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My DreamSpark account shows me several download links for Windows 8. I am not sure what is the difference between them and which one is suitable for me.

  1. Microsoft Windows 8 with Apps 32-bit
  2. Microsoft Windows 8 with Apps 64-bit
  3. Microsoft Windows 8 Debug/Checked Build 32-bit
  4. Microsoft Windows 8 Debug/Checked Build 64-bit
  5. Microsoft Windows 8 SDK 32/64-bit
  6. Microsoft Windows 8 Symbols 32-bit
  7. Microsoft Windows 8 Symbols 64-bit
  8. Microsoft Windows 8 Symbols Debug/Checked Build 32-bit
  9. Microsoft Windows 8 Symbols Debug/Checked Build 64-bit
  10. Microsoft Windows 8 WDF Co-installer 32/64-bit
  11. Microsoft Windows 8 WDK 32/64-bit
  12. Microsoft Windows Hardware Certification Kit 32/64-bit

I want to understand what each edition has to offer.

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Voting to close as too localised, as this question is referring to the preview builds. – Bob Oct 26 '12 at 16:43
On second thought, those might still be on MSDN. Can someone confirm if this is still relevant, and if so edit so it does not read as if it's talking about publicly available builds? On third look (I didn't notice Sathya's edit! Thanks for pointing that out, OliverSalzburg), this may still be relevant. Edited to indicate it's talking about MSDN downloads. – Bob Oct 26 '12 at 16:51
@Bob: This is as recent as it ever was. The same, final, builds are on MSDN now: – Oliver Salzburg Oct 31 '12 at 11:39
Most of those are not even the operating system. – Ramhound Jan 12 '15 at 16:15
up vote 35 down vote accepted
  1. This is the default one. You want this if you run an x86 processor.
  2. This is the 64bit version of 1. You want this if you run an x64 processor.
  3. See: What are "Debug/Checked" versions of a Windows OS?
  4. Same as above
  5. This is only the Software Development Kit for Windows 8. You most likely won't need it.
  6. These are just the Symbols for Windows 8. You most likely won't need it.
  7. Same as above in 64bit.
  8. Same as 6. But Checked again.
  9. Same as 8 in 64bit.
  10. Don't really know. Most likely driver development requirements as WDF is most likely the Windows Driver Foundation.
  11. Same as above. WDK refers to the Windows Driver Kit.
  12. Name pretty much says it all. I doubt you'll need it.
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Co-installers aid in device installation in a development environment. – Tom Wijsman Mar 18 '12 at 11:03

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