Windows 8 - Several Versions

Windows 8 is coming, just like Christmas and Tax Day. October 26th is the official launch, although apparently you can buy a new PC with it already on HSN. So you go to the computer store and ask for Windows 8, right? Well, like previous versions of Windows, there are different versions: Windows 8 (both 32- and 64-bit versions), Windows 8 Pro (both 32- and 64-bit), and Windows RT (32-bit only). The latter is a special version that works with ARM-based computers (typically tablets), and will be on new systems only.

windows 8

If you are buying a new computer or tablet with Windows 8, you will probably get whatever it comes with, to match the hardware you are buying.

If you are upgrading your existing computer from Windows 7, you should be aware of a couple of things: first, you should be able to perform a true upgrade - that is, put the Windows 8 disk in, run the update and have all you programs and data intact afterwards, which you can't do with Windows XP.

Second, you need to be aware of what version of Windows 7 you currently have (here's how). If it's a 32-bit version, you need to stick with a 32-bit version of Windows 8 for an upgrade. Usually the upgrade install process will help out there.

If you currently have Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate, you need to use the Windows 8 Pro version for an upgrade. You can upgrade to Windows 8 (the "regular" version, also referred to as "Base" or Core") from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic or Home Premium.

If you are just going to backup your data and do a fresh load of Windows on your computer, then most modern hardware will allow a 64-bit operating system, so that would probably be the version of Windows 8 you would want.


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