When Microsoft announced its first major push to upgrade all Windows users to the Redstone project, now known as Windows 10, the software giant had already developed seven editions of the operating system, and that was in 2015. These days, there are 10 editions of Windows 10, more than the variations that the company developed under Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Microsoft’s New Approach to Windows Update

To understand Microsoft’s strategy of releasing so many versions of Windows 10, you have to keep in mind that this is the world’s most popular operating system for desktop and laptop systems. Windows is not the most popular in terms of servers and mobile devices; most servers run on Linux while most tablets and smartphones are powered by Android. Still, Microsoft wants to make sure that there are enough Windows 10 editions to suit various needs; after all, PC gamers will require features that are different from those that will serve the interests of small business owners.

There are two baseline editions of Windows 10: Home and Pro. In addition to these two baseline editions, there are some versions designed for specific devices:

  • Windows 10 Mobile for smartphones and tablets that support SIM chips.
  • Windows 10 S is a streamlined version of Windows 10 Home edition for laptops that have been configured for educational settings.
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is for high-end business machines.
  • Windows 10 IoT is for embedded devices such as ATMs.
  • Windows 10 Team is the giant Surface Hub computer.

In addition to the above, Microsoft also sells Education, Enterprise, Pro Education, Mobile Enterprise, and Long-Term Support editions of Windows 10 for organizations that need to license various devices.

If you are already running Windows 10, you either accepted Microsoft’s free upgrade offer or purchased a device with an out-of-the-box version of the operating system. If you are an enterprise user, you may have had to pay for licenses to upgrade your network and client devices. To check the edition and version you are running, follow these steps:

  • On the taskbar search box, type “about.”
  • Select About Your PC.
  • Look under the PC heading to see the edition, version, and system.
For most users, even small business owners, Windows 10 Home will be the right edition. If you constantly need to run remote desktop sessions, set up your own cloud server or run heavy encryption on your files, you may need Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. If you need more information about the Windows 10 edition that is right for you and for your system, contact PC Performance Pros.