When Windows 10 finally appears this year, there will be at least seven separate versions of it available. Here's what's on offer in each.
Microsoft released information on seven different versions of Windows 10 in a blog post today. Here are the key details:
- Windows 10 Home will be the version used by consumers on PCs and larger tablets, and the release you can expect to see on computers sold through retail outlets.
- Windows 10 Mobile will run on smartphones and smaller tablets (with a screen size of 9 inches or less). This is the product currently known as Windows Phone.
- Windows 10 Pro is designed to run on desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s and tablets. It adds business management and security features, and is aimed at users who will have a machine supplied by work but might also want to use it for personal tasks. This may show up on business-oriented PCs sold through retail channels.
- Windows 10 Enterprise is the version aimed at larger businesses, and will be sold through Microsoft's Volume Licensing program. It adds additional security and management features, and lets administrators control the pace at which updates are released. There will be a cut-down version for use on industrial devices like ATMs and point-of-sale equipment.
- Windows 10 Education is a tweaked version of Enterprise aimed at schools and universities.
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is a business-focused version of Windows 10 Mobile, also sold via Volume Licensing. Like Enterprise, there will also be a cut-down "industrial" edition for handheld terminals and other task-specific devices.
- Windows 10 IoT Core is a very stripped-down version of Windows 10, designed for "small footprint, low cost devices like gateways". Microsoft has previously indicated this version will be free.
We already knew that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for users of Windows 7, 8.1 and 8.1 Phone. That free upgrade offer will apply to the Home, Pro and Mobile editions. (Purchasers of enterprise editions are likely to already have a licensing agreement in place.) Despite that plethora of versions, the vast majority of copies of Windows 10 that ship are likely to be Home, Pro and Enterprise.
No official release date for Windows 10 has been announced beyond the US summer, but it's likely to be before August.
Introducing Windows 10 Editions [Blogging Windows]