Windows 10 editions

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Windows 10 has eleven editions (excluding the four "N" editions), with varying feature sets and intended hardware.


All mentioned editions have the ability to use language packs, enabling multiple user interface languages. This functionality was previously only available in Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise.[1][2] Single-language variants of Home and Pro editions are also available.[3]

Windows 10 Home is designed for use in PCs, tablets and 2-in-1 PCs. It includes all consumer-directed features.[4][5][6]
Windows 10 Pro builds on the Home edition and adds features essential for businesses, and functionally equivalent to Windows 8.1 Pro.[4][5][6]
Pro Education
Not part of the initial line up of Windows, this edition was introduced in July 2016 for hardware partners on new devices purchased with the discounted K–12 academic license. It features a Set Up School PCs app and does not include Cortana, Windows Store suggestions and basic tips and tricks of Windows 10.[7][8]
Windows 10 Enterprise provides all the features of Windows 10 Pro, with additional features to assist with IT-based organizations, and is functionally equivalent to Windows 8.1 Enterprise.[4][5][6]
Enterprise LTSB
Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) is similar to Windows 10 Enterprise but does not include Cortana, Windows Store, the Edge browser, Photo Viewer and the UWP version of Calculator (replaced by classic version), and will not receive any feature updates, gives companies more control over the update process. Windows 10 Enterprise N LTSB also lacks the same components absent in other N variants (see below), and it is the most stripped down edition of Windows 10 available.[4][6]
Windows 10 Education provides all Windows 10 Enterprise features (excluding Cortana), designed for use in schools, colleges, and universities. It is available with Microsoft's Academic Volume Licensing.[4][5][6]
Windows 10 Mobile is designed for smartphones and small tablets. It includes all basic consumer features, including Continuum capability. It is the de facto successor of Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows RT.[4][5]
Mobile Enterprise
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise provides all the features in Windows 10 Mobile, with additional features to assist with IT-based organizations, in a manner similar to Windows 10 Enterprise, but optimized for mobile devices.[4][5]

As with all versions of Windows since XP, all Windows 10 editions for PC hardware have "N" and "KN" variations in Europe and South Korea that exclude certain bundled multimedia functionality, including media players and related components, in order to comply with antitrust rulings. The "Media Feature Pack" can be downloaded and installed to restore these features.[9] As with Windows 8.1, a reduced-price "Windows 10 with Bing" SKU is available to OEMs; it is subsidized by having Microsoft's Bing search engine set as default, which cannot be changed to a different search engine by OEMs. It is intended primarily for low-cost devices, and is otherwise identical to Windows 10 Home.[10]

IoT editions

Designed specifically for use in small footprint, low-cost devices and IoT scenarios. It is a rebranded version of Microsoft's earlier embedded operating systems, Windows Embedded. Three editions are already announced: IoT Core, IoT Enterprise, and IoT Mobile Enterprise.[11][12][13]

Free upgrade

At the time of launch, Microsoft deemed Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1), Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users eligible to upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge, so long as the upgrade takes place within one year of Windows 10's initial release date. Windows RT and the respective Enterprise editions of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 were excluded from this offer.[14] Since July 29, 2016, Windows 10 is no longer offered as a free upgrade, instead a license must be purchased.

Windows 10 free upgrade matrix[14]
(for the first year of availability)
Windows version and edition Windows 10 edition
Windows 7 Starter Home
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional Pro
Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 8.1 with Bing Home
Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 Pro Pro
Windows Phone 8.1 Mobile

Academic Select volume license customers who purchased prior volume license versions of Windows outright, and did not purchase Software Assurance, are also able to qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10. However, as shown in this chart, the upgrade path is from Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro, and not to Windows 10 Education.

Certain features of Windows 10 Education make Windows 10 Pro less desirable in a shared computer classroom or lab setting, due to the inability to lock down the appearance of the Start screen across all users, and other user experience management features listed in the next section of this article.

Windows 10 Cloud

In February 2017 a pre-release version of the previously unknown Windows 10 Cloud was leaked on Twitter,[15][16][unreliable source?] and torrents of the build began to circulate. It is reportedly intended to compete with Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system that is cloud-based and runs natively on Chromebook laptops.[17] Windows 10 Cloud does not run or install most programs straight after installation, and by default only does so with apps from the built-in Windows Store. However, people who have installed the leaked operating system have managed to modify it to make it install other programs not found in the store.[18]

ZDNet argues that Windows 10 Cloud may have little relation to the cloud itself.[19] BetaNews speculates that Windows 10 Cloud is "likely free."[18]

An article published by Windows Central on April 21, 2017 revealed the recommended specifications of devices running the Windows 10 Cloud OS. They included a quad-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, 32 or 64 GB of "fast eMMC or SSD" storage and a battery with a capacity greater of 40 Wh.[20]

