Microsoft details Windows 10 editions

— 11:33 AM on May 14, 2015

When Windows 10 arrives sometime this summer, a new post on the Windows blog confirms that it'll be segmented into at least seven different editions, spanning PCs, handsets, and Internet of Things devices.

The most important Windows 10 editions for consumers will likely be Home, Pro, and Mobile. Home offers most of the marquee features we've seen for Win10, including Cortana, the Microsoft Edge browser, Continuum, Windows Hello biometric authentication, and integration with Xbox One and Xbox Live. With this feature, Xbox One owners will be able to play Xbone games from any Windows PC in their home. Windows 10 Home also includes a new suite of basic apps: Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music, and Video. On top of these features, Windows 10 Pro adds an array of business-focused functionality related to device management and security, including access to the new Windows Update for Business service.

Windows 10 Mobile (the Windows Phone brand appears to be dead) will run smartphones and small tablets. It'll include the same suite of universal apps as desktop Win10, as well as the newest, touch-ready version of Microsoft Office. Compatible phones will also be able to run the mobile version of Continuum, which provides a more PC-like experience when the phone is connected to a larger display alongside a mouse and keyboard. 

Windows 10 Enterprise, Mobile Enterprise, and Education are only available to volume licensing customers. The Enterprise edition adds "advanced capabilities to help protect against the ever-growing range of modern security threats targeted at devices, identities, applications and sensitive company information," and it "supports the broadest range of options for operating system deployment and comprehensive device and app management." Education is a version of Enterprise specifically targeted at schools, while Mobile Enterprise adds more device and update management features for businesses.

They don't have catchy names, but Microsoft will also offer versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Mobile Enterprise for ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, and industrial robotics applications. Finally, Windows 10 IoT Core is targeted at "small-footprint, low cost devices." Sounds like a version for Raspberry Pi-class computers.

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