The upcoming Windows 10 operating system has a load of new features, but one thing that's staying the same is multiple editions for different platforms. The number of days until the release of Windows 10 is dwindling, as evidenced by Microsoft's latest announcement of seven editions of Windows 10, which cover an entire range of devices for everyone from the home user to the business executive, and beyond.
The most popular edition will no doubt be Windows 10 Home. It will contain most, if not all, of the features that Microsoft showed over the past few months, such as Cortana, integration with the Xbox One, a slew of apps, and the new Microsoft Edge browser. Windows 10 Home will also be available for 2-in-1 devices and tablets.
Windows Phone users will get a separate edition, the appropriately-named Windows 10 Mobile. One of its biggest features will be the universal apps that allow you to use the same app across multiple Windows devices so you can start work on a Windows phone and then finish it on your desktop. Another notable feature is Continuum, which essentially turns the phone into a desktop computing device when it's connected to a larger screen. All you need then is a mouse and keyboard.
For businesses, Windows 10 actually has three different versions. Windows 10 Pro is geared towards small businesses. Aside from better security and the ability to manage multiple devices and apps, Windows 10 Pro has a heavy focus on cloud technology, allowing business owners to handle data and meetings remotely and without leaving their desks.
On the other hand, larger businesses and corporations are more suited for Windows 10 Enterprise. Instead of cloud technology, security is the biggest focus for this version, with the help of a method called the Long Term Serving Branch that allows IT to provide the necessary security updates for multiple devices without other functional updates.
Both Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise also have Windows Update for Business. This gives the user control of scheduling updates, particularly as it pertains to which devices get the first wave of updates, when those updates should occur, and P2P delivery for areas of the business that have low bandwidth.
For the traveling business worker, there's also Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise. It's the same Windows 10 Mobile experience but with added layers of security as well as the ability to manage updates, just like on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. The new mobile system could be very effective with the combination of a powerful program like Continuum and numerous security updates.
Today's classrooms are filled with technology, so it only makes sense for schools to have Windows 10 Education. The system is actually based on Windows 10 Enterprise, so there's a clear focus on security and protecting both students and the administration from dangerous attacks. Any student or teacher who also uses Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Mobile can upgrade their devices to Windows 10 Education if they wish.
Windows 10 Enterprise and Mobile Enterprise will also make their way to other applications such as ATMs, handheld terminals, and industrial robots. For small gateway devices, Microsoft built Windows IoT core.
It's notable that Microsoft has paid attention to the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market in Windows 10. In its own unified Ubuntu platform, Canonical has done the same. This all points to IoT as an important new market that isn't just some curious niche.
Windows 10 Home, Mobile, and Pro are free upgrades, but the Enterprise, Mobile Enterprise, and Education are paid upgrades.
Windows 10 is due to arrive sometime this summer. We'll look forward to more details and hands-on coverage at that time.