Hello! Are you ready to become an expert on every version of Windows 10? Don't panic -- we're here to help.
ONE WINDOWS EDITION TO RULE THEM ALL … OR SIX (AND COUNTING)
Microsoft debuted six distinct Windows lines — not really talking too much about the Windows 10 version that will sit atop industry devices like ATM — which is in no way confusing, right?
Here's what you need to know about each edition.
Windows 10 Home — the "consumer-focused desktop edition," according to Microsoft. What that means: PC and tablet users will have Cortana, the Microsoft Edge web browser, the Continuum tablet mode, Windows Hello facial recognition and security, and access to the Xbox Live gaming community.
Windows 10 Mobile — this will have Continuum for the phone, as well as "the same, new universal Windows apps that are included in Windows 10 Home, as well as the new touch-optimized version of Office." (NB: This used to be called Windows Phone.)
Windows 10 Pro — This edition has "many extra features," Microsoft says, although they are not exactly spelling out what those are. The company notes, "Windows 10 Pro also lets customers take advantage of the new Windows Update for Business, which will reduce management costs, provide controls over update deployment, offer quicker access to security updates and provide access to the latest innovation from Microsoft on an ongoing basis."
Windows 10 Enterprise — This is the edition available to Volume Licensing customers, each of whom will have the option to use the Windows Update for Business to control when and how patches are applied to their users' systems. This edition also offers access to the Long Term Servicing Branch as a deployment option.
Windows 10 Education — It's a version of Windows 10 Enterprise for academic Volume Licensing customers. "There will be paths for schools and students using Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro devices to upgrade to Windows 10 Education."
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise — Another version available to Volume Licensing customers, this version promises "the latest security and innovation features as soon as they are available."
However, as Rod Trent notes: "Microsoft has still not gone on record to discuss the edition specific to the Surface Hub."
WANT TO BE AN INSIDER? YOU AND 3.9 MILLION OTHER PEOPLE
Amid Microsoft's announcement that there are six different flavors of Windows 10 was another little nugget of news: on May 1, there were 3.7 million Windows Insiders participating in the Windows Insider Program. As of today, there are 3.9 million. Perhaps not coincidentally, the past few weeks have seen both the wind-down of Microsoft's developer conference and the completion of the week-long Ignite conference.
MICROSOFT EDGE, NOW CAPTURING MORE MEDIA
"Media capture" sounds a lot more sinister than it actually is. When you're grabbing a photo from a webcam or audio from a microphone, you're doing media capture. And now, the team behind Microsoft Edge outlined their support for media capture APIs, suggesting that the best implementation of this will be in streaming audio or video for business use.
IT'S GOOD TO BE AZURE
The Azure team recently added the ability to create, browse, manage and monitor your cloud services directly within the preview portal.
Today, the team got excited about the Azure Active Directory support that will come built into Windows 10, including things like:
- Employees being able configure a brand new device in the out-of-box experience, without IT involvement.
- Employees using one account to log into either their Azure AD account or their Office365 account.
- Automatic Windows 10 PC's and tablets can be automatically enrolled in an organization's device management solution (either Microsoft's or a third party's).
- Users getting single sign-on from the Windows desktop to apps and resources in the cloud including third-party business applications that rely on Azure AD for authentication.
- Windows 10 PC's and tablets that are joined to Azure AD will also provide single sign-on.
- The Windows Store will support app acquisition and licensing with Azure AD accounts.
- And -- this is likely to stick with most users -- desktop wall paper, tile configuration, websites and Wi-Fi passwords will be synchronized across corporate owned Azure AD joined devices.
Another reason to get excited about Azure? Nasuni, a networked file storage and cloud services vendor released its report on cloud storage performance of Microsoft, Amazon and Google. Microsoft Azure’s Blob Storage outperformed Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), and Google’s Cloud Storage.
PLEASE HOLD UNTIL JUNE 1
Windows Central is reporting, via a "a private report" that Skype for Business on Windows Phone will be released on June 1. This is a two-week delay from the previously-reported May 15 release, but still a lot earlier than the "no launch date set yet" that iOS and Android users — also known as "more than 95% of the current mobile market" — are dealing with.
It's a good thing Microsoft's got other mobile strategies — including the plan to provide the tools necessary for developers to port their existing apps from the iOS and Android platforms to the Universal Windows Platform.