With consumers awaiting more news about the forthcoming Windows 10, Microsoft announced today that it will feature no less than seven different versions. The seven separate editions of the flagship Microsoft operating system are intended to cover all device bases, with the software giant viewing Windows 10 as very much at all-encompassing piece of software. When Windows 10 is released it will ship with Home, Mobile, Pro, Enterprise, Education, Mobile Enterprise, and IoT Core ensuring that all Windows users can get what they want and need from the software.
When announcing this decision, Microsoft was keen to emphasize that Windows 10 will be optimized for a extremely broad range of devices when it is released. Naturally this includes the usual PCs, tablets and smartphones, but there is also the suggestion that it will be compatible with Internet of things devices, the Xbox One video games console, Microsoft HoloLens and Surface Hub. Clearly this is a software release that is intended to appeal to a very wide spectrum of people.
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So here is a rundown on what to expect from each of these seven separate versions of the software.
Windows 10 Home
This is the version of the software that most of us will probably use, and which will certainly be the most heavily utilized in homes across the world. Windows 10 Home is intended for consumers using PCs, tablets and 2-in-1 machines.
It features all of the major functionality that we have come to associate with Windows, such as the Cortana digital assistant (although Microsoft has indicated that this will only be included in select markets), Microsoft Edge browser, Continuum tablet mode for touch-capable devices, Windows Hello (a face-recognition, iris, and fingerprint login system), the ability to stream Xbox One games, and all of the usual Microsoft-authored Windows applications, which include such programs as Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music, and Video. There will also be a new Spartan browser.
These early Versions of the software are fairly straightforward, with Windows 10 Mobile obviously intended for smaller mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is important to point out that larger tablets will be more likely to utilize the Windows 10 Home edition, but this particular version of Windows 10 is intended for touch-centric devices.
This software will feature the same universal Windows apps which are included in the Windows 10 Home version, but will also feature a brand new touch-optimized version of its very popular and successful Office suite. It has also been stated by Microsoft that newer devices will be able to leverage the Continuum program, which will enable users to utilize their phones in the manner of PCs when connected to a larger display screen. This is intended to make Windows 10 more user-friendly and compatible with televisions.
Most workers in small businesses will come into contact with the Windows 10 Pro edition at some point, at least if the software is as successful as Microsoft is hoping. Windows 10 Pro is obviously intended for corporate use, and will be primarily utilized in this setting by PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s.
Again, this version of the software features all of the standard Windows 10 apps, but is also based around some additional functionality. There is more effort to appeal to the business community with this software, as Windows 10 enables users to manage devices and apps, protect sensitive business data, carry out a range of activities related to mobile productivity, and finally it is intended to be highly compatible and intuitive in its cloud collaboration.
Windows 10 Pro also features Windows Update for Business, which Microsoft purports to offer many averages for companies over existing software. According to Microsoft, this particular feature will enable businesses to significantly reduce management costs, while it also provides control over update deployment within large companies, and offers superior access to security updates as compared to the Home edition of the software.
Windows 10 Enterprise is the version of the software aimed at medium-to-large sized businesses, building on the feature set of Windows 10 Pro to create an even more powerful software suite. Windows 10 Enterprise features a raft of advanced features which will help large commercial enterprises protect themselves against contemporary security threats. Naturally, this defence is provided over a wide range of devices, identities, applications and the software can be user-defined to deal with particularly sensitive company information.
This software will be available to Microsoft’s Volume Licensing customers, and Active Software Assurance customers can upgrade as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits. Microsoft intends to make Windows 10 Enterprise as intuitive as possible by enabling businesses to implement it at the speed they choose. Part of this functionality will see commercial companies offered the opportunity to utilize the Windows Update for Business service.
Finally, Windows 10 Enterprise will offer the Long Term Servicing Branch as a deployment option.
Windows 10 Education is based on the shell of Windows 10 Enterprise, but adds extra functionality for school staff, administrators, teachers, and students. This software is also available through academic Volume Licensing, and there will be widespread upgrade options available for schools.
This is an updated version of Windows 10 Mobile which is intended for business customers. This is another version of Windows 10 which is available via Volume Licensing, and provides numerous ways for businesses to manage updates intuitively, as well as receiving the latest features and security updates in priority over consumers.
Finally, Windows 10 IoT Core will be utilized by basic, low-cost devices. It could possibly be used in such systems as retail POS and ATMs.
Microsoft has yet to confirm the release date of this software, but it has stated that it will launch in the summer in the 190 countries. However, it is also known that Microsoft will carry out a staggered release to assist with coping with security issues. Free upgrades from Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1, and Windows 7 will be available for one year.