When Microsoft decided that it was going to skip Windows 9 entirely and leap straight into Windows 10 later this year, we were told that the new operating system would provide a more unified platform across all devices: laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, convertibles and the rest of it. How unified this will be in practice remains to be seen, but we can at least tell you that there will be several different versions of the OS. In fact, the different Windows 10 editions have now been formally announced.
Revealed over on the official Microsoft Windows blog, the six different Windows 10 editions fall in line with the existing framework that we've already seen with earlier versions of Windows. There's a version for the regular home user, another one for the enterprise guy, and another one for the smaller screens of smartphones.
All this said, Microsoft is quick to remind us that "Windows 10 will power an incredibly broad range of devices," including the Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens and Surface Hub. There's even a lightweight version for the Internet of Things, ATMs and similar applications. So, what are the six Windows 10 editions we can expect to see?
Windows 10 Home is the consumer-oriented edition for desktop PCs, Windows 10 Mobile will effectively replace Windows Phone (but will also be used for small tablets), Windows 10 Pro is the desktop edition with more robust features than Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Enterprise is for medium and large sized organizations, Windows 10 Education is built upon the enterprise model but with optimizations for schools and educators, and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is for business customers on smartphones and small tablets.
It will be interesting to see just how effective the whole Continuum function will work in turning your phone into a desktop PC, especially if said phone is running Windows 10 Mobile and not Home or Pro. It should also be noted that while both legit and pirated copies of earlier Windows can get the free upgrade to Windows 10, this only applies to Home, Mobile and Pro.