What Windows 10 editions will be there and for whom?

Article Windows 10 Start Menu courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 10 to launch in seven editions | ITNews

From the horse’s mouth

Microsoft Windows

Introducing WIndows 10 Editions (Blog Post)

My Comments

Microsoft is intending to offer Windows 10 in seven different editions but most of these are pitched at different device classes and different user classes.

The main “regular-computer” editions will be the Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education, Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Home. The Enterprise, Education and Professional editions will have extensive security and manageability features pitched for a workplace or school, with the Professional edition also appealing to the “tinkerers” amongst us. The Home edition will have what is necessary for home users  thus omitting all of the enterprise-tier manageability.

As well, the Home and Pro editions will be the main “regular-computer” editions that are available “off-the-shelf” in a piecemeal manner while the Enterprise and Education editions are available for “fleet-style” purchasing only.

The  “regular-computer” (desktop) editions will have the XBox Gaming Experience, Edge (Project Spartan) Web browser, Cortana personal assistant (speech or text), Windows Hello face / iris / fingerprint recognition and the Continuum touch-optimised mode for tablets, touchscreens and “2-in-1” devices. They will also come with the Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music, Video apps “out-of-the-box”.

The Windows Enterprise, Education and Pro variants will also have the kind of business-grade security and manageability that is desired to keep business computers working to what is expected in the workplace and who place a high value on the “standard operating environment”. As well, they will have Windows Update For Business functionality to allow for “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” upgrading. This is where systems only receive updates for security and stability issues rather than acquiring extra functionality.

There will be the Windows 10 Enterprise Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile which will be available for smartphones and small tablets with the Enterprise variant also being pitched at “embedded / dedicated” applications. The Enterprise variant will also have the high-level of manageability thatW is desired for corporate mobile-telephone fleets.They will have some features similar to the desktop editions but be focused for the handheld devices along with receiving a version of Office focused to these handheld devices.

There will also be a Windows 10 IoT Core Edition focused primarily on devices like the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi. Here, this will be about allowing people to design software for embedded and dedicated devices where the software footprint is very limited. There are also variants of the Windows 10 Mobile and Mobile Enterprise Editions that will be pitched at other dedicated devices like ATMs and POS terminals.

As for upgrading existing operating systems. the Home, Pro and Mobile editions of Windows 10 will be deployed by Microsoft to upgrade devices based on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 through the first year after launch. These will be rolled out free to Genuine Windows installations through that time period.

At a glance:

Functionality Security Manageability Availability
IoT Core Internet Of Everything Minimal User Interface Project Specific Project Specific Not sure where – most likely OEM at least
Mobile Handheld Devices Handheld devices Baseline OEM
Mobiie Enterprise Handheld Device for Businesses Handheld devices Business-grade Business-grade OEM
Enterprise Business computing Regular Computers Business-grade Business-grade Volume (bulk)licensing to businesses
Education Schools and universities Regular Computers Business-grade Business-grade Volume (bulk) licensing to education institutions
Pro Small Business, SOHO, Advanced Users Regular Computers Business-grade Business-grade Retail (off-the-shelf), OEM
Home Households Regular Computers Baseline Retail (off-the-shelf), OEM
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