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Technical Articles & Industry Trends
Windows 10 has been available for a while now, and many people are not aware that there are actually nine editions. Windows 10 is convenient and practical for businesses because users are able to write one Universal Windows App (UWA) that applies to all Windows editions. However, now with Windows 10 IoT (Internet of Things), this increases the number of devices that can be connected. Windows 10 IoT is taking the place of what was formerly Windows Embedded.
With so many editions, it can be difficult to decide which edition of Windows 10 to upgrade to. Let’s cover all of the editions in this article so that after reading, you will know which version is best for your business needs.
Windows 10 Home is made for at-home personal use, and brings basic features that would be used on laptops, desktops, and 2-in-1 computers. The internet browser replacing Internet Explorer is debuted, called Microsoft Edge. This version of Windows 10 is designed for consumers with PCs, and is not intended for business use.
This version is made for Windows Mobile phones and tablets. Tools from the Windows desktop, including applications like Outlook, Word, and Excel, are optimized for smaller, portable devices to use and integrate with the desktop OS.
Windows 10 Pro is made for businesses, and expands the abilities of Windows 10 Home. It has improved app management and security, and allows organizations to lock user accounts and prevent them from using certain apps. Pro also has BitLocker encryption, has the ability to set up a computer as a Remote Desktop server, and is designed for higher end business devices.
Enterprise expands Windows 10 Pro and is designed for medium to large organizations. It has advanced security features and allows for higher manageability and customization, as well as additional licensing rights. Windows 10 Enterprise is only available through volume purchasing. To upgrade to Enterprise, you must also already have a valid Windows 10 license, like Pro. Enterprise is ideal for large businesses, government agencies, and large nonprofits.
Mobile Enterprise is designed for workplace use of Windows smartphones. It is very similar to Windows 10 Mobile, but is only available by volume licensing. It allows large organizations to control system modifications, software updates, and has advanced security settings. Mobile Enterprise is ideal for companies that want standard mobile devices for employees.
Windows 10 Education is made specifically for the academic realm. Like Enterprise, it is distributed through volume licensing for schools, universities, educators, and students. It has the same security features as Enterprise, as well as customization availability. The main difference here is that Education does not include Cortana functionality.
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is the full version of Windows 10 IoT. It is made with a customizable OS and many features that allow larger companies to control which apps are being operated on their devices. Besides that, Enterprise has a high level of security. It provides support for TPM (Trusted Platform Module) to protect and encrypt data, and has embedded lockdown features, which allow the device to be locked down to only run trusted apps and make sure it is resistant to tampering. IoT Enterprise allows secure interoperability across all devices in a network.
IoT Enterprise was designed for “powerful industry devices” in sectors like retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. Because of the more advanced lockdown feature, supervisors have the ability to prevent users from installing and using any apps except for authorized ones. This enables personnel and consumers to safely and securely operate devices like POS systems, medical devices, kiosks, ATMs, robotics, and automation, picking which applications can be engaged. In the case of equipment that will be used by the general public, like a movie rental kiosk, only the movie rental interface is accessible to customers.
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is ideal for OEMs because of the customizable experience and the ability to brand things like logon screens. It is designed to be used with devices that need a UI, like industrial PCs and graphics-intensive digital signs.
Windows 10 IoT Mobile brings Windows 10 Mobile functionality to IoT devices. This OS also has high security with advanced lockdown features across user profiles and applications. It is intended for equipment with screens less than 8”, like ruggedized handheld gear used in warehouses, retail stores, and other similar facilities.
Windows IoT Core was developed specifically for custom development on small, embedded devices. It runs on Intel or ARM-based devices that require a smaller OS. Unlike the IoT Enterprise or Mobile, the Core does not have the Windows Shell so the devices are not required to have a display. Instead, users can write a UWA that will be the interface of the equipment.
Common devices using Windows 10 IoT Core are things like smart refrigerators, vending machines, and thermostats, as well as the Raspberry Pi 2 and custom inventions. Because of this, Windows 10 IoT Core was designed to work with different opensource languages.
It depends on the type of application you are carrying out and the type of device you have. Equipment like industrial computers need to run on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise if it’s a large business, or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to connect to other industrial devices. Mobile phones and barcode scanners use Mobile or IoT Mobile Enterprise, while large businesses looking to deploy a standardized device policy would choose Mobile Enterprise. Intelligent home equipment like your thermostat, and custom innovative projects can use IoT Core.
For Teguar’s computers, you will most likely need Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or IoT Enterprise. Most of our PCs have displays and high powered processors, and are often being placed in environments that need to be customizable, have high security, and have limited accessibility. If you are still not sure which Windows 10 version is right for you and your devices, contact us and we will help you decide.