Home windows 10 Professional vs. Enterprise: What Are the Variations?

Windows Enterprise Edition presented

While Windows 10 is available in many editions, most are designed for specific purposes and are not available to the general public. As a result, you may be confused about editions of Windows that aren't on store shelves, such as: B. Windows 10 Enterprise.

Let's take a look at Windows 10 Enterprise versus Windows 10 Pro, including intended use, cost, and features included.

Windows 10 editions for home users

Before we go any further, know that if you are wondering which version of Windows 10 is right for you, there is no need to worry about Windows 10 Enterprise. Enterprise editions of Windows are intended for corporate use and are therefore not available for purchase by yourself.

We looked at the differences between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. These are the only two versions you need to consider for your own PC.

Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 Pro vs. Enterprise: basics

First, let's look at the basics of Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise to see how they differ.

Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 Pro is the next version of Windows above the basic version of Home. While Windows 10 Home includes all of the standout features of Windows 10, such as: Windows 10 Pro builds on it, for example game tools, Microsoft Store apps, functions for linking phones and more.

In Windows 10 Pro you also get advanced features like Remote Desktop, BitLocker, Hyper-V, Enterprise Mode for IE and the like. You also need at least Windows 10 Pro to join a PC to a domain. This is a common way to manage computers in a business environment.

The average home user doesn't really need anything in Windows 10 Pro, but avid users may prefer access to all of the geeky features.

Windows 10 Enterprise

In contrast, Windows 10 Enterprise is an edition of Windows that includes even more business-oriented features than Windows 10 Pro. For example, you can find tools like credential protection that are designed to prevent unauthorized use of single sign-on features. It also includes advanced security features that are designed to work on a network of many business computers.

The majority of the offerings from Windows 10 Enterprise through Windows 10 Pro are aimed at IT professionals. These features would not be necessary for a small business with only a few computers.

In particular, in contrast to Windows 7, there is no "Windows 10 Ultimate" version. Windows 7 Ultimate was essentially Windows 7 Enterprise repackaged for home use, but Microsoft didn't offer anything like it for Windows 8 or Windows 10.

Windows 10 Enterprise features

Next, let's take a quick look at some of the key features of Windows 10 Enterprise so you know what it offers.

The Long Term Service Channel

Windows 10 receives regular updates to add new features. While this is ideal for home users, it can create significant business settings issues. Computers running business-critical tools such as factory controls or ATMs don't need these fancy functions – they prioritize stability.

Windows 10 Enterprise computers can choose the long-term maintenance branch that will not receive feature updates for Windows 10. This version has been receiving security updates for a long time, making it suitable for computers that need to be running 24/7. It also removes unnecessary software such as Microsoft Store and Cortana.

AppLocker

AppLocker is a security feature that is not available in Windows 10 Pro. You can whitelist apps that are allowed to run on the system. Anything that is not explicitly allowed through AppLocker will not be executed on the computer. This makes it a great tool for environments that deal with highly sensitive information.

If this sounds interesting, we've shown how to lock Windows user accounts using other methods.

Enterprise virtualization features

Windows 10 Enterprise includes some virtualization features for businesses where many computers are connected to a server. With App-V or Microsoft Application Virtualization, organizations can run apps in a virtual environment and then deploy those virtual apps on client computers.

This allows the company to securely run an app on the server and control who can access it on their work computers instead of having hundreds of copies of an app on different computers.

Similarly, with UE-V or User Environment Virtualization, employees can save their system settings in a virtual file that is synchronized with other business computers when they log on. This is useful for businesses where users frequently swap desks or otherwise don't use computers all the time.

Other business tools

Most of the other tools in Windows 10 Enterprise aren't particularly exciting to read. These include network tools that make it easier for companies with multiple locations to access data, functions under the hood to increase security so that only trustworthy system processes can access confidential data, and the like.

If you're interested, check out Microsoft's Windows Edition Comparison for Business.

Windows 10 Pro vs. Enterprise: Pricing and Availability

Buy Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 Pro is preinstalled on more powerful computers that are often intended for business purposes. You can also buy a copy of Windows 10 Pro from Microsoft for $ 199.99 and opt for either a download or a USB drive.

If you already have Windows 10 Home, you can upgrade your current computer to Windows 10 Pro for $ 99. Go to Settings> Update & Security> Activation to check your status. Then follow the link to the Microsoft Store to upgrade if you wish.

Windows 10 Enterprise pricing isn't that simple. You must buy through Microsoft's Volume Licensing Center which typically uses a Microsoft partner who is involved in buying Windows for business purposes. Windows 10 Enterprise is available for both user and device setups, depending on the company type.

Windows 10 volume licensing

The company also offers two flavors of Windows 10 Enterprise: Enterprise E3 and Enterprise E5. These are almost the same; The only major difference is that E5 includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. This is an advanced security solution that uses behavior sensors in Windows 10, cloud tools, and other features to help businesses fight malware.

For more information, see the Windows 10 Licensing and Volume Licensing Purchasing pages.

Should I use Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise?

Windows 10 Pro is sufficient for small businesses that have few computers, are not heavily reliant on servers, and do not need advanced Windows features. Pricing is straightforward, but still allows you to manage it in a business setting using tools like Group Policy.

If you have hundreds or thousands of computers in your business, have a dedicated IT team with a certain infrastructure, and have certain computing needs that Windows 10 Pro cannot meet, Windows 10 Enterprise is for you. Only large companies with complex infrastructures can use most of the company's functions.

These are not the only Windows 10 versions available now. Did you know there are others including education?

Photo credit: tsyhun / Shutterstock

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About the author

Ben Stegner
(1597 articles published)

Ben is the Assistant Editor and Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. For over six years he has been a professional writer reporting on technical tutorials, video game recommendations, and more.

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