Windows 10 is getting adopted fast and quick but there’s always a very common question on most buyers minds. Which Windows 10 version should I choose? Well, Microsoft made it easy by releasing only two home desktop versions of Windows 10: Home and Pro. Today, we will make it easier, as we will compare the two Windows versions and let you know the one that suits your needs.
Previous Windows Home and Pro versions had major differences when it came to core features but Microsoft has changed things with Windows 10. Unlike the past, Windows 10 Home and Pro are very similar and they pack enough features to be viable for most users but as you would expect, Windows 10 Pro comes with more advanced security and privacy features.
Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro: What’s common?
All the Windows 10 versions (Home, Pro, Enterprise and Education) pack all the core features, so you wouldn’t be disappointed with any Windows 10 version as long as you only care about the native Windows 10 features. So, let’s take a look at what’s common between Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home:
Windows 10 Experience
Both Windows 10 Home and Pro come with the same core Windows 10 experience and features. Windows 10 features like the new customizable Start menu, battery saver, fast start-up, Windows defender, TRM support and new inbuilt “Windows Update” feature are all available on all the Windows 10 versions.
Microsoft Edge is a great budding browser from Microsoft, which is surely competing well against its competitors. Fortunately, Windows 10 Home and Pro both feature Edge as the default browser. There’s no difference in the Edge features too, as both Windows versions come with all the features like Reading view, Cortana integration, built-in ink support and more.
Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant holds its own even against very tough competition from the likes of Siri and Google Now. We loved Cortana on Windows Phone and we are glad to see it become such an integral part of the Windows 10 experience. Thankfully, Cortana features like search, suggestions, reminders and the usual playful banter are all common between Windows 10 Home and Pro.
Windows Hello brings biometric authentication to Windows devices and it certainly brings a wow factor to Windows. Thankfully, Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, both support Windows Hello. Both the OS versions support fingerprint scanners, iris & facial recognition and enterprise-level biometric authentication.
Both Windows 10 Home and Pro come with support for Continuum. Continuum lets you turn your mobiles, tablets into a full blown Windows PC. It allows you to switch between devices of different screen sizes. Thanks to Continuum, a Windows 10 Mobile device can be used as a Windows PC by just using Microsoft’s Continuum Dock.
Virtual Desktops and Snap
Virtual desktop is finally available on Windows 10 and the good news is that both Windows 10 Pro and Home support it. Along with virtual desktops, Snap is also available on both the Windows 10 versions. Snapping apps has also become way more easier, considering the Windows 8 Snap feature was a hassle. In Windows 10, Snap assist allows you to runs at most 4 apps side by side at once.
Windows 10 Home and Pro share some business features as well. Both the Windows versions come with support for Microsoft Passport, device encryption, side-loading of business apps and mobile device management. Along with that, both versions can be easily upgraded to Windows 10 Education Edition.
Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro: The Differences
There’s a reason Microsoft names its Windows releases as “Pro” and “Home”. Windows 10 Pro is for professional usage where people want the best and latest of the advanced security features while Windows 10 Home is aimed for personal and home usage. The difference between Windows 10 Home and Pro lies in the advanced privacy and security features. So, let’s take a look at the major differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro:
Windows 10 Pro comes with a lot of advanced privacy features, which the Home edition of Windows 10 lacks. Windows 10 Pro features Domain Join, which allows users to create a remote connection to a work domain. There’s also Group Policy Management, which lets Active Directory administrators manage Group Policy objects from a single device.
Windows 10 Pro also comes with Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer, Remote Desktop and Assigned Access 8.1, which lets a company restrict people to using a single Windows app from one Microsoft account.
Both Windows 10 Pro and Home are easily upgradable to Education Editions of Windows 10 but only the Pro version can be upgraded to Windows 10 Enterprise Edition. Windows 10 Pro also brings the ability to join Azure Active Directory and access to various cloud-hosted business and management apps.
In the future, Microsoft also plans to introduce a Windows Store for Business in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education. Windows Store for Business will be an app store aimed at enterprise users with support for business payment methods and more.
Windows 10 Pro comes with Enterprise Data Protection (EDP), which is a suite or module that makes sure the important data does not fall in the wrong hands. The data is also encrypted in this method, so even if the data gets compromised, it cannot be decoded. One other security feature that Windows 10 Pro packs is BitLocker. BitLocker is a disk encryption program, which protects data by encrypting all the volumes in a drive. Windows 10 Pro comes with the latest edition of BitLocker.
We all know that Windows 10 is going to be the last Windows version, with Microsoft planning to update it as a service in the future. While “Windows Update” is available on both Home and Pro, Windows 10 Pro comes with support for “Windows Update for Business”. Windows Update for Business will make sure that Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users are always up to date when it comes to security features. Windows 10 Pro also supports “Current Branch for Business” upgrade schedule, which brings Windows updates to the enterprise market after it is tested 90 days in the consumer market making sure it is sufficiently stable on release.
Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro (Table)
|Features||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Group Policy Management||No||Yes|
|Enterprise Mode IE||No||Yes|
|Easy Uprade to Enterprise||No||Yes|
|Windows Store for Business||No||Yes|
|Enterprise Data Protection||No||Yes|
|Windows Update for Business||No||Yes|
|Mobile Device Management||Yes||Yes|
Windows 10 Home vs Pro: Which one should you buy?
It’s commendable on Microsoft’s front to pack Windows 10 Home with all the core features, considering it’s the basic version. Windows 10 Home should work fine if you just care about the new attractive features like Cortana, Continuum, Windows Hello etc.. Microsoft has also added some security features in the Home edition like Microsoft Passport, device encryption and more.
Coming to Windows 10 Pro, it packs all the core features and along with that, it brings some very advanced business aimed features like Windows Store & Update for Business, Azure Active Directory, BitLocker, Enterprise Data Protection and more.
So, if you want a Windows version for basic or personal usage, you should do fine with Windows 10 Home. However, if you have a small business or you want a secure Windows version for work, then Windows 10 Pro should definitely be your choice.
Other Windows 10 Releases
Windows 10 comes in 7 variants in totality. There’s Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education along with Windows 10 Mobile & Mobile Enterprise and Windows 10 Core.
Windows 10 Enterprise, as the name suggests is aimed at large companies. It comes with various security and privacy features including the likes of Direct Access, AppLocker, Device Guard and more. This version of Windows is aimed at companies looking to lock down the Windows experience according to their specific needs. Microsoft is not selling Windows 10 Enterprise at the store, instead it will be sold to companies via volume licensing.
Windows 10 Education comes with almost all the features from Windows 10 Enterprise but it is aimed at Schools, Universities and their administrative staff. Even Windows 10 Education won’t be sold at retail stores and Microsoft will provide it to schools and universities through academic volume licensing.
Windows 10 Mobile, as the name suggests is for “mobile” devices which includes smartphones, tablets and any device with a screen size of less than 9-inches. Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is for large organizations, which can lock down their employees’ mobile experience according to their needs and security.
Last but certainly not the least, there’s Windows 10 Core for ATMs and Internet of Things (IoT) devices like Home Automation devices, Smart Gadgets etc..
If you plan on buying Windows 10 Home, it will cost you $119.99 while Windows 10 Pro is available for $199.99. You can buy both the releases from the links below.
- If you are currently using a genuine copy of Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium or Windows 8.1, you are entitled to a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
- Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro users can get a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
So, which Windows 10 release you plan on buying? Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro? Let us know in the comments section below.