Start planning with the Windows 10 editions

For executives and managers planning IT strategy for enterprises, there are key consideration areas in Windows 10 as evidenced by examining the preview (available through the Insiders program where there are about 4 million users). Full versions of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Pro are free upgrades for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. Windows 10 will incrementally update as innovations happen to the operating system thus giving the appearance as the last version of Windows.

I’m chairing the European CIOs of the Year panel at CIOCITY 2015 in three weeks to the audience of c-level executives. Previously I chaired the CIO digital panel session with top CIOs and CEOs at the World CIO Forum. What I am consistently hearing are the priorities of productivity, mobile and cloud first, security, a consistent experience with consumer to enterprise alignment. With over 4 zettabytes (4B terabytes) growing to more than 20 zettabytes in a few years, Big Data and analytics is an area of investment plus being able to seamlessly use the new web. Usability across all devices is a must. One Windows operating system across the diversity of devices aligned with these priorities makes sense. Imagine one operating system optimized for each type of device: phones, tablets, PCs, Xbox One, HoloLens, Surface Hub, IoT devices with a single, universal Windows Store. Windows 10 provides the foundation for supporting strategic business goals and providing high level of usability, and comfort across devices.

The Windows 10 editions brings this into focus. For added background on the technologies, see this article:
CIOs top 6 considerations for Windows 10…

Windows 10 Home:

-        for consumers

-        includes: intelligent agent Cortana, Microsoft Edge web browser (formerly called project Spartan); Continuum tablet mode for touch-capable devices where the operating system usability adapts to the how the device is used; Windows Hello face-recognition, iris and fingerprint login; Xbox gaming experience; universal Windows apps


Windows 10 Mobile:

-        for smartphones and small tablets

-        includes: Windows 10 Home universal Windows apps and supports touch-optimized version of Office

-        Continuum for phone, on upcoming supported Windows 10 Mobile devices allows you to connect a keyboard, mouse and display to a large screen

Note: just released, Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10080 for phone now available

Windows 10 Pro:

-        for businesses

-        desktop edition for PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s (computers that can transform from a tablet to laptop like the Surface Pro 3)

-        includes:  Windows 10 Home capabilities; plus ability to manage devices and apps, protect business data, support remote and mobile productivity, take advantage of cloud technologies; Windows Update for Business (controls update deployment, quicker access to security updates, ongoing access latest innovations)

Windows 10 Enterprise:

-        for medium and large enterprises

-        includes: features of Windows 10 Pro; plus advanced capabilities for security threats, broadest options for deployment / device and app management

-        available to Volume Licensing customers

-        able to choose the pace to adopt new technology, option to use Windows Update for Business

-        Long Term Servicing Branch as a deployment option

-        Active Software Assurance customers in Volume Licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits


Windows 10 Education:

-        Includes features of Windows 10 Enterprise, designed for schools (teachers, students, administration)

-        academic Volume Licensing

-        upgrade paths for schools and students using Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro


Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise:

-        for business customers using smartphones and small tablets

-        available to Volume Licensing customers

-        includes productivity, security and mobile device management features of Windows 10 Mobile plus added flexibility in managing updates

-        will incorporate the latest security and innovation features as soon as they are available

Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise versions:

-        for devices like ATMs, retail point of sale, handheld terminals, industrial robotics


Windows 10 IoT Core:

-        for small footprint, low cost devices like gateways