Unlike Windows Vista and Windows 7 that come with multiple choices of editions for consumer, Windows 10 actually has limited choice of editions for each class of device, even though Windows 10 editions look many thanks to Microsoft’s attempt to make Windows 10 the unified name and universal code base for all devices, from tiny IoT (Internet of Things) to large server clusters.

But for typical PC, such as desktop, notebook, laptop, hybrid, convertible, or tablet, the choice of Windows 10 editions is ultimately only Windows 10 Home (Core) edition or Windows 10 Pro if you’re consumer. For small businesses, enterprises and corporations, it’s either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise. Likewise for educational institution, choice is limited to either Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Education.

Microsoft has published a comprehensive comparison chart that compares the key differences of Windows 10 editions meant for PC and tablet. These editions, as listed above, are Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education. All editions have all the common features of Windows 10 as listed as Core Experiences, with only differences in Business Experiences, which packs a lot of enhanced security features.

Some features and functionality of Windows 10 is hardware-dependent, or available to some regions only, or requires separate licenses. For example:

  1. Fast start up with Hiberboot and InstantGo requires InstantGo or device that passes the device encryption HCK test.
  2. TPM and BitLocker support requires TPM 1.2 or greater.
  3. Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors.
  4. Continuum requires touch screen capabilities.
  5. Cortana is available only in certain markets.
  6. Device Encryption requires InstantGo or device that passes the “Device Encryption Requirements Test”.
  7. Azure Active Directory requires separate license.
  8. Credential Guard and Device Guard requires UEFI 2.3.1 or greater; Virtualization Extensions such as Intel VT-x, AMD-V, and SLAT must be enabled; x64 version of Windows; IOMMU, such as Intel VT-d, AMD-Vi; TPM 2.0; BIOS Lockdown.
Windows 10 - Important Information