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From my MSDN subscriber account, I see that the Windows 8 Enterprise edition is a smaller sized download than the regular edition (3329 MB vs 3416 MB):

Windows 8 Enterprise MSDN screenshot Windows 8 MSDN screenshot

I looked up Wikipedia to double check - the Enterprise edition does contain many more features. How could the smaller ISO size be explained, then?

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The logical conclusion is that it contains less data. – Thomas Nov 4 '12 at 13:32
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The Windows 8 Enterprise edition does not contain the media center and gaming functionality that is included in the Windows 8 Pro edition, which is strictly a superset of the normal "Windows 8". Additionally, the Windows 8 ISO contains multiple products, as it states; both the home and pro editions. Which edition is activated depends on the key you enter.

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I think this explains it pretty well. In fact, clicking on the "Product Keys" button on the right opens a table with two rows - one for the home edition and the other for the pro edition. Thanks! – Hippo Nov 4 '12 at 9:39
Windows 8 Pro doesn't come with Media Center either. – Louis Nov 4 '12 at 13:12
It doesn't, but comes with support for adding it in, which the Enterprise edition doesn't. – Hippo Nov 4 '12 at 13:40

First of all, a ~3% size change is probably not significant to draw any meaningful conclusions.

However, based on the Wikipedia page you linked, the enterprise edition doesn't support Windows Media Center, whereas you can add it in the regular edition. It would not surprise me if omissions of various media stuff like this would make the enterprise image slightly smaller.

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Thanks, your explanation on the Windows Media Center makes perfect sense, but I decided to accept Lusitanian's answer, since he explains exactly why the Windows 8 download contains it (i.e. it contains both the home and pro editions - only the pro edition has the Media Center). – Hippo Nov 4 '12 at 9:42

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