The Windows 10 operating system is going to be around for a long time, so it helps to be familiar with the basics of this popular operating system. In this video, you’ll learn about the Windows 10 editions and hardware requirements.
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Microsoft released Windows 10 on July 29 of 2015. And you’ll notice they skipped over version 9. They went directly from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. This version of Windows is designed to be a single platform that works on desktops, laptops, mobile devices, tablets, anything else that you would run Windows on would run Windows 10.
During the first year of release, Microsoft was upgrading everyone who owned Windows 7 and everyone who owned Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. And one of the reasons they did this was to get as many people as possible on Windows 10, which they are now referring to as a service. Instead of having a new version of Windows that’s released every couple of years, Microsoft instead will simply be updating Windows 10. So you will always see updates to the operating system, but these updates will continually be to Windows 10 as the base operating system in use.
Windows 10 Home is the version of Windows 10 that’s designed for the retail customer. If you’re purchasing a desktop or laptop computer for the home, then it will be using Windows 10 Home. This version of Windows 10 integrates with a Microsoft account. This is one that also includes Microsoft OneDrive to be able to backup any of your personal files and store configuration settings in the cloud. Windows 10 Home also includes by default antivirus and anti-malware with the inclusion of Windows Defender. And this addition of Windows 10 includes Cortana. So you’re able to talk to your operating system instead of using the keyboard or any other input method.
If you’re using Windows in a business, then you’re probably using Windows 10 Pro. This is the addition of Windows that’s designed for the professional. This includes features such as Remote Desktop Host where every Windows 10 device can be a host for the Remote Desktop service. This allows your help desk to remain in their seat, but then be able to connect to your desktop across the network.
Windows 10 Pro also includes BitLocker. This is full disk encryption of the Windows operating system. So you know that your desktop or your laptop storage device is always going to be protected. And Windows 10 Professional allows the operating system to connect to a Windows Active Directory infrastructure. This allows for centralized management using group policies.
The two editions of Windows 10 with Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Enterprise are very similar to each other. There are only minor differences in features between the two. And both of these versions are managed using Windows Volume licensing. Some of these larger scale features included with Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Enterprise are features like AppLocker. This is a feature that allows the administrator of the system to determine what applications are able to run in that Windows 10 system.
These additions of Windows 10 also include BranchCache. So you’re able to cache files locally at a remote location, instead of constantly pulling those files across a very slow Wide Area Network. And these Windows 10 editions allow the administrator to configure many aspects of the user environment with granular user interface, or UX control. This allows the administrator to set the system up in whatever way the end user might need, or you can tighten down many aspects of the operating system so that could be used for a kiosk.
If you’re already familiar with the hardware requirements for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you’ll find the hardware requirements for Windows 10 to be exactly the same. For Windows 10, a processor needs to support PAE, or Physical Address Extension. This allows 32-bit operating systems to be able to access more than 4 gigabytes of physical memory. The processor also has to support the NX processor bit. This is a processor bit that helps protect against malicious software running in the operating system. The processor also has to support SSE2. This is the streaming SIMD Extensions 2. Application developers use these processor extensions to be able to write applications for the operating system.
And here’s a summary of the hardware requirements for Windows 10. Again, these are identical to those for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. For both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows 10, you need a minimum of a 1 gigahertz processor with support for PAE, NX and SSE2. The 32-bit version of Windows 10 requires 1 gigabyte of RAM. And the 64-bit version requires a minimum of 2 gigabytes of RAM. The 32-bit version needs to have at least 16 gigabytes of free disk space available during installation. And the 64-bit needs a little more at 20 gigabytes. And both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version need a video adapter card that supports the Windows display driver model running Microsoft DirectX 9.
The 32-bit editions of Windows 10 all max out at 4 gigabytes of memory. For the Home Edition, the maximum amount of memory you can put into one of those editions is 128 gigabytes. And for the other additions, it goes up to 2,048 gigabytes of memory.
For Windows 10 Home, you don’t have any of the more advanced features of the operating system. For Windows 10 Pro, you gain access to the Hyper-V virtualization functions, the BitLocker, full disk encryption, and you have the ability to connect this device to a Windows Active Domain infrastructure. With the Education and Enterprise editions of Windows 10, you get all of the same capabilities of Windows Pro along with more advanced features, such as AppLocker and BranchCache.