Windows 10 is free for upgrade for genuine installs of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. You get to upgrade to distinct editions of Windows 10, based on the editions of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you are running. If you are running Windows 7 Home for example, you will be upgraded to Windows 10 Home. If you are running Windows 8.1 Pro, you will be on Windows 10 Pro. If you want Windows 10 Enterprise or Education, you will have to buy them before upgrading.
Windows 10 editions comparison chart
There are six Windows 10 editions:
- Windows 10 Home
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Educational
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Mobile
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
This article will not talk about mobile editions as the features for mobile editions are pretty limited compared to normal editions. We will keep the focus on first four desktop versions: Windows Home, Windows Professional, Windows Education and Windows Enterprise.
The edition you get upon upgrading depends upon which edition you are using currently. Read our discussion on which edition of Windows 10 you will get for more details.
Windows 10 editions features compared
Windows 10 has plenty of new features and they vary by the editions. Some features are common to all the editions while some advanced features are reserved for higher editions that may not be eligible for free updates. Microsoft has released a chart showing what features will be available in each edition.
The basic features will be available in all four editions. These include the much awaited Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Windows Defender, Fast Start with HiberBoot feature, TPM support, Battery Saver and basic Windows Update feature. Continuum is also available in all editions so you can switch from PC to tablet mode and vice-versa.
Personalization settings such as Lock Screen, wallpapers, themes, and customizing of sounds etc are also available in all editions of Windows 10. You can also download and add themes to your computer or tablet.
Basic security is available to all editions in form of Windows Defender and Windows Firewall.
Device Encryption will be available to all editions if the device hardware supports it.
Windows Hello is also available in all editions. Windows Hello however requires special hardware to work with facial impressions, Iris inspections and fingerprints. Your computer must have those special hardware before Windows Hello can be used.
Coming to advanced features, Windows Domain is not available in Windows 10 Home. You will have to have at least Windows 10 Pro to use this feature. Similarly, Group Policy Editor will also not be available in the Home edition. Enterprise, Pro and Education will feature GPE and Domains compatibility.
However, Start Screen Control with group policy will not be available even in Pro. Home too won’t have it. It is available only for Enterprise and Education editions.
Other features absent from Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro are Direct Access, Windows To Go Creator, Applocker, and Branchcache.
Coming to Windows Update, the basic updates will be available to all editions. The long-term servicing branch would be available only to the Enterprise edition. Windows Update for business is available to all editions except Home. Enterprise Editions will be able to defer installing updates, whereas Home users do not have that option. Windows 10 Pro also lets customers take advantage of the new Windows Update for Business, which will reduce management costs
The much talked about Device Guard will not be available for Home and Professional edition.
You can download the PDF Comparison Chart from Microsoft.
Now Read: How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro.