Windows 10 is coming this year, and although Microsoft has strongly emphasized its shared code base across devices and the benefits of universal apps, that doesn’t change the fact that there are several different editions of the operating system.
Microsoft detailed the seven – yes, seven! – different options in a blog post, although there aren’t any huge surprises in the bunch. As ever, there are versions for average consumers and power users, as well as the mobile release, plus business and education-minded editions.
Windows 10 Home is the base version designed for most desktop, tablet, and 2-in-1 users, bringing everything from the new Edge browser to Cortana and Continuum mode. It also has Xbox features and the various new universal apps. Meanwhile, Windows 10 Pro builds upon all of that with more of a focus on small business use, bringing in features that focus on security, remote functionality, and advanced cloud usage.
Meanwhile, what was once known as Windows Phone has been rebranded Windows 10 Mobile, delivering the smartphone edition of the OS. We’ve heard before that Windows 10 may hit phones later than PCs, but Microsoft’s post doesn’t make it clear either way. All three of those versions are free upgrades for qualifying Windows 7 and 8.1 devices.
And then for business and school settings, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education, and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise are specially configured editions designed for those specific users and able to scale for large groups.
Finally, Windows 10 IoT Core is a new edition designed for “small footprint, low cost devices” in the burgeoning Internet of Things market (the Raspberry Pi 2, for example). After all, Microsoft says it wants to have Windows 10 running on one billion devices within three years of launch – and to help it do that, it’s going to be free for most of us – so it better have a flavor for every single gadget it possibly can.