With Windows 10 coming this summer, Microsoft has finally detailed the editions of the software it will deliver to customers, splitting it chiefly into business, home and mobile versions, plus embedded editions for appliances and the Internet of Things.
The editions just announced number six in total, and are mostly in line with the editions known from earlier versions of Windows. These comprise Windows 10 Home for consumers, Windows 10 Pro for small businesses and Windows 10 Mobile for smartphones and smaller tablets.
For the corporate sector there is Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise available under volume licensing agreements, plus a separate Windows 10 Education aimed at schools, teachers and students.
Microsoft has previously disclosed three further editions for embedded applications, Windows 10 IoT for industry devices, Windows 10 IoT for mobile devices and Windows 10 IoT for small devices.
A key difference for business users to note is that the Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise editions will support the newly disclosed Windows Update for Business capabilities, while the Enterprise edition provides organisations with the option of the Long Term Servicing Branch for mission-critical devices and environments, which delivers security fixes only.
The Enterprise editions also come with extra advanced capabilities to help protect against the ever-growing range of modern security threats, plus a wide range of options for operating system deployment and comprehensive device and app management, Microsoft said.
Microsoft has yet to specify an exact release date for Windows 10, but it is widely expected to come in late July.
Writing on the official Windows blog, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows marketing, Tony Prophet, reminded customers that the software will be offered as a free upgrade, at least to start off with.
"As we announced earlier this year, for the first time ever, we are offering the full versions of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Pro as a free and easy upgrade for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device," he said.
Windows 10 is set to offer a great deal of commonality across the editions, including a unified application platform that will enable developers to write a single app that will run on smartphones, tablets, desktops and even devices such as the Raspberry Pi.
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