This time, Microsoft decided to only bring a few Windows 10 versions oriented to final consumers. Now you only count with 2 main consumer versions: Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home. This strategy turn was made to overcome the paradox of choice. In comparison of earlier Windows releases, in Windows 7 you could find up to 7 different flavours.
Windows 10 Home -also known as Windows Core– althought being the most basic version, it’s still far better and usable compared to the crap that was Windows 7 Starter. This time Windows 10 Home is more powerful that it’s predecessors. We can say that this version brings us an interesting set of features that should suit the needs of most non-professional users, so then let’s see what it has to offer.
What does Windows 10 Home brings to us?
It’s still the most basic flavour of Windows 10, but this time comes with a solid numbers of features like the reimagined Start Menu that was previously discarded in Windows 8/8.1. Now it’s back and better than ever, incorporating features like Cortana (a powerful voice assistant) that was first available in the mobile version. Some of the features worth mentioning are Battery Saver, TPM support, and Windows Hello.
Battery Saver helps our device to consume less energy when working, and it achieves that by limiting the background process activity. A chip called TPM (Trusted Platform Module) provides support for a set of security functions. It comes integrated in a lot of motherboards, and some tools like Bitlocker makes use of this chip to provide encryption to your files, in order to protect them from unauthorized access.
Windows Hello provides biometrics security to your Windows 10, allowing you to sign-in without a password, by using facial recognitizion, your iris or your fingerprint.
Windows 10 Home users also have the benefit of using up to 4 Virtual Desktops, where you can have different applications running, and all of this with the help of Snap Assist. If you have a Tablet, Continuum support helps to quickly switch from the desktop mode to the tablet one in a seamless experience. You may not prefer to use Edge, the official Microsoft’s web browser that came in replacement of IE, but in any case it’s available there to help you downloading another browser option if you want.
Remote desktop connection
While it’s true that when comparing Windows 10 Home vs Pro both can make use of the Remote desktop, the difference is that only computers with Windows 10 Pro can be controlled remotelly. This means that users from Windows 10 Home are not allowed to “host” a remote session, only connect to one. A workaround is to make use of a third-party tool like TeamViewer.
This edition also integrates Windows Update in order to download automatic updates from Microsoft. Security measures as Microsoft Passports are mostly useful in an enterprise setting where company administrators prefer to replace passwords (these can be forgotten or stolen) and asign individual credentials to every employee.
However, Windows 10 Home lacks of more sophisticated protections. If your work environment needs to support features like side-loading of business apps, unfortunatelly this edition can’t meet those expectations, and the best choice is to stick with Pro edition instead of Home.
What advantages does Windows 10 Pro offer compared to its core version?
Windows 10 Pro comes with all the core features from Home, incorporating multiple funcionatilites that are pretty useful in corporative environments, such as better connectivity options and privacy tools like Domain Join, Group Policy Management, Bitlocker Enterprise, Internet Explorer Legacy Mode, Assigned Access 8.1, Remote Desktop support as host, Hyper-V support and Direct Access.
There’s also a difference in the ammount of RAM each version supports. Windows 10 Home allows you to use up to 120GB of RAM, while Windows 10 Pro includes support for up to 2TB.
If you want to limit access to which apps some users accounts can access, Assigned Access can help you setting up this. Bitlocker is known as a powerful disk-encryption tool that is natively incorporated in Windows 10. It also works to encrypt your external USB-Drives. If you work with Azure Active Directory, there’s a range of tools that allows you to improve your connectivity options. Also, with Microsoft Store for Business, you can create your own private store with access to the applications that you want to be used in your company.
Does this justify to go with the Pro version?
Ask yourself these simple questions. Do you need features such as Hyper-V? Maybe in your company they have choosen to work with Hyper-V, but this doesn’t mean that it’s mandatory to stick with Microsoft’s implementation if you need to run your own Virtual Machine. There are alternatives like VirtualBox and VMWare. Second, do you require to connect to a Windows Domain? If yes, then your choice is to go with Windows 10 Pro. Else, you’re probably ok with Windows 10 Home as an user who doesn’t need to join a company network or doesn’t have to manage access to permissions.
Non-retail Windows 10 versions
We’ve talked about Windows versions that are sold directly to final users, but there’s also other variants of Windows 10 like Enterprise and Student. The Enterprise edition has a lot in common with Windows 10 Pro, and it’s meant to suit the demands of medium and large-sided organizations. In organizations or companies, managers prefer to opt for volume licensing instead of retail. That means that they prefer to opt for licenses that activate multiple computers at the same time. Volume licensing allows business to purchase Multiple Activation Keys (known as MAK) which enable large computer parks to be activated without manual intervention for each machine. This saves a lot of time and money in business environments. Enterprise also incorporates more sophisticated features such as Device Guard, which is a more robust manner to block devices from running unwanted software.
Just to clarify: Windows 10 Enterprise isn’t sold for final consumers, or retail channel. It’s only sold through volume licensing.
Windows 10 Education is meant for academic institutions like Schools, Universities. It can only be get through academic volume licensing, allowing students, teachers, and institution administrators to make use of it. It’s also not sold to individuals through the retail channel.
Variants like Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise are oriented towards smartphone use and they weren’t succesful, unfortunatelly. In part because Microsoft joined the mobile market too late.
Upgrading your Windows 10 version doesn’t have to be expensive
Fortunatelly, you don’t have to break your wallet if you plan to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro, or if you’re still using an older release like Windows 7 that will lose security updates soon.
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