Windows 11 is set to begin rolling out on October 5, 2021, bringing new features including an updated taskbar and start menu, new multitasking features, and support for widgets.

For the most part users will have a choice between two versions of the operating system: Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro. But Microsoft will also offer a few specialized versions including Windows 11 Enterprise and Windows 11 Education. So what are the differences?

Windows 11 Start Menu

Home users are most likely to encounter the Home or Pro versions of Windows 11, while users who get their computers through work or school may use the Enterprise or Education versions. And for the most part they’ll look and feel the same, with the same user interface and features.

But Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education include features that let system administrators set group policies, have firmer control over how and when OS updates or app updates are delivered, and other features that come in handy when you’re trying to manage data and security for multiple users.

Here’s a comparison of Windows 11 Home, Pro, Enterprise and Education editions:

FeatureWindows 11 HomeWindows 11 ProWindows 11 Pro for WorkstationsWindows 11 Enterprise*Windows 11 Education*
MS Account required for initial setup
Windows 11 in S Mode option
Remote Desktop
Hyper-V virtualization
Windows Sandbox
Resilient File System (ReFS)
Bitlocker Device Encryption
Device Encryption
Find My Device
Firewall and Network Protection
Internet Protection
Parental Controls and Protection
Secure Boot
Windows Hello
Windows Information Protection (WIP)
Windows Security
Assigned Access
Dynamic Provisioning
Enterprise State Roaming with Azure
Group Policy
Kiosk Mode Setup
Microsoft Store for Business
Mobile Device Management
Support for Active Directory
Support for Azure Active Directory
Windows Update for Business
AppLocker
Persistent Memory
SMB Direct
Servicing Timeline24 months from release date24 months from release date24 months from release date36 months from release date36 months from release date

*Microsoft has confirmed these features for Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro, but has not officially released as much information about Windows 11 Enterprise and Education, so some of the details in this chart for those versions of the operating system are educated guesses.

Based on past experience, it’s likely Windows 11 Enterprise and Education editions will support most of the same features as Windows 11 Pro, but customers will be able to wait longer to install updates while still receiving support from Microsoft.

For home users, one of the biggest differences between Windows 11 Home and Pro are likely that the Pro version comes with support for Bitlocker Device Encryption, which allows for full-disk encryption for internal hard drives or SSDs as well as portable drives. Windows 11 actually adds support for Bitlocker Device Encryption on more hardware than older versions of Windows, including PCs that originally shipped with Windows 10 Home. But you’ll still need Windows 11 Pro (or Enterprise or Education) to use it.

Windows 11 Widgets

Another difference is that this time around only Windows 10 Home Edition will be available in “S Mode,” which is a version of Windows designed for computers with limited resources. For performance and security reasons, it prevents users from installing apps from sources other than the Microsoft Store and restricts users to using Microsoft Edge for the web browser. Customers who purchase a laptop with Windows 11 Home Edition in S Mode will be able to switch to Windows 11 Home for free, but the move is one-way: there’s no option to revert to S Mode after you’ve switched to the full version of Windows.

Microsoft will also likely offer a few variations of these operating systems including Windows 11 IoT Enterprise, Windows 11 Pro for Workstations, and Windows

via Microsoft (1)(2)(3)

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. That’s almost certainly not a comprehensive list of differences. For one thing it leaves off the mandatory Microsoft account for 11 Home, and I would imagine there’s more group policy options being respected by Enterprise and Education, like the one to “disable consumer experiences”.

    1. Let’s all this a living document. I’ll be updating it as more information becomes available.

      I can confirm that the MS account required for setup seems to be Windows Home-only, but I haven’t found any additional info about group policies yet.

      Two IT pros I know tell me that the primary differences between Enterprise and Pro tend to have to do with the option to choose if and when to apply updates though. While that may change with Windows 11, it seems unlikely.