Microsoft started rolling out Windows 10 on July 29t, 2015, allowing users to update to Windows 10 for free if using a computer that runs Windows 7 or later. Customers could also buy a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed, or buy a boxed (or downloadable) copy of Microsoft’s latest operating system for PCs.

But there’s not just be one version of Windows 10 for PCs. At launch, there were four: Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education.

And in 2017, Microsoft complicated things further with the introduction of Windows 10 S. If you scroll down to the bottom of this article, you’ll find a table that shows the differences between Windows 10 S, Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

w10 features

Microsoft had already provided a rough outline of the differences between these versions. Now that July 29th is fast approaching, the company is providing more details about what makes one version of Windows 10 different from another.

All four feature the new Windows Start Menu and Edge web browser, Cortana personal assistant software, support for new security features including facial and fingerprint recognition, virtual desktop support, and continuum mode for seamlessly transitioning from PC to tablet mode when you detach a keyboard from a tablet.

Things look a little different when you check out the business features. Windows 10 Home doesn’t support BitLocker encryption, Windows Remote Desktop, Group Policy Management, Enterprise Data Protection, or some other features that require Windows 10 Pro or higher.

Meanwhile Enterprise users get some features that aren’t available for Windows 10 Pro, including AppLocker, Windows To Go Creator, Credential Guard, and Device Guard.

For the most part Windows 10 Education is the same as Windows 10 Enterprise… it’s just meant for use in a school environment rather than a business.

One feature that’s only available to Windows 10 Enterprise uses is “Long Term Servicing Branch,” which basically means that enterprise customers can postpone Windows updates that provide new features for years, while continuing to receive security updates.

While upgrading to Windows 10 will net you some new features, you’ll also lose some things that were available in earlier versions of Windows. Native support for DVD playback is no longer supported, but you’ll be able to install third-party video players that can handle it. Windows Media Center isn’t available for Windows 10.

2017 Update: Here’s a chart showing some of the key features of Windows 10 S, Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions:

Windows 10 SWindows 10 HomeWindows 10 ProWindows 10 EnterpriseWindows 10 for Education
Non-Windows Store apps
Windows Store apps
Change default browser/search
Windows Store for business
Windows Update for Business
Bitlocker disk encryption
Shared PC configuration
Domain Join on premise
Azure AD domain join
Mobile Device Managementlimited
Enterprise state roaming with Azure
Windows Subystem for Linux
Start Menu
Tablet Mode
Windows Ink
Windows Hello
Virtual desktops
Compatibility w/most PC peripherals

via ZDNet

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33 replies on “Differences between Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education”

  1. why cant my windows 10 enterprise n support youtube videos

  2. can i update my window sdefender im enterprise veersion plz z z telll me ee fasterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  3. Just use the kms windows loader ez activation.
    iso’s are all around the internet
    use WintoUSB to make a “live” bootable cd or to external usb 3.0 drive…
    easy peasy.

    1. 1. year later…

      Yes… I think that is perfectly legal, as far as I know, with Windows 10 you are paying Microsoft by letting them take your data and make profit of it, and that includes any product Google (and any other data gathering company) had has or will create as well…

      //My opinion

  4. I don’t know if anyone is checking this thread, but I have tested pro, enterprise vanilla and enterprise LTSB with an eye toward functionality and privacy. The only choice is Enterprise LTSB. With it I can really control the user experience and also meet HIPAA requirements, making it good to go for particular work environments. Free clouds and a free OS will get you just what you pay for, in terms of security.

  5. Also, windows 10 home will force install all windows updates e.g. drivers and you won’t be able to hide them like you can in Windows <10. Pro will let users do some customization in Windows update, although not clear how much. But I definitely won't update my laptop with windows 8.1 bing.

  6. I thought we were done with the different versions. Did anyone ever actually upgraded from Windows whatever home to pro? It’s like a winrar licence, fabled only in the legends from the days of yore…

    1. Yes, I upgraded from 7 home to 8 pro as part of the offer when 8 was first released, meant I switched to the pro version for a fraction of the price.

      As for why they have two versions, it’s basic price segmentation. Get more money from people willing to pay, without losing sales from people who aren’t.

  7. The Enterprise LTSB is basically a slap in the face to users. It exists because of the obvious hazards of Microsoft’s “Windows 10 Forever” policy of mandatory mutation which Enterprise customers seem to have successfully pushed back on. I’m not sure why ISVs have not gotten together to push back on behalf of everyone else, since they have even more at risk in the chaos that rolling mutation will engender – even more so if “more equal than other animals” Enterprise customers can opt out of this wanton mutation.

