Windows 10 editions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Windows 10 has twelve editions (excluding the four "N" editions), all with varying feature sets, use cases, or intended devices. Certain editions are distributed only on devices directly from a device manufacturer, while editions such as Enterprise and Education are only available through volume licensing channels. Microsoft also makes editions of Windows 10 available to device manufacturers for use on specific classes of devices, including smartphones (Windows 10 Mobile) and IoT devices.

Baseline editions

Baseline editions are the only editions available as standalone purchases in the retail outlets.

Home
Windows 10 Home is designed for use in PCs, tablets and 2-in-1 PCs. It includes all consumer-directed features.[1][2][3]
Pro
Windows 10 Pro adds additional features that are oriented towards business environments and power users. It is functionally equivalent to Windows 8.1 Pro.[1][2][3]

Organizational editions

These editions add features to facilitate centralized control of many installations of the OS within an organization. The main avenue of acquiring them is a volume licensing contract with Microsoft.

Enterprise
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.[1][2][3] Windows 10 Enterprise is configurable on three branches, Current branch (CB), Current branch for business (CBB), and Insider Program. [4]
Education
Windows 10 Education has the same feature set as Windows 10 Enterprise and is distributed through Academic Volume Licensing.[1][2][3]
Pro Education
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 that allows provisioning of settings using a USB flash drive, and does not include Cortana, Windows Store suggestions or Windows Spotlight.[5]
Enterprise LTSB
Enterprise LTSB is a long-term support version of Windows 10 Enterprise released every 2 to 3 years. They are supported with security updates for 10 years after their release, and intentionally receive no feature updates. Some features, including the Windows Store and bundled apps, are not included in this edition.[6][1][3]
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.[1][2]

Device-specific editions

These editions are licensed to device manufacturers only. The main avenue of purchasing these editions is through buying a specific device (e.g. smartphones) that have them pre-installed.

Mobile
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.[1][2]
IoT
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.[7][8][9]
S
Windows 10 S is a feature-limited edition of Windows 10 designed primarily for low-end devices in the education market. It has a faster initial setup and login process, and allows devices to be provisioned using a USB drive with the "Set Up School PCs" app. Windows 10 S only allows the installation of software (both Universal Windows Platform and Windows API apps) from Windows Store, although command line programs or shells (even from Windows Store) are not allowed.[10][11] System settings are locked to only allow Microsoft Edge as the default web browser with Bing as its search engine.[12] The operating system may be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for a fee, to enable unrestricted software installation.[13] Microsoft also provides means of downgrading back to the S edition.[14] All Windows 10 S devices will include a free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition. Critics have compared the edition to Windows RT, and have considered it to be a competitor to Chrome OS.[13][15][16][17][18]
Team
Windows 10 Team is a device-specific version of Windows 10 loaded onto the Surface Hub.[19]

Future editions

On 10 August 2017, Microsoft announced a Pro for Workstations edition to be made available in September, along with the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10. This edition is designed for high-end hardware for insensitive computing tasks and supports Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors, up to 4 CPUs, up to 6TB RAM, the ReFS file system, Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module (NVDIMM) and remote direct memory access (RDMA). The announcement included no licensing details.[20][21][22]

Variations

As with previous 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 installed to restore these features.[23]

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.[24]

In May 2017, it was reported that Microsoft had, as part of its partnership with China Electronics Technology Group, created made a specially-modified version of Windows 10 Enterprise designed for use within branches of the Chinese government. This version is pre-configured to "remove features that are not needed by Chinese government employees", and allow the use of its internal encryption algorithms.[25][26]

Release branches

New builds of Windows 10, known as feature updates,[6] are, since 2017, released biannually in March and September of each year. Each feature update contain new features and other changes to the operating system.[27] The pace at which a system receives feature updates is dependent on the release branch from which the system downloads its updates. Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education can optionally use a branch that receives updates at a slower pace. These modes can be managed through system settings, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Windows Update for Business, Group Policy or through mobile device management systems such as Microsoft Intune.[6]

