8.1 software option confusion

I have two machines;

1.

A laptop that came with Win 8, that I upgraded to 8.1"

2.

A desktop with 64 bit win 7 installed. I want to upgrade the desktop  to 8.1 but I am confused by the number of Win 8.1 software options that are listed here.
 Upgrade optionsWhich one of these should I be considering for purchase?
mikecox_Asked:
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
So I disagree with the others answers because I believe your question is incomplete.  You don't indicate what you have now.  You do in as much as it's Windows 7, but you don't say if it's Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 7 Ultimate.  What you have makes a difference.

Next, you can eliminate the OEM copies - they are intended for computers WITHOUT ANY VERSION of Windows if I'm not mistaken (I think MS revised their licensing in Win8 so that they are more flexible about it who can install them on what system but they are still locked to the first system installed on).  They DO live and die on the machine they are first installed on.

The chart provided could be confusing to you because Windows RT cannot be installed on a computer by you - it's for specific types of tablet systems.  And Windows 8 Enterprise is not available to you currently as it's typically something a business buys multiple copies of to get certain enhanced features.

So, that leaves Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.  Which one?  Depends on what you have.  Windows 8 Pro should install on both.  It has a few things that Windows 8 doesn't, like domain join capability and the ability to remote INTO it.  HOWEVER, most people if they aren't in a business don't need that particular functionality and should instead go for Windows 8 (non-pro).  

HOWEVER, this is where what you have makes a difference - if you have Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate, you cannot purchase Windows 8 Home - Windows 8 Home will not upgrade a Windows 7 Pro system because you cannot upgrade from a superior (feature wise) OS to an inferior OS.
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You should consider the last option: Windows 8.1 Pro Full Version. That will give you some period of free support if you need it.

The second last option is Windows 8.1 Pro OEM. That has no support and could work for you but the license lives and dies on the machine you install it on.

Forget the first two. These are Windows 8.1 Home. Forget Home.

I use Windows 8.1 Pro OEM because my machine came new with Windows 8. It works fine.
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Santosh GuptaCommented:
Hi,

Please see the compression chart, it will help you to make decision.
win8.1
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/windows-8-1/compare/default.aspx
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mikecox_Author Commented:
I have Windows Home Premium on my desktop.

I have no idea what Domain join is, but I understand that remote INTO is the ability to log into my other computer; which is an option I think I want.  

If I wanted to upgrade to Pro on my Win 8.1 laptop would I have to purchase two?
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mikecox_Author Commented:
I agree "the charts are confusing"; tmi
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows Home does not join a Domain so the domain option does not apply to your current system.

I always do a fresh install (backup, format and install) when changing operating systems. That is why I think the full Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit) is the best option. Not the only option - just the best option.
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mikecox_Author Commented:
good points to consider; thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@mikecox - Thank you and I was happy to help.
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