    1. Maybe, but rolling mutations hasn’t seemed to hurt Apple any all these years and with MS pushing Universal apps going forward the ISVs may have a lot less to worry about going forward unless they don’t take advantage of those changes…

      Enterprise setups can be very different from average users, though, and they’re more likely to run into software issues because many of them use custom in-house made software and have to provide their own support, which is harder to justify than a 3rd party who can potentially serve millions of users and not just one company…

      While those so called mutations include fixing the OS and making the experience better over time… Take Apple for example, you can hardly say the original release version of OSX is as good as the latest version, and things like better security was added in over the years… as well as new features to keep the OS up to date…

      Enterprise users can get away with things regular people can’t because of the custom set ups they often use and can do things like isolate their networks from the outside world but that isn’t really practical for the average user, who in turn have more to worry about from newer threats, etc. and thus better served by keeping up to date…

      Simple patches that don’t change how the system works still leaves vulnerabilities that can be exploited… While minimizing the support MS needs to provide leaves them more resources to continue to improve the OS and provide better services…

      So, I’d hardly consider it all doom and gloom going forward… but as always, we’ll see how it plays out…

      At least the new way they’re doing things also means they can always make additional changes later if it turns out to not be working well as it is setup now…

      1. “Universal” apps is just a new candy-coating name for WinRT apps and very little more. Just as nobody built them in the past, nobody is going to build them in the future. The sandboxing makes them useless except as fart apps or thin clients (for which we already have web browsers). The “mutation” I refer to is what replaces the new Windows versions we got in the past and could move to in a controlled manner. And for that matter things are far from joyful over in OS X land either, to the point where many ISVs have abandoned the platform.

        1. The mutation is just the normal updating of the OS that we normally had to wait for a new release for… Something multiple other software has already adopted…

          Like Firefox Brower, Chrome, etc…

          And no, the issues with OSX deal with how Apple strictly controls it and policy of planned obsolescence with no backwards compatability…

          Windows will continue to provide legacy support…

          While sand boxing isn’t a crippling factor as long as the developers aren’t locked out like they were with WinRT…

          For example most GNU/Linux distros already have that feature…

          And Universal apps are a bit more than just WinRT apps anymore… Besides, Windows needs to be more secure and this does that…

  8. So I still need Pro to get remote desktop. MS’ RDP protocol is still the best remote desktop I’ve used.

  9. Hmm no remote desktop in the home version. DOes that mean I will no longer be able to use remote desktop (Win7 Home atm) i wonder. :S

    1. Maybe, like WMC they could be removing things that aren’t used by the majority of people, or more likely in this case it could just be a difference between a basic app and the more advance version… Like the difference between Notepad/Wordpad and MS Word… It could still be in there but never mentioned and they only list the Pro versions in the chart…

    2. In previous versions of Windows, the home editions could connect to other PCs via RDP, but could not be connected to. I believe that is what this chart is saying.

    3. I,m glad about that. I don’t like people rummaging about at the bottom of my drawers , Puts the porn stash at risk

  10. For all intents, it looks like we could consider Enterprise and Education as the same thing — let’s call it “Windows 10 E”.

    They should just merge Pro and E together anyway, but there is probably a maze of licensing voodoo that helps Microsoft maximize profits.

    1. I’m guessing education is probably free, or sold at an extreme discount.

      1. turned out to be free to students, at lest for my school. I don’t know if i should upgrade from Pro, though. I’m afraid of losing the license once I graduate, or not being eligible for an upgrade to the next Windows.

        1. I am also worried about it expiring after I graduate. I need Windows 10 but 99 dollars for home is pretty steep.

    2. No maze, just a simple difference in users needs and scaled pricing so they don’t have to charge even more for the Pro version for people who don’t need the full Enterprise version… which also needs more supports, is likely the version that will be offered subscription pay for services for extra support, etc.

      The “Long Term Servicing Branch,” also means MS will have to devote more of its resources to supporting Enterprise users who opt out of keeping up with changes to the OS… Keep in mind that such features do cost MS money and other resources as they can’t minimize support to just what is standard at any given time with this policy in effect…

      It’s just not everyone’s needs fall into such specific sets but the alternative would have been for MS to provide even more different versions and confuse people even more… as well as make supporting it all harder on MS…

      But yeah, the idea is also to maximize profits as that is what businesses do who want to stay in business…

  11. So all that ‘things are different in Redmond’ hype isn’t completely true then. A lot of old Microsoft thinking here. And poor thinking at that.

      1. When there is only one donkey on the track, it always wins – but it’s still just a stinkin’ donkey.

  12. No bitlocker for home sucks. This should be a standard security feature for everyone. And no branch cache in Pro will mean that tech isn’t going to get adopted by the mid-market any time soon.

    1. You still get device encryption no matter what version you get…

      There’s also basic apps and services that aren’t listed in the chart, and they haven’t stated whether or not there would be any exceptions like they did for tablets for W8…

      1. Marriage equality is victorious – good times for all, except old homophobes.

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