So you’re running Windows 10 on your machine, and you’re sort of confused as to what version you have. Windows 10 is often referred to as Windows 10 Home, and can even be Windows 10 S — out of the box, your machine could be running those. But, you might have also heard of this other version — Windows 10 Pro. What does all of that mean? Well, each version or edition of windows 10 comes equipped with their extra own extra features that are meant to assist the demographic that Microsoft is targeted with the respective edition.
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That said, if you follow along with us below, we’ll show you what Windows 10, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 S, and Windows 10 Pro are all about, what features they bring to the table, and who they’re targeted towards for primary use. So if you’re ready to dive right in and find out what’s what or which one you should buy, let’s get started!
Difference Between Windows 10 And Windows 10 Pro
First up, we’re looking at Windows 10 Pro. If you couldn’t guess, Windows 10 Pro stands for Windows 10 Professional. Just as the name implies, this edition of Windows 10 was designed for the professional — the person who is going to be doing a whole lot more than the layman on their PC. The layman might use a Windows 10 feature occasionally, but will never have to deep into Windows 10’s registry or group policy settings, therefore, those features, and more, are only available in Windows 10.
Windows 10 Pro comes with a sophisticated tool set that you don’t have access to in Windows 10 Home versions. The tool set is installed on Windows 10 Home, but even Windows 10 Home administrators don’t have access to that tool set without a Pro license. You’ll get access to tools like Domain Join, Group Policy Management, Bitlocker, Remote Desktop, Device Guard, and more. It even has something called Access 8.1, which allows the admin to lock user accounts and prevent them from accessing specific apps on the system.
If you didn’t know, BitLocker is a powerful disk encryption tool, even allowing you to encrypt external USB hardware. One of the more unique tools in Windows 10 Pro is the Client Hyper-V feature, which is some powerful virtualisation software within Windows.
Suffice to say, Windows 10 Pro has some serious advantages over Home, giving you access to some professional and industry leading tools that you wouldn’t be able to find in the base version of the software, or at least have access to. That said, we should also note that any of the features that come with Windows 10 Home, or Windows 10 S, are all usable in Windows 10 Pro.
Windows 10 Pro is definitely the more pricey software for a digital license. A USB boot stick shipped to you will come at a similar price point, but would allow you to easily boot a machine off of the ready-made boot software.
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Before we dive into the differences with Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 S, there’s something we should clear up. As far as editions go, there’s no such things as Windows 10. When people refer to Windows 10, they’re often referring to the baseline editions, which can either be Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 S. That said, we’ll touch on slightly the differences with Windows 10 Home, but also show you what Windows 10 S is all about and how it compares to Windows 10 Pro.
As you can imagine, and almost see, Windows 10 Home is a lot different than Windows 10 Pro, in that you don’t get access to any of those tools that we listed above. That said, Windows 10 Home does come with its own suite of tools, but tools and features that the layman is likely to use more than the professional — we’re talking basic features like Cortana, Battery Saver, Start Menu, Windows Update, Windows Hello, Continuum, Edge, etc. Windows 10 Home also comes with a significant price difference to Pro.
Now, Windows 10 S is a lot different than both of these. Windows 10 S is actually more found on budget laptops, educational laptops, and at school. You get some of the basic Windows 10 Home functionality, but it’s more locked down to improve speed, battery life, and efficiency. For example, you can only download apps from the Windows Store, which means your laptop will get longer life due to using native apps. Windows 10 S also provides higher security this way, by not allowing you to download outside of the Windows Store. Microsoft Edge is also the only browser that you can use on Windows 10 S.
As you can see, Windows 10 in S Mode is a whole lot more limiting, but just keep in mind that it can be a version of Windows 10 that people are referring to when they refer to Windows 10. Luckily, Microsoft is starting to phase out S Mode, where it doesn’t require payment to upgrade to Windows 10 Home — instead, you’ll simply have the ability to turn S Mode on or off within Windows 10 Home.
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Difference Between Windows 10 And Windows 10 Pro Verdict
As you can see, there are some pretty notable differences between Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 in S Mode, and Windows 10 Pro, and that’s because the two/three different editions are geared towards two different types of people. As we’ve mentioned a couple times, the former is geared towards the layman, the person who maybe uses the Internet browser primarily, and then sometimes uses functions inside Windows 10. Then, you have Windows 10 Pro, which is geared towards people who need to mess with system and network settings a whole lot more. And then there’s Windows 10 in S Mode, which was a way to provide software that was even lower than Home at a cheaper price point, usually found on budget laptops. But, again, Microsoft is phasing that out as an “edition” and is making it an on or off feature within Home.