Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is set to launch this summer, with versions PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Ahead of that launch, Microsoft is outlining the different versions of Windows 10.

There will be 6 or more different Windows 10 editions, although only 3 of them are really aimed at consumers. The others are for enterprise and education customers.

win10 desk

Windows 10 Home is the consumer-oriented operating system for desktops, notebooks, tablets, and 2-in-1 devices. It will have most of the features we’ve seen in Windows 10 Technical Preview releases including the Microsoft Edge web browser, Cortana digital assistant, Start Menu, Windows Store, and more.

Windows 10 Pro has everything you’ll find in the Home version, plus features which Microsoft says are aimed at small businesses including security, productivity, and remote access features.

Windows 10 Mobile is the name of the operating system that will run on smartphones and small tablets (with 7 inch and smaller displays). It has a Start Screen instead of a Start Menu, a touch-optimized user interface, and mobile versions of Office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

All three of these Windows 10 editions include versions of Microsoft’s Continuum software, which allows you to transition between touch-optimized and desktop modes. For Windows 10 Home and Pro that means you can automatically switch between a tablet and desktop user interface when connecting your tablet to a keyboard or other docking station. Continuum for phones lets you hook up your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone to an external display, keyboard, and mouse and use mobile apps as if they were desktop apps.

It’s interesting to note that Microsoft used to call its smartphone operating system Windows Mobile, before changing the name to Windows Phone with the launch of Windows Phone 7 in 2010. Maybe the company can revive another old name to describe smartphones designed to be used as desktops with the Continuum feature: Pocket PC.

It’s also worth noting that none of these editions will feature Windows Media Center: it’s dead. If that’s a Windows feature you use regularly, you’ll either want to refrain from updating, or check out our list of alternatives to Windows Media Center.

But wait, there’s more!

Windows 10 Enterprise has everything you’ll find in Windows 10 Pro, plus Windows Update for Business and other features available to volume licensing partners.

Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is basically the business-class version of the company’s smartphone operating system.

Windows 10 Education is similar to the enterprise edition, but it’s aimed at teachers, administrators, and other professionals in the education market.

These editions are all in addition to Windows 10 for IoT Core, a new version of Windows aimed at low-power devices like the Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer. There will also be Enterprise versions of Windows 10 aimed at industrial and retail devices including ATMs, point-of-sales machines, and robotics.

So on the one hand, Microsoft was serious when the company said it would be unifying its operating system to run across a range of devices: Each of these versions of Windows 10 shares a common code-base and Universal Windows Apps will be able to run on devices running most of these versions of the operating system.

On the other hand, not all apps developed for desktops will run on mobile devices… or ATMs. So in some ways Windows 10 is a lot like all earlier versions of Microsoft’s flagship operating system: there are different versions with different price points and feature sets.

For the first year after Windows 10 launches, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Mobile will be available as free upgrades for folks running qualifying versions of Windows 7 or later or Windows Phone 8.1.

There’s no word on how much the operating systems will cost if you want to buy them outright for installation on a new PC or one that’s not running a version of Windows that qualifies for an upgrade.


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23 replies on “Windows 10 to come in Home, Mobile, and Pro editions (plus a few more)”

  1. Seriously folks who are naysayers will use any excuse to bad-talk MS products! You can never make them happy until you run a contest or a give-away!

  2. Forget about it, I’m not gonna spend another dollar on a “new” Windows fiasco.

    I’m gonna install Linux and call it a day.

      1. Seriously, all these naysayers have always been the same. But offer a fre3e device here or an any blog and they come crawling out with excuses on why they should get the prices! I see some here now!

  3. I got a headache with all those Windows versions: Home, Pro, Enterprise bla, bla, Not so Pro, Hommie Edition… Woa WTF Why isn’t just a single version? What makes them so different? Uh?

    Meet the New Windows…same as the Old Windows. XD

    1. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. I suggest you stick with the edition you have! I know small bussiness owners who appreaciate their particular edition. It’s really simple, but if your complaint is “Oh so many to choose from I am so confused!” Then really stick to your crapple, no choice is your best choice!

        1. Why because I say the obvious? Because I don’t come on here and offer a whinning “Oh my, how confusing this all is!” post about anything Windows related?

          1. MiLo:

            Oh you can’t give a straight answer…obviously! 😉

          2. Ah you must work for Apple, I.Can tell by the reading comprehension issue You seem to have. Question asked and answered, yet you could not understand it. …lol!

  4. what the flying fu.. might as well put out a Starter edition while they’re at it -_-

  5. Looks like a single Windows operating system to run
    on all devices is still a mirage.

    1. It’s been the case for years that the different variants are identical operating systems, but with a different licence key (which affects whether certain features are enabled). You can even use a generic ISO to install any of the different versions.

  6. Pro and Home is the old Microsoft letting you know it isn’t completely a new day in Redmond. I’m sure their commercial licensing will remain completely obtuse. You know you are doing it right when companies have to keep full time staff just to keep track of whether or not they are in licensing compliance with your software.

    I predict ChromeOS will begin trending up there just as it has in education.

    1. Then you would be wrong! Join the naysayer line over there. MS has a continium of service and products. IT staffs and purchasing agents already know and if they have been doing their jobs for years then they should have no problem.

    1. Why would they? To each person’s favored edition there is a counterpart new “10” edition. I see no problem there.

  7. So I assume for the free upgrade:

    7 Home Basic, 7 Home Premium, 8(.1) Core -> 10 Home
    7 Pro, 7 Ultimate, 8(.1) Pro -> 10 Pro

    1. Just replace the current number of the edition with a “10” and you got the gist of it! No confusion there.

      1. There’s no such thing as Windows 8.1 Home… “Home” was last used on 7.

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