Comparing the New Windows 10 Versions Arriving July 29
On July 29, 2015, the newest version of Windows hits PCs worldwide.
This Windows version has a new distribution method – it’s downloaded to your computer as a Windows Update. Even better, it’s free (for some computers)!
Which brings up a question – if it’s distributed as an upgrade, which computers get Windows 10?
Windows 10 is an Upgrade from Windows 7 & Windows 8.1
Windows 10 is the next version after Windows 8.1. So it makes sense that computers running Windows 8.1 will receive the Windows 10 Update.
Computers running Windows 7 will as well. Microsoft’s reasoning is, if your computer can run Windows 7 comfortably, it should run Windows 10 comfortably.
However, there's a caveat to all this. There are several versions of Windows 7 – Home, Pro, Enterprise, etc. This is also true for Windows 8.
The version of Windows 7/8/8.1 you have now, determines the version of Windows 10 you’ll receive via Windows Update.
The Windows 10 Versions & Their Differences
There are 6 versions of Windows 10. Three of these are slated to arrive via Windows Update as a free upgrade.
- Windows 10 Home – The consumer edition, built for home PCs and tablets. 10 Home includes the new Cortana "digital assistant", a new Web browser called Edge (no more Internet Explorer!), and the ability to run “Universal” apps like Photos, Mail, Calendar, Music, & Video.
- Windows 10 Mobile – The phone edition for Windows Phone users. It will run the same Universal apps as 10 Home. If you have a newer Windows Phone, you can connect it to a larger screen and keyboard/mouse via the new "Continuum" app. Turning it into a small PC.
- Windows 10 Pro – The business edition, built for office PCs and tablets. 10 Pro has everything 10 Home has, plus features geared specifically toward business use:
- Data Protection (file- and disk-level)
- Remote support options
- Cloud-friendly apps
- OneDrive for Business integration
- And several more
The following are NOT available via Windows Update (but can be purchased):
- Windows 10 Enterprise – The enterprise edition, meant for larger businesses. 10 Enterprise includes additional security features, device & app management. 10 Enterprise also gives administrators the power to choose how fast they want users to get patches & updates through Windows Update for Business.
- Windows 10 Education – The academic edition. Similar to Enterprise, but with features geared toward administrators, teachers & students. It will work on tablets as well, like 10 Home and 10 Pro. Available through academic Volume Licensing.
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise – The phone edition for larger businesses. 10 Mobile Enterprise builds extra security tools into Windows 10 Mobile, as well as ways to manage updates & devices at the administrator level. Available through Volume Licensing.
Which Version Will My PC Get?
If your PC runs Windows 7 Home or Windows 8.1**: Windows 10 Home
If your PC runs Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate, or Windows 8.1 Pro: Windows 10 Pro
If your phone runs Windows Phone 8.1: Windows 10 Mobile
Large organizations who have Volume Licensing contracts will have Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise as an upgrade option.
**If your PC runs Windows 8 and you haven’t upgraded to 8.1 yet, we encourage you to do so now. Otherwise you may not be eligible for the free upgrade.
Do You See the Get Windows 10 Icon?
You may see a Windows icon appear in your taskbar. It looks like this.
Mousing over it reveals, "Get Windows 10".
This is the Windows 10 Reservation icon. Click it, and you’ll see an option to "Reserve your free upgrade". Reserving schedules your computer for its Windows 10 Update after July 29.
(For more details on reserving a Windows 10 upgrade, visit Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free
However, we encourage ALL business users to contact their IT departments, or IT consultants, and ask how the business plans to handle its Windows 10 upgrades.
Introducing Windows 10 Editions – Blogging Windows
(May 13, 2015)
Windows 10 Editions: Everything You Need to Know – ZDNet
(May 14, 2015)
Ten Things You Need to Know about Windows 10 – Spiceworks.com
(June 15, 2015)