Windows 10 Versions

Windows 10 Versions

There are four major versions of Windows 10. Each provides a different level management availability and capabilities for business or home use.

Home

This is the most basic version, and will be delivered on personal machines bought from stores like Walmart of Best Buy. As with previous versions of Windows, this version will not be able to join a domain or Azure AD. This version will also does not have BitLocker. You will be able to read BitLocker drives, but not encrypt them. The Home version also does not support Hyper V or access through Remote Desktop.

This version of Windows is designed for home use, and not for use by businesses.

Professional

This version provides support for BitLocker and domain join, both local and Azure AD. You also have Group Policy Management capabilities, Remote Desktop, and Hyper V.

This branch also introduces the Current Build for Business update model. This model will allow business to keep their computers from installing feature updates for up to 18 months. This allows businesses to keep their system more stable and not updating all of the time. These settings are set per device, or through Group Policy.

This version is designed for use by small and medium-sized businesses.

Enterprise/Education

The Enterprise and Education versions of Windows 10 are essentially the same, expect for one major difference, which I’ll get to later. The Education edition is designed for K-12 schools and Universities to give their staff and students for home use. Staff and students are not supposed to keep using these versions are they leave. K-12 and Universities should still use the Enterprise edition on their system-owned machines.

The Enterprise (and Education) edition are full featured. They can join domains, use Group Policy, use BitLocker, etc. Some other differences between Enterprise and Professional is the ability to use Direct Access, AppLocker, BranchCache, and Windows To Go. These features are not available on Professional.

The Enterprise edition allows comes in Long Term Servicing Branch. The Education edition does NOT include LTSB. LTSB allows enterprises to have the stability in the OS that Windows XP and Windows 7 provided. These versions will not get feature updates. This edition is designed ONLY for machines that cannot change, such as ATM’s and medical devices. Microsoft urges users to really justify the use of this version, so do not use it just “because”.

This version is designed to be used by medium-sized business, large business, and K-12/Universities.

Upgrade Paths

You can upgrade between editions of Windows 10, but it is limited. The Home edition can be upgraded to the Education edition, but not Professional or Enterprise. The Professional edition can only be upgraded to Enterprise, and not Education. You cannot change an Enterprise Edition to an Education edition.

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