Comparison chart

Item Meaning
Yes Feature is present in the given edition
Yes, with [update] Feature is present in the given edition after installing a certain update
No Feature is absent from the given edition
[Explanation] Feature is partly present in the given edition
Comparison of Windows 10 editions[21][22]
Features PCs Mobile devices Appliances
Home Pro Enterprise Education Mobile Mobile Enterprise IoT Core
Architecture IA-32, x86-64 32-bit ARMv8, ARMv7 IA-32, ARMv7
Availability OEM,
Volume licensing
Volume licensing Volume licensing OEM Volume licensing OEM
N Edition Available Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Maximum physical memory (RAM) 4 GB on IA-32
128 GB on x86-64
4 GB on IA-32
2 TB (2048 GB) on x86-64
? ? ?
Continuum Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Cortana[a] Yes Yes Yes, except LTSB Yes, with 1703 Yes Yes ?
Hardware device encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Microsoft Edge[23] Yes Yes Yes, except LTSB Yes Yes Yes ?
Microsoft account Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Mobile device management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Side-loading of line of business apps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Virtual desktops Yes Yes Yes Yes Task View only Task View only ?
Windows Hello[b] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Windows Spotlight Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? No
Assigned Access 8.1 No Yes Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A
BitLocker No Yes Yes Yes No No ?
Business Store No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Current Branch for Business (CBB) No Yes Yes Yes No Yes ?
Joining a domain and Group Policy management No Yes Yes Yes No No No
Enterprise data protection[c] No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) No Yes Yes Yes N/A N/A N/A
Hyper-V No 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only No No No
Windows Subsystem for Linux 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only No No No
Joining a Microsoft Azure Active Directory No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ?
Private catalog No Yes Yes Yes ? ? ?
Windows Update for Business No Yes Yes Yes No Yes ?
Remote Desktop Client only Client and host Client and host Client and host Client only Client only Client only
Remote App Client only Client only Client and host Client and host Client only Client only Client only
AppLocker No No Yes Yes No No No
BranchCache No No Yes Yes No No No
Credential Guard[c] (Pass the hash mitigations) No No Yes Yes No No No
Device Guard[c] No No Yes Yes No No No
DirectAccess No No Yes Yes No No No
Start screen control with Group Policy No No Yes Yes No No No
User experience control and lockdown No No Yes Yes No No No
Windows To Go No No Yes Yes No No No
Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)[d] No No Yes No No No No
In-place upgrade to Enterprise edition No Yes N/A No N/A N/A N/A
In-place upgrade to Education edition Yes Yes No N/A N/A N/A N/A
Features Home Pro Enterprise Education Mobile Mobile Enterprise IoT Core
PC Mobile device Appliances

Microsoft OEM licensing formula takes display size, RAM capacity and storage capacity into account. In mid-2015, devices with 4 GB RAM were expected to be $20 more expensive than devices with 2 GB RAM.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Cortana is available only in certain markets. Experience may vary by region and device.
  2. ^ Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, such as a fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensor.
  3. ^ a b c Coming after launch, is subject to change.
  4. ^ Certain features may not be available for customers who choose to take advantage of the Long Term Servicing Branch option.


  1. ^ "Compare Windows 10 Editions". Windows for Business. Microsoft. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ Thurrott, Paul. "Windows 7 Product Editions: A Comparison". SuperSite for Windows. Penton. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Microsoft Windows 10 TH2 U1 Download (Build 10586.104)". Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Prophet, Tony (13 May 2015). "Introducing Windows 10 Editions". Windows Experience Blog. Microsoft. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Bott, Ed (14 May 2015). "Windows 10 editions: Everything you need to know". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Foley, Mary Jo (2 July 2015). "Which Windows 10 editions get which features?". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  7. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (27 July 2016). "Microsoft to add new Windows 10 Pro Education edition to its line-up". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  8. ^ Peswani, Shiwangi (29 July 2016). "Microsoft announces new Windows 10 Pro Education edition". The Windows Club. 
  9. ^ Ron (August 2, 2015). "Grab the Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N and Windows 10 KN editions.". WinBeta. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  10. ^ Slater-Robins, Max. "Microsoft is helping manufacturers make cheap tablets that can run Windows as well as Android". Business Insider UK. Business Insider UK. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "Windows 10 IoT for your business". Windows for Business. Microsoft. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Windows 10 IoT Enterprise". MS Embedded. Silica. August 14, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (December 3, 2015). "Microsoft updates Windows 10 IoT, adds new Core Pro version". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Upgrade to Windows 10: FAQ". Windows Help. Microsoft. Retrieved March 11, 2016. Some editions are excluded from the free upgrade offer, including: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows RT, and Windows RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise outside of this offer. For more info about upgrade qualifications, see the Windows 10 specifications page. 
  15. ^ Parrish, Kevin (3 February 2017). "An early build of Windows 10 Cloud has leaked, proving the new OS is no myth". Digital Trends. 
  16. ^ Verma, Adarsh (5 February 2017). "Windows 10 Cloud Operating System ISO Leaks". Fossbytes. 
  17. ^ Warren, Tom (31 January 2017). "Windows 10 Cloud is Microsoft's fresh Chrome OS alternative". The Verge. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  18. ^ a b Williams, Wayne (9 February 2017). "Windows 10 Cloud already hacked to run Win32 programs". BetaNews. 
  19. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (30 January 2017). "Microsoft's coming Windows 10 Cloud release may have nothing to do with the cloud". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  20. ^ Rubino, Daniel (April 21, 2017). "Microsoft's new push into education is the right move — at the right time". Windows Central. Retrieved April 21, 2017. 
  21. ^ Dudau, Vlad (10 June 2015). "Microsoft shows OEMs how to market Windows 10; talks features and SKUs". Neowin. Neowin LLC. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Find out which Windows is right for you". Microsoft. Microsoft Inc. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  23. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (9 June 2015). "Some Windows 10 Enterprise users won't get Microsoft's Edge browser". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "TrendForce Adjusts Notebooks' Unit Memory Capacity for 2015 Down by 3~5% due to Microsoft's New License Fee Arrangement for Windows 10". DRAMeXchange. TrendForce Corp. July 27, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
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