Microsoft Windows 10 Comparison
Windows 10 has been available from Microsoft now for almost 3 years. When this latest version of Windows was introduced in July 2015, Microsoft also revealed their Universal Application Platform from which the Windows App Store delivers a multitude of applications to users. This innovation by Microsoft is built on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which allows for the Windows App Store to be highly beneficial for users. Additionally, with Windows 10, Microsoft released more than just access to a wide range of applications. The coding behind Windows 10 also makes the operating system available to many different classes of computers including tablets, laptops, desktop PCs, and even two-in-one devices.
Many home users were offered the option to upgrade to this new operating system as early adopters so many people upgraded for free when they had the opportunity. But many Windows users also chose to stay on the older versions such as Windows 7 and Windows 8. Also, many business-class customers chose to wait to upgrade their operating systems with their hardware. There are still substantial numbers of Microsoft customers who have not upgraded to Windows 10. Upcoming changes in other Microsoft Products will soon guide more users into an upgrade. Here are the differences between the two main versions of Windows 10, Home and Pro, which should help anyone planning an upgrade to make an informed choice.
Windows 10 Home
When deciding between different versions of Windows 10, it is important to know that Microsoft reduced the number of different versions available while offering quite a lot of features for even the Home version. Much of the rationale behind this was UWP and the Windows App Store. Likewise, Office 365 subscriptions were easier to offer on the Windows 10 platform. With Windows 10 Home, users now take advantage of a wide range of features:
- Gaming is included in these features for Home users. XBox gaming thoroughly integrates Microsoft’s game platform. Included in the gaming integrations are the Xbox app, game DVR, game streaming and XBox controller support among many.
- Microsoft included in this computer operating system a basic version of Office 365, though this is a trial version.
- Cortana, which originated in Microsoft’s mobile operating system, integrates voice commands into the operating system like never before. Additional features include touchscreen capabilities, pen sketches, and Hello login.
- Other feature which is included in Windows 10 Home is a basic encryption of data. However, this lightweight encryption package should not be confused with that which is offered with a regular subscription of Office 365.
- Home version users also benefit from OneDrive so that cloud storage is available. The account is free, so the storage space is limited to 5 GB. However, an Office 365 subscription will add additional storage space.
- One important feature available in the Home version is Mobile Device Management. This innovation for Windows 10 allows users to connect phones and manage apps and security for them from their computer.
Windows 10 Pro
The Windows 10 Pro edition is intended for use in business and education, commonly where secure networking is in use. As such, this version of Windows 10 offers several additional features to that of the Home version, though all of the Home version features are available in the Professional version. Here is a limited list of these additional functions:
- Encryption in Pro is added security through BitLocker and Windows Information Protection which both provide access controls. These additional security functions are important for IT management in a networked environment.
- Microsoft offers a wide range of customizable features for larger organizations such as schools and businesses.
- Other important business additions provided through Windows 10 Pro are the business version of the Windows App Store, an enterprise browser version, Windows Business Update and more enterprise applications or options.
- Since businesses and schools most commonly use networked editions, additional software features which are highly useful in such organizations are present in the Pro version. These features include virtualization, compatibility for Remote Desktop, Client Hyper-V, and numerous other customization options.
- Windows services are also being repackaged through Windows 10 Pro as Windows 365, which is a combination of Office 365 and Windows 10 business enterprise options.
Other Versions in the Business Class
There are other versions of Windows 10 that are available, including Windows 10 S. Businesses and schools can take advantage of a lightweight version of the operating system to gain all the advantages of Windows 10 without the high cost from hardware and licensing. This means that Windows 10 S is designed to run on less expensive PCs which is aimed at specific organizational needs where limited budgets are the main driver when fulfilling IT necessities. For businesses which have large sets of employees with very standard functions, Windows 10 S meets those needs. Likewise, schools can also take advantage of Windows 10 S for its economic cost both in hardware and the OS version.
However, Windows 10 S comes with limited functionality. For instance, while Windows 10 Home and Pro allow different browsers to be used, Windows 10 S limits the browser to Microsoft Edge. Likewise, only apps from the Windows App Store are generally allowed to be installed, the intention being to curtail malware which raises the cost of support for organizations on tighter budgets.
All such limitations for Windows 10 S may seem like a drawback, but such feature limitations create a cost savings for budget challenge organizations. On the other hand, all files are stored to OneDrive and other basic features such as facial recognition and Cortana are still available.
Comparison of Features Between Home and Pro Versions
Note: there are several other features and options not listed here due to the need for brevity. For any questions about these additional functions, please contact one of our experts.