Windows Insider
Windows Insider is a beta testing program that allows access to pre-release builds of Windows 10; it is designed to allow power users, developers, and vendors to test and provide feedback on future feature updates to Windows 10 as they are developed. Windows Insider itself consists of three "rings", "fast" (which receives new builds as they are released), "Slow" (which receives new builds on a delay after it is deployed to Fast ring users), and "Release Preview".
Current branch (CB)
CB distributes all feature updates as they graduate from the Windows Insider branch. Only the latest build is officially supported by Microsoft; a 60-day grace period is provided for a newly-released build to be installed before the previous build ceases receiving patches. As of version 1703, additional settings are provided to pause or defer feature updates for a specified length of time, but they are not available on Windows 10 Home.[28][29]
Current branch for business (CBB)
CBB distributes feature updates on a four-month delay from their original release to CB. This allows customers and vendors to evaluate and perform additional testing on new builds before broader deployments. Devices can be switched back to CB at any time. CBB is not available on Windows 10 Home.[6][30] An 8-month grace period is provided for a newly-released build to be installed before the previous build ceases receiving patches.[31]
Long-term servicing branch (LTSB)
This branch is exclusively available for Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB edition and distributes snapshots of this edition that are updated every 2-3 years. LTSB builds adhere to Microsoft's traditional support policy which was in effect before Windows 10: They are not updated with new features, and are supported with critical updates for 10 years after their release. Microsoft officially discourages the use of LTSB outside of "special-purpose devices" that perform a fixed function and thus do not require new user experience features. As a result, it excludes Windows Store, most Cortana functionality, and most bundled apps (including Microsoft Edge).[6][1][3]

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.[32] Since July 29, 2016, Windows 10 is no longer offered as a free upgrade, instead a license must be purchased.[33]

Windows 10 free upgrade matrix
(for the first year of availability)[32]
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.[citation needed]

Comparison chart

Guide
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[34][35][36]
Features Home Pro Enterprise Education
Architecture IA-32, x86-64
Availability OEM,
Retail
OEM,
Retail,
Volume licensing
Volume licensing Volume licensing
N Edition Available Yes Yes Yes Yes
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
Minimum telemetry level[a][37] Basic Basic Security Security
Continuum Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cortana[b] Yes Yes Yes, except LTSB Yes, with 1703
Hardware device encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Edge[38] Yes Yes Yes, except LTSB Yes
Multiple language pack support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile device management Yes Yes Yes Yes
Side-loading of line of business apps Yes Yes Yes Yes
Virtual desktops Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Hello[c] Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Spotlight Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote Desktop Client only Client and host Client and host Client and host
Remote App Client only Client only Client and host Client and host
Windows Subsystem for Linux 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only
Hyper-V No 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only 64-bit SKUs only
Assigned Access 8.1 No Yes Yes Yes
BitLocker No Yes Yes Yes
Business Store No Yes Yes Yes
Conditional Access No Yes Yes Yes
Can switch to CBB (defer updates)? No Yes Yes Yes
Joining a domain and Group Policy management No Yes Yes Yes
Enterprise data protection No Yes Yes Yes
Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) No Yes Yes Yes
Joining a Microsoft Azure Active Directory No Yes Yes Yes
Private catalog No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Analytics No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Information Protection No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Update for Business No Yes Yes Yes
AppLocker No No Yes Yes
BranchCache No No Yes Yes
Credential Guard (Pass the hash mitigations) No No Yes Yes
Device Guard No No Yes Yes
DirectAccess No No Yes Yes
Microsoft App-V No No Yes Yes
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) No No Yes Yes
Microsoft UE-V No No Yes Yes
Start screen control with Group Policy No No Yes Yes
User experience control and lockdown No No Yes Yes
Windows To Go[d] No No[39] Yes[39][40] Yes[40]
Available on LTSB?[e] No No Yes No
In-place upgrade to Enterprise edition No No N/A No
In-place upgrade to Education edition Yes Yes No N/A
In-place upgrade to Pro Yes N/A No Yes
Features Home Pro Enterprise Education

