Microsoft has announced on the Windows Blog the editions of Windows 10 that will be available later this year and unfortunately, it is as confusing as ever. While Microsoft has made it clear that this version of Windows will be on every device – Phone, Tablet, PC and even Xbox – they have broken it down into multiple editions with different feature sets. This is the same thing they have done since the Windows XP days and while I get it, it creates unnecessary confusion for consumers.
The biggest news is probably the fact that build on phones will be known as Windows 10 Mobile. There has been a lot of debate on what Microsoft would call the phone edition but it seems now it is locked into this name. And to add to the fun, there is a Mobile Enterprise version. Oi….
Here is the complete rundown and the features of each Windows 10 Edition you can expect to see this summer and fall.
Home is the consumer-focused desktop edition. It offers a familiar and personal experience for PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s. Windows 10 Home will help people do great things, both big and small. With it, they will be more productive and have more fun thanks to a long list of new innovations: Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant; the newMicrosoft Edge web browser; Continuum tablet mode for touch-capable devices; Windows Hello face-recognition, iris and fingerprint login; and right out of the box, a broad range of universal Windows apps like Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music and Video*.
We are also bringing the Xbox gaming experience to Windows 10, giving games and gamers access to the Xbox Live gaming community, enabling the capture and share of gameplay and giving Xbox One owners the ability to play their Xbox One games from any Windows 10 PC in their home.
Mobile is designed to deliver the best user experience on smaller, mobile, touch-centric devices like smartphones and small tablets. It boasts the same, new universal Windows apps that are included in Windows 10 Home, as well as the new touch-optimized version of Office. Windows 10 Mobile offers great productivity, security and management capabilities for customers who use their personal devices at work. In addition, Windows 10 Mobile will enable some new devices to take advantage of Continuum for phone, so people can use their phone like a PC when connected to a larger screen.
Pro is a desktop edition for PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s. Building upon both the familiar and innovative features of Windows 10 Home, it has many extra features to meet the diverse needs of small businesses. Windows 10 Pro helps to effectively and efficiently manage their devices and apps, protect their sensitive business data, support remote and mobile productivity scenarios and take advantage of cloud technologies. Windows 10 Pro devices are a great choice for organizations supporting Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) programs and prosumer customers. Windows 10 Pro also lets customers take advantage of the new Windows Update for Business, which will reduce management costs, provide controls over update deployment, offer quicker access to security updates and provide access to the latest innovation from Microsoft on an ongoing basis.
Enterprise builds on Windows 10 Pro, adding advanced features designed to meet the demands of medium and large sized organizations. It provides advanced capabilities to help protect against the ever-growing range of modern security threats targeted at devices, identities, applications and sensitive company information. Windows 10 Enterprise also supports the broadest range of options for operating system deployment and comprehensive device and app management. It will be available to our Volume Licensing customers, so they can take advantage of the latest innovation and security updates on an ongoing basis. At the same time, they will be able to choose the pace at which they adopt new technology, including the option to use the new Windows Update for Business. With Windows 10, Enterprise customers will also have access to the Long Term Servicing Branch as a deployment option for their mission critical devices and environments. And as with prior versions of Windows, Active Software Assurance customers in Volume Licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits.
Education builds on Windows 10 Enterprise, and is designed to meet the needs of schools – staff, administrators, teachers and students. This edition will be available through academic Volume Licensing, and there will be paths for schools and students using Home and Pro devices to upgrade to Windows 10 Education.
Mobile Enterprise is designed to deliver the best customer experience to business customers on smartphones and small tablets. It will be available to our Volume Licensing customers. It offers the great productivity, security and mobile device management capabilities that Windows 10 Mobile provides, and adds flexible ways for businesses to manage updates. In addition, Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise will incorporate the latest security and innovation features as soon as they are available.
In addition to these, there will be a version for IOT devices and a version for things like ATMs, Retail Point-of-Sale and the like.