Windows includes a number of different editions and requirements. In this video, you’ll learn about Windows 10 Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Enterprise.
On the 220-1102 exam, you’re expected to know the details from two different Windows versions. Those would be Windows 10 and Windows 11. Those are the versions of Windows that are currently in support, and those are the ones that are listed in the CompTIA exam objectives.
Microsoft generally provides in support options for all versions of Windows until five years after they’re released. The CompTIA exam objectives list all of the Windows versions and editions that you need to know, so you need to make sure you download the latest version of the exam objectives from the CompTIA website. Although you have to be familiar with both Windows 10 and Windows 11, both of those operating systems are very similar to each other. So once one of those, you know a great deal of the other.
The initial release of Windows 10 was in July of 2015, and there have been updates to Windows 10 through the years. For a number of different reasons, Microsoft decided not to release a Windows 9 and went directly to Windows 10. The goal of Windows 10 is to have one operating system that would run on multiple platforms. That means you could run Windows 10 on desktops, laptops, phones, all-in-one devices, and anything else that could run Windows.
There have been many updates to Windows 10 through the years. And to date, there have been over 12 different versions of Windows 10 made available. The version that’s either the last update or very close to the last update is version 21H2 that was released in November of 2021.
If you bought a Windows 10 computer from a big box store, then it probably came with Windows 10 Home. This would be the default edition for Windows for anyone who’s outside of a work or enterprise environment. If you have a Microsoft account, then Windows 10 will integrate with that account to provide you with a log in. And it also integrates with the Microsoft OneDrive backup so that anything you do in the operating system is automatically backed up to your OneDrive files.
Windows 10 also includes security features such as Windows Defender, which provides antivirus and anti-malware. And many versions of Windows 10 Home include Cortana, which allow you to talk to your device to perform different functions. The use of Cortana has decreased over time, and Microsoft has begun removing Cortana from their most recent versions of the operating system.
If you use Windows at work, you’re probably using Windows 10 Pro. This is the business or professional version of Windows. One of the enhancements included with Windows 10 Pro is the ability to set your system up as a remote desktop host. This would allow other people in the organization to be able to connect to your device and control the desktop, which is especially important for large environments that need remote access. This allows other people to be able to connect to your device and control the desktop, which is especially important for support environments.
Windows 10 Pro also includes BitLocker, which is a full disk encryption or FDE technology. Once you log out of Windows, everything you’ve stored on your drive is protected with the encryption capabilities of BitLocker. And if you’re using Windows 10 Pro in the office, you’ll need to connect to an Active Directory server on a Windows domain. This allows IT to be able to manage and control all of the configurations of the Windows devices in that enterprise.
For users that need more enhanced capabilities, there is Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. This is specifically built for high end desktops or someone who needs to really push the capabilities of the operating system. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations allows you to have up to four physical CPUs in the device, and a maximum amount of RAM of six terabytes. This also includes the new Resilient File system from Microsoft, or REFS. This is the same file system that’s available in Windows Server, and it’s one that you would expect to have on a system that needs the enhanced capabilities of a workstation.
If you’re using Windows in a large enterprise, then you’re probably using Windows 10 Enterprise, which was designed for large implementations that have many different desktops running in the environment. This also allows an organization to take advantage of volume licensing so they can deploy all of the Windows systems they need at a reasonable cost. When you’re managing such large environments, you need additional management capabilities. One of those capabilities is AppLocker which allows the administrator to determine what applications can and cannot be run in a Windows enterprise environment.
Many of these enterprises have remote sites, and Windows 10 allows you to enable branch cache so that you can cache these files at the remote site instead of pulling them across slower wide area network connections. And Windows 10 Enterprise also allows granular control of the user interface through the granular user experience, or UX control. This allows someone to completely customize what features might be available when someone’s using the operating system. This is especially useful if someone needs to configure a Windows implementation as a kiosk, or set up a very specific configuration for a user’s desktop.
There are two different versions of Windows 10. One for an x86 processor, or 32-bit, and then the 64-bit processor which is the x64. For both of those you need a processor that is 1 gigahertz or faster. The 32-bit version needs one GB of RAM, and the minimum for the 64-bit version is two GB of RAM. When installing Windows, you need at least 32 GB of free space on your storage drive for both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version. And for video, both of these versions need a Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or better with a WDDM driver. That’s the Windows display driver model. And it needs to support a minimum of 800 by 600 resolution.
Here’s a summary of the capabilities available in these different Windows 10 editions. Windows 10 Home does not allow you to connect to a domain. It does not support BitLocker. It only allows you to use a client for remote desktop, and it does not have group policy management built into the operating system. This home edition of Windows 10 supports a maximum of 4 gigabytes of memory, if you’re running on a 32-bit operating system. And the 64-bit version supports a maximum of 128 gigabytes.
If You’re running Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, or Windows 10 Enterprise, then you have full domain access. You can use BitLocker. You can be both a client and a host for remote desktop, and group policy management is supported. The 32-bit version of all of those editions support a maximum of four gigabytes of memory. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro supports a two terabyte maximum memory, and the Pro for Workstations and Enterprise editions of Windows 10 support up to six terabytes of memory.