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.[41]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ There are four telemetry levels, in the order of magnitude: Security, basic, advanced, and full. The higher the level, the more information are sent to Microsoft.
  2. ^ Cortana is available only in certain markets. Experience may vary by region and device.
  3. ^ Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, such as a fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensor.
  4. ^ On Windows 10 Pro, a Control Panel applet corresponding to this feature appears, but a Windows 10 Enterprise or Education image is still needed.[39][40]
  5. ^ Certain features may not be available for customers who choose to take advantage of the LTSB option.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Prophet, Tony (13 May 2015). "Introducing Windows 10 Editions". Windows Experience Blog. Microsoft. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bott, Ed (14 May 2015). "Windows 10 editions: Everything you need to know". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Foley, Mary Jo (2 July 2015). "Which Windows 10 editions get which features?". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  4. ^ DaniHalfin. "Assign devices to servicing branches for Windows 10 updates (Windows 10)". docs.microsoft.com. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  5. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (27 July 2016). "Microsoft to add new Windows 10 Pro Education edition to its line-up". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Overview of Windows as a service". Microsoft. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Windows 10 IoT for your business". Windows for Business. Microsoft. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Windows 10 IoT Enterprise". MS Embedded. Silica. August 14, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (December 3, 2015). "Microsoft updates Windows 10 IoT, adds new Core Pro version". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  10. ^ Turner, Rich. "Will Linux distros run on Windows 10 S?". Microsoft. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  11. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (19 May 2017). "Linux distros won’t run on Windows 10 S after all". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  12. ^ Warren, Tom. "Windows 10 S won't let you change the default browser or switch to Google search". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  13. ^ a b Chacos, Brad. "Meet Windows 10 S, a streamlined, simplified, Windows Store-only OS for schools". PC World. IDG. 
  14. ^ Warren, Tom (19 June 2017). "Microsoft now lets Surface Laptop owners revert back to Windows 10 S". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  15. ^ "Windows 10 S is Microsoft's answer to Chrome OS". The Verge. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  16. ^ Bright, Peter (14 September 2016). "Desktop apps make their way into the Windows Store". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. 
  17. ^ "Windows 10 Cloud looks just like Windows 10 in leaked screenshots". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  18. ^ "Leaked Microsoft document confirms Windows 10 Cloud and a Chromebook competitor". PC World. IDG. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Windows 10 Team Anniversary Update now available for Microsoft Surface Hub". Neowin. Retrieved 2017-05-03. 
  20. ^ Diaconu, Klaus (10 August 2017). "Microsoft announces Windows 10 Pro for Workstations". Windows For Your Business. Microsoft. 
  21. ^ Foley, Mary Jo (10 August 2017). "Microsoft confirms new Windows 10 Pro for Workstations edition". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  22. ^ Warren, Tom (10 August 2017). "Microsoft reveals new Windows 10 Workstations edition for power users". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  23. ^ Ron (August 2, 2015). "Grab the Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N and Windows 10 KN editions.". WinBeta. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ "Microsoft made a version of Windows 10 for the Chinese government". Engadget. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  26. ^ Myerson, Terry (23 May 2017). "Announcing Windows 10 China Government Edition and the new Surface Pro". Windows 10 blog. Microsoft. 
  27. ^ Warren, Tom (April 20, 2017). "Microsoft will now release major Windows 10 updates every March and September". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved April 21, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Put Windows 10 updates on hold—now available in Creators Update build 15046". Infoworld. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  29. ^ "How to defer future updates in the Windows 10 Creators Update". PC World. IDG. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  30. ^ "How to defer upgrades and updates in Windows 10 Pro". Computerworld. Retrieved 6 May 2017. 
  31. ^ "Microsoft swings security patch stick to keep customers up-to-date on Windows 10". Computerworld. IDG. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b Trent, Rod (9 June 2015). "Windows 10 Upgrade Paths". SuperSite for Windows. Penton. 
  33. ^ "Upgrade to Windows 10: FAQ". Windows Help. Microsoft. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  34. ^ Dudau, Vlad (10 June 2015). "Microsoft shows OEMs how to market Windows 10; talks features and SKUs". Neowin. Neowin LLC. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  35. ^ "Find out which Windows is right for you". microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  36. ^ Howse, Brett (2 July 2015). "Windows 10 Editions Compared". AnandTech. Purch. 
  37. ^ "Configure Windows telemetry in your organization". docs.microsoft.com. Microsoft. 22 May 2017. 
  38. ^ 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. 
  39. ^ a b c Thurrott, Paul (10 February 2017). "Ask Paul: Is Windows To Go Coming to Windows 10 Pro?". thurrott.com. BWW Media Group. 
  40. ^ a b c Niehaus, Michael; Lich, Brian. "Windows To Go frequently asked questions (Windows 10)". docs.microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved 2017-07-30. How can Windows To Go be deployed in an organization? [~snip~] A Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education image 
  41. ^ "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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