I have Windows 8 Pro, as that was the only option presented to me when upgrading, but I don't use any of the main extra features (such as group policy and data encryption).

So what are the differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro that a user like me (who doesn't use these main features) will see?

(I realise this sounds like a dupe, but as far as I can find it's not; I'm looking specifically for the smaller differences, not the main features (encryption...))

  • 1
    This is not a dupe, but I do think it's awfully subjective. Now having said that, my personal subjective opinion is - hell no, you're very unlikely to ever care about any of those features, even unexpectedly. Those are really about it - there aren't many 'small differences' at all.
    – Shinrai
    Nov 5, 2012 at 19:14
  • @Shinrai how is it subjective? I just want a list of differences.
    – ACarter
    Nov 5, 2012 at 19:15
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    You didn't ask what the differences were, you asked "will I see any difference". That implies a value proposition...in my mind it's equivalent to "Will I care?" or "Will I need any of this stuff?" If you just want a list, that's easily found in any number of places, but it didn't sound like that's what you were after.
    – Shinrai
    Nov 5, 2012 at 19:33
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    @ACarter how about a chart of differences: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8_editions#Comparison_chart - short version: Lacking encryption and some business specific stuff. Windows 8 by itself is pretty nice, you only need Pro in certain circumstances.
    – Mark Allen
    Nov 5, 2012 at 19:39
  • @Shinrai very good point, I've edited
    – ACarter
    Nov 5, 2012 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


If you don't use the extra features you won't notice any difference. The only thing that should be different between the two are the included features, the presence or exclusion of them won't affect the performance of the OS (in theory.)

There may come a day, however, when "they" experience an issue, look online for a solution, and find that they need to use local group policy to fix it... this is when people will notice the difference.


Windows 8 Pro is comparable to Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate and is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users; it includes all the features of Windows 8. Additional features include the ability to receive Remote Desktop connections, the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, and Virtual Hard Disk Booting, Group Policy as well as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. Windows Media Center functionality will be available only for Windows 8 Pro as a paid "add-on."


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