs a company running Windows? Why do you think HP, Dell, and all of these others can't make much profit? Apple eats their own dogfood and that might the very reason why they are so profitable. Higher productivity by using OS X and iOS. Think about it.
  • Easy virtual machines enabling multiple OS's

    Actually I find the possibility of setting up several OS's on one machine to be very useful although I'm not sure I'm smart enough to enable them. Your presentation seemed to imply I can establish Virtual Hard Drives within the physical constraints of my current drives and load different OS's on them. Is that somewhat easy or do I need to be a virtual wonk in order to do that.
  • No different file system?

    I read some time ago that MS were developing a new file system introduced with Windows 8 that would be a major advance on NTFS as NTFS was to the FAT system. Is this not the case after all?