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.
Familar, and better than everHomeProEnterpriseEducation
Customizable Start MenuYesYesYesYes
Windows Defender & Windows firewallYesYesYesYes
Fast start up with Hiberboot and InstantGoYesYesYesYes
TPM supportYesYesYesYes
Battery SaverYesYesYesYes
Windows UpdateYesYesYesYes
Talk or type naturallyYesYesYesYes
Personal and proactive suggestionsYesYesYesYes
Search web, device, and cloudYesYesYesYes
“Hey Cortana” hands-free activationYesYesYesYes
Windows HelloHomeProEnterpriseEducation
Native fingerprint recognitionYesYesYesYes
Native facial and iris recognitionYesYesYesYes
Enterprise level securityYesYesYesYes
Virtual desktopsYesYesYesYes
Snap assist (up to 4 apps on one screen)YesYesYesYes
Snap apps across screens on different monitorsYesYesYesYes
Switch from PC to tablet modeYesYesYesYes
Microsoft EdgeHomeProEnterpriseEducation
Reading viewYesYesYesYes
Built-in ink supportYesYesYesYes
Cortana integrationYesYesYesYes
Existing FundamentalsHomeProEnterpriseEducation
Device EncryptionYesYesYesYes
Domain JoinNoYesYesYes
Group Policy ManagementNoYesYesYes
Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE)NoYesYesYes
Assigned Access 8.1NoYesYesYes
Remote DesktopNoYesYesYes
Direct AccessNoNoYesYes
Windows To Go CreatorNoNoYesYes
Start Screen Control with Group PolicyNoNoYesYes
Management and DeploymentHomeProEnterpriseEducation
Side-loading of line of business appsYesYesYesYes
Mobile device managementYesYesYesYes
Ability to join Azure Active Directory, with single sign-on to cloud-hosted appsNoYesYesYes
Business Store for Windows 10NoYesYesYes
Granular UX ControlNoNoYesYes
Easy Upgrade from Pro to Enterprise EditionNoYesYesNo
Easy Upgrade from Home to Education EditionYesNoNoYes
Microsoft PassportYesYesYesYes
Enterprise Data ProtectionNoYesYesYes
Credential GuardNoNoYesYes
Device GuardNoNoYesYes
Delivering Windows as a ServiceHomeProEnterpriseEducation
Windows UpdateYesYesYesYes
Windows Update for BusinessNoYesYesYes
Current Branch for BusinessNoYesYesYes
Long Term Servicing BranchNoNoYesNo
Windows 10 - Important Information