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Windows 8.1 All-in-One For Dummies by Woody Leonhard

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Chapter 3: Which Version?

In This Chapter

arrow.png The various versions of Windows 8.1

arrow.png Narrowing your choices

arrow.png 32-bit or 64-bit?

If you haven’t yet bought a copy of Windows, you can save yourself some headaches and more than a few bucks by buying the right version the first time. And, if you’re struggling with the 32-bit versus 64-bit debate, illumination — and possibly some help — is at hand. It’s hard to keep track of all the various versions without a scorecard. That’s where this chapter comes in.

Although Windows 8.1 comes in many versions, you likely need to be concerned about only three — and one of them isn’t really Windows. At least, it doesn’t run Windows programs.

Microsoft used to have a simple, small set of SKUs (Stock Keeping Units — what you and I would call versions) for Windows. For example, Windows XP shipped with two versions: Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. XP Professional included features that were needed to use XP in a company, on a large corporate network.

Then the proverbial hit the fan, and within two years, there was Windows XP Starter Edition, Media Center Edition, and Tablet PC Edition — which were all available only pre-installed on new systems. ...

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