Just a few days ago, analytics firm Net Applications reported that Windows 10 has passed 50% of market share. It means every other computer on the planet is running Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 software, though another 30% continue to use the legacy Windows 7. There are two popular versions of Windows 10: Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. If you are in the market for a new PC, you might be wondering whether to go for the Home edition or buy the Pro. Let’s check out which one is right for you.
Windows 10 Home
The Home version of Windows 10 is aimed at the consumer market. It’s for individual users who use their PCs at home. It has Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, a revamped Start Menu, a Battery Saver feature that limits the background activity to preserve energy when the device is running low on battery.
Windows 10 Home also gets Microsoft’s Edge browser, Outlook, OneNote, a new Snap Assist feature that lets you split the computer screen for multitasking, voice commands, and the Virtual Desktops option. Other features include Windows Hello login, touchscreen displays, and Pen sketches. It comes with one-month free trial of Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription service.
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It also supports the Continuum feature that allows you to quickly switch between desktop and tablet modes. Windows 10 Home users can participate in Microsoft’s Windows Insider program. If you are a casual user, you’ll find all the features you need on Windows 10 Home.
If you are a gamer, the Windows 10 Home supports the Xbox app, game streaming and other gaming features. It also comes with a Your Phone feature that gives you access to your Android phone’s photos and texts on your Windows computer.
It uses data encryption for security, but it’s not as secure as BitLocker encryption on Windows 10 Pro. It also lacks many of the professional features you’d find on Pro.
Windows 10 Pro
Microsoft started offering the Pro version of its software with Windows XP to give enterprise users more business features. Windows 10 Pro offers everything Windows 10 Home does, and then adds a bunch of enterprise and security features. Individuals are free to purchase Windows 10 Pro, but the software is primarily designed for corporations and schools.
One of the reasons consumers are interested in Windows 10 Pro is Microsoft’s BitLocker, which encrypts all the data on your computer to keep it safe from hackers. It also allows you to encrypt individual files and external disk drives. If you are coming from Mac, you might want the Pro version to take advantage of BitLocker’s encryption.
It also has Windows Information Protection that helps protect against accidental data leakage on enterprise-owned devices or personal devices of employees without affecting the user experience. Then there is Assigned Access 8.1, which allows IT administrators to lock user accounts and prevent them from accessing certain apps.
There is Group Policy, Windows Update for Business, Windows Store for Business, and support for Azure Active Directory. It offers Remote Desktop compatibility, Trusted Boot and Secure Boot to keep your computer malware free.
The Client Hyper-V feature is used for running virtual machines on CPUs compatible with virtualization. Though the feature comes with your Windows 10 Pro license, you have to download and install it separately.
Though most people don’t need more than 16GB RAM on their computers, Windows 10 Pro supports up to 2TB of RAM. In comparison, the Home version supports up to 128GB RAM.
All the extra features in Windows 10 Pro come with a higher price tag. The retail version of Windows 10 Home costs $119 while the Pro version has been priced at $199. You can get them both at a little lower price from online retailers like Amazon.
Windows 10 Home is good enough for most people. You don’t need tons of enterprise features if you use your computer for gaming, web browsing, watch movies, or homework. If you want to take advantage of a lot of virtual machines, BitLocker encryption, Trusted Boot, Remote Desktop, and other features, the Pro edition is worth the extra cost.