You want a new PC and by now you’ve probably made up your mind as to whether it should be a Windows, Mac or Linux device, but your choice is about to get more confused: should your new Windows laptop run Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro?
Let’s narrow things down a bit and remove Windows 10 S from the equation. Windows 10 S is a new version of the OS that is aimed at students and teachers, though regular consumers may find it in their hands through purchasing a laptop preinstalled with the OS, such as the new Surface Laptop.
The OS itself has only just been announced, and we expect to get our first proper look at it in mid-June when the Surface Laptop goes on sale. With respect to other devices Microsoft has said only that Windows 10 S will be available this summer and in time for the next school year.
The key difference between 10 S and regular Windows is that you are not able to install apps from outside the Windows Store. If you need to install third-party apps on your laptop you will have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which is offered as a free upgrade until 31 December 2017.
At least in this respect, choosing between Windows 10 S and Pro shouldn’t be too difficult – if you need anything you’re missing you can simply upgrade. But an advantage of sticking to 10 S will be its improved security – since apps are only downloaded from the Windows Store, and then run in a safe container on the laptop, malware shouldn’t be as much of an issue as it is with other versions of the OS.
What are the main differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro?
There are many things both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro can do, but just a few features that are supported only by Pro. To simplify things we’ve listed only the Windows 10 Pro features that aren’t also in Windows 10 Home in the table below.
Price is one of the other main differentiators, although you can now buy both versions cheaper than the official Microsoft prices. Just watch out for very cheap offers as you may be emailed merely an activation key which may or may not work. It’s best to stick to the official retail versions – there are no upgrade versions as with previous versions of Windows.
You can buy Windows 10 Home from Amazon for £75.
Windows 10 Pro isn’t much more expensive: it costs £100 from Amazon.