Help me choose: Operating systems

The operating system is one of the most important programs on your computer.

- Every PC must have an operating system to run other programs.
- Operating systems perform basic tasks such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the monitor, keeping track of files and directories on the hard disk, and controlling devices such as optical drives and printers.
- Operating systems also manage how your computer accesses available networks.

In addition to the core features, Windows® 8 offers exciting new features such as the Windows Store and touch support.
Choose ... If you ... Features*
Windows 8Plan to use a touch enabled device
  • Windows UI designed for touch input
Want to take advantage of the wide range of new Windows apps designed for Windows 8
  • Windows Store (wireless connectivity is required to access the Store).
 Want real time updates to the information you care about
  • Live Tiles
 Want assurance that you always have the latest version of your Windows app
  • Windows Store always has the latest software available (wireless connectivity is required to access the Store)
Want secure boot up
  • UEFI BIOS that intercepts and notifies you of threats early in the boot process
 Want to use cloud services to the fullest Windows Store — purchased apps are available on multiple devices.
Windows Store — pick up where you left off in a game or app from anywhere you can access your app (wireless connectivity is required to access the Store).
SkyDrive — Windows 8 apps are more easily integrated with SkyDrive. (Internet connection required.)
Windows 8 Pro Want all the features in Windows 8 and:
 Plan to take your personal device (PC, tablet) into a domain-joined environment
  • Domain Join 
 Have a volume license agreement with Microsoft
  • Volume Licensing option 
 Want to encrypt your entire hard drive to help protect you against loss and theft
  • Bitlocker® (TPM required)
 Work in a managed environment
  • Domain Join
  • Remote Desktop
  • Group Policy
  • Offline Files
 Want to backup to network locations, DVD or another drive
  • Advanced Backup