When you’re faced with so many options, it’s difficult to choose an operating system that aligns with your business needs. For most companies, Microsoft Windows is the obvious choice, especially for desktop devices, but even then, there are multiple editions to choose from. While home users can choose between the Home and Pro editions of Windows 10, the business world has four editions, the most popular being Pro and Enterprise. From an end-user perspective, both offer almost identical experiences, but there are some important differences regarding security, advanced features, and licensing.
Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision:
Windows 10 Pro: A solid foundation for small businesses
Windows 10 Pro is often considered the baseline Windows experience for both business and home users. It comes preinstalled on most workstations and laptops designed for business use, as well as those tailored to the high-end consumer and home business market. It features always-on security in the form of BitLocker encryption, account-level protection, an endpoint firewall, and Windows Defender. Administrators can easily manage access rights with unified single sign-on across all Microsoft services thanks to integration with Azure Active Directory. Other valuable business features include Intune, remote desktop support, and shared devices.
Who is it good for? Most small businesses should choose Windows 10 Pro because of its simplified licensing rules and familiar, user-friendly feature set. However, it falls short for larger and rapidly growing businesses with hundreds of workstations and particularly complex security requirements. In this case, Windows 10 Enterprise might make more sense.
Windows 10 Enterprise: The standard in big-business computing
Windows 10 Enterprise provides a practically identical user experience to Pro, but it’s a much more powerful operating system under the hood; it’s also available with more licensing options. For most businesses, the decision between Pro and Enterprise will be an easy choice, since it depends on whether you primarily use local or employee-owned devices or virtual machines hosted in the cloud. Unlike the Pro edition, Enterprise deployments are licensed for use in the cloud. If you work with a cloud provider who offers hosted Windows 10 desktops, they themselves will be using this edition.
Who is it good for? Any business that relies extensively on virtual desktops, either hosted in a local data center or provided over the cloud, will need to choose Windows 10 Enterprise, since Pro is only licensed on a per-device basis. The Enterprise edition also comes with more advanced security features, such as the Resilient File System (ReFS) and Windows Defender Application Guard.
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations: Everything you need for high-end workloads
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is what the Pro version is to home users. It’s Microsoft’s high-end offering for endpoint computers handling specialized workloads like graphic design, data science, and media production. It features server-grade data-protection and top-end performance. It also provides full support for the most powerful workstations, even including configurations with multiple terabytes of memory and up to four processors. Moreover, it comes with automatic data corruption repair to keep data safe from critical hardware or software failures.
Who is it good for? For business users who need raw power in the form of a high-end workstation, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is the obvious choice. This offer is tailored towards those needing a level of performance, redundancy, and security generally only found in servers and a workstation PC. It’s ideal for researchers, data scientists, content producers, and CAD professionals.
Safebit Solutions provides comprehensive technology services to companies in Houston. For more tips and advice on choosing the best operating system and IT services, call us today. Our experienced consultants will identify your requirements and recommend the best tools for the job.