Knowing Windows 8 SKUs: Pro and Pro Pack

As Microsoft works on the Post-Beta builds, screenshots of the two (at least for now) Stock Keeping Units (SKU) revealed at In this post, we will actually discussed a minimal difference between the two versions of Windows 8 at this early stage, although still a lot of changes will be made in the future .

Windows 8 Pro

“Pro” is a short term for Professional. This version of Windows 8 doesn’t include the Windows Media Center. As I’ve mentioned above , changes will still be available until this SKU reaches Release to Manufacturing (RTM). Windows To Go, a feature that allows Windows 8 to boot and run from USB mass storage devices such as flash drives and external hard drives is present in this SKU. It also noticeable that the Windows Anytime Upgrade was visible in the apps list of Windows 8 Pro, which means that this version of Windows 8 can be upgraded. This will be discussed after the break.

Confidential branding on Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Pro Start screen (nothing new)

Windows Anytime Upgrade on Apps drawer

System Information and build watermark

Windows 8 Pro Winver


Windows 8 Pro Pack

This version of Windows 8 is also called ProfessionalWMC or Professional with Windows Media Center, an upgraded version of  Windows 8 Pro. This might also be the Windows 8 Professional Plus that has been rumored before. Family Safety feature is present in this SKU just like in Windows Live as well as Storage Spaces and Windows To Go. Let’s check in the screenshots below how does the upgrade will look like.

Choosing the upgrade method

Entering the upgrade key

Accepting the license terms and make their lawyers happy 😉

Upgrade process

Upgrading Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Pro Pack

Windows 8 Pro Pack Start Screen

No more upgrade (this version might be the Ultimate counterpart in Windows 7)

Windows logo was removed in the System Information

Windows 8 Pro Pack Winver

Family Safety now on Windows 8

This is a just a quick look on the progress of Windows 8 and more news will be coming up in a couple of days so stay tuned.

Oh by the way, did I mentioned that next build will not be called Released Candidate? 🙂 Many Thanks to Canouna

We will keep you posted.




Windows 8 towards Release Candidate

After the release of Consumer Preview of Windows 8 last month in Barcelona, Spain, the Windows Team is currently hard at work for the next milestone of Windows 8, the more stable Release Candidate build, which was rumored to be release sometime between the end of May or early June of this year. To date, the latest known build was 8307.0.winmain.120322-1820 that still carries the HB1 tag in the ISO which means that the build was still in the Post-Beta milestone. For now, Windows Consumer Preview can be upgraded to the latest build (personal files, apps and settings can be saved) but crashes when the actual app was opened in the Start Screen. The latest builds has some improvements in the UI that can be noticed in the charm bar, language menu, Desktop IE 10 and the recently reported 25 set color picker. There were also improvement in the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) and Out of the Box Experience (OOBE). The screenshots below are from

Windows Setup

Product key input screen

End User License Agreement placeholder

Microsoft uses the Developer Preview bootscreen in Post Beta builds

More colors to choose from in the Personalization Screen

Loading screen (notice the Windows Phone like bar which replaces the round loading indicator in the earlier builds)

Settings Screen (all items were disabled by default)

Start Screen (the core Windows apps names were replaced e.g Video: Microsoft.Zune.Video, Messaging: Microsoft.WindowsLive.Chat, etc.)