Microsoft unveils all the editions of Windows 10 that will be available later this summer at launch. Today, in a new announcement at the official Windows blog, the company says that there will be seven editions of the next operating system: Windows 10 Home, Mobile, Pro, Enterprise, Education, Mobile Enterprise, and Windows 10 IoT.
Early this year, the company announced that for the first time the full version of Windows 10 will be free for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. However, what we didn’t know was which SKUs will fall in the category of “free”. Now, according to the software maker users will be able to upgrade for free to Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 Pro. After users upgrade to Windows 10, the operating system will remain free for the life of the device — Microsoft says.
Here is the breakdown of Windows 10 editions:
Windows 10 Home: This is the “consumer-focused desktop edition”. This version of Windows will offer on PCs, tablets, and 2-in-1 devices. The Home version of Windows will include Cortana, the new Microsoft Edge browser, Continuum tablet mode, Windows Hello “face-recognition, iris and fingerprint login”, and many universal Windows apps, such as Maps, Mail, Calendar, Photos, Xbox, Music and Video.
Windows 10 Mobile: While you might think this edition of the operating system is only for phones, in reality Microsoft is aiming Windows 10 Mobile as the operating system for phones and small tablet (8-inch or smaller). This edition will offer the new universal Windows apps included in Windows 10 Home, as well as the new version of Office with touch.
As we have previously seen, Windows 10 Mobile will also include the new Continuum for phone, which is a new feature that allows users to connect their phones to a larger screen and have a PC like experience with a keyboard and mouse.
Notice that Microsoft no longer refers to the operating system as “Windows 10 for Phones” or “Windows Phone 10”, now it’s simply called “Windows 10 Mobile”.
Windows 10 Pro: This is the edition for professional using PCs, tablets, and 2-in-1 devices. This version of Windows 10 is based on top the Home version of Windows 10, but with extra features for “small businesses”. Windows 10 Pro will offer better device and app management, protection for business data, support for remote and mobile productivity, and additional cloud technologies.
Windows 10 Pro will also offer the new Windows Update for Business, which allow companies to take control over when to get updates and features. It’ll also reduce management cost and faster access to security updates and innovation from Microsoft.
Windows 10 Enterprise: The Enterprise SKU of Windows 10 is built on top of Windows 10 Pro, but designed with features for medium and large size organizations. This version of the operating system will help to protect big businesses on a range of modern security threats targeted at devices, identities, applications and sensitive company information.
Windows 10 Enterprise will additional offer more options for deployments and more comprehensive set of tools for device and app management.
Windows 10 Enterprise will only be available via the Microsoft’s Volume Licensing. This edition will also take advantage of the new Windows Update for Business.
Windows 10 Education: This is a brand new edition. This edition is based of Windows 10 Enterprise, but designed to meet the school needs. Windows 10 Education will be available via the academic Volume Licensing and Microsoft will make easier for schools and students running Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro devices to upgrade to the Education version.
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise: This version is based on Windows 10 Mobile, but designed for smartphones and tablets for businesses with better update management control. This version will only be available via the Volume Licensing. Microsoft will also allow Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise to access the latest security and innovation features as soon as they’re ready.
Windows 10 IoT Core: There will be a version of Windows 10 for small footprint, low cost devices.
Even more editions: In addition Microsoft will offer variants of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for devices such as retail point of sale, ATMs, handheld terminals and industrial robotics.
Wrapping things up
While this is a big news, there are still many questions to be answered, such as pricing. We still don’t know how much each edition of Windows 10 will cost and how much customers will be paying after the first year for those running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices. Furthermore, Microsoft still hasn’t unveil how the packaging looks like for the retail version of the operating system.
Microsoft plans to release Windows 10 later this summer, presumably by the end of July, according to AMD’s CEO, and it will be available in 190 countries, in 111 languages. However, the company will only launch the desktop version of the operating system, Windows 10 Mobile will release on a later date.