Windows 10 Pro VS Enterprise -Which Do You Need?

Since its debut in July 2015, Windows 10 has quickly become one of the most popular and most widely used operating systems in the world, especially in professional settings.

Microsoft offers two business-oriented platforms based on Windows 10 OS – Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise. If you are looking to switch your company to Windows 10, there are many things to consider before making the final decision.

Read on to find out how Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise compare in some of the most important areas.

Windows 10 Pro

As its name says, Windows 10 Pro is Microsoft’s standard option for professional use. It is primarily oriented towards small and intermediate businesses looking for a good all-round solution and a solid OS. Windows 10 Pro offers many advanced features and functionalities unavailable in Home and other editions oriented towards casual users.

Windows 10 Pro scores high in the security section, offering significant improvements over the previous generations of Windows operating systems. It is easy to update and maintain, being almost identical to the Enterprise variant in this regard. However, it does lack some mobility options in the management section.

Windows 10 Enterprise

Enterprise is Microsoft’s top Windows platform designed for business use. It is primarily oriented towards intermediate and large companies and is only available through the Volume Licensing Plan. While visually almost indistinctive from the Pro version, Enterprise has many aces up its sleeves, especially in the security and management areas.

Windows 10 Enterprise scores exceptionally high in all major categories, with security section being its strongest suite. It also outperforms the Pro edition in the Management section. Enterprise is available in two tiers – E3 and E5 – with the E5 being the absolute pinnacle of Microsoft’s Windows for Business program.

Security

In terms of security, Windows 10 Pro outperforms earlier business-oriented Windows platform by a wide margin. It comes with Virtualization-Based Security (VBS) which can isolate parts of the operating system and prevent it from being corrupted and changed by malware and viruses. The Bitlocker is still there, allowing encryption of hard disks and removable storages. Hello for Business (used to read biometric data) is also featured on the Pro platform.

Windows 10 Enterprise contains all of the abovementioned features, as well as some additional ones. The bonus features include Windows Defender Credential Guard, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and Windows Defender Application Control. The ATP is available only with the E5 version of the Enterprise system and it uses machine-learning, analytics, and endpoint behavioral sensors to identify attacker procedures, techniques, and tools.

Upgrades, Migration, and Deployment

In this area, Windows 10 Pro features advanced Microsoft Deployment Kit (MDT) and Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), which allow seamless migration, updating, and deployment. They can be used in two ways – they can create reference images, as well as work as a full deployment platform (through server and domain controller).

Windows 10 Enterprise doesn’t differ much from the Pro version in this category, offering pretty much the same level of experience. This is probably the only segment of the Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise comparison where the two platforms are tied.

Management and Productivity

Windows 10 Pro scores pretty high in this category. It features the fantastic Universal Windows app which allows users from different platforms to simultaneously access the same app, using the same account. The apps accessible this way include OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Outlook. Pro users can also use Azure Active Directory, Business Store, and Group Policy management with a single account.

In addition to the above mentioned apps and features, Enterprise edition users also have access to AppLocker and DirectAccess. With the AppLocker, admins can prohibit certain apps from being accessed from mobile devices. DirectAccess, on the other hand, enables users from remote networks to access the internal networks.

Pricing

As of this writing, Windows 10 Pro will set you back around $200 per year, per one copy. It is possible to buy it through the Volume Licensing Program if you intend to buy five or more copies. However, make sure to check the prices with Microsoft before buying.

Windows 10 Enterprise copies can’t be bought individually, as they are available only through the Volume Licensing Program. The price depends on the size of the volume, which makes it hard to make a clear comparison between the two platforms. Also, the ability to buy long-term licenses further complicates the calculation.

Which One Is Better For You?

Windows 10 Pro might be a better solution if you’re running a small business and need a stable, reliable OS to run things. Also, Pro might be a good way for intermediate companies to test the waters before going all-in and switching to Enterprise.

Windows 10 Enterprise would probably be a better solution for big companies with a large number of employees, as they can take advantage of the License Volume Program. Also, the Enterprise is recommended to companies that need top-notch system security.

4 thoughts on “Windows 10 Pro VS Enterprise -Which Do You Need?”

Avatar paul ravenhill says:
thats obscene $200 a year sick
Avatar Cat says:
If one has an activated copy of Windows 8.1 Pro, or Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate edition, then Windows 10 Pro is free. Simply download the latest version from the Microsoft link & then (don’t skip this step) create a backup image of the full drive where Windows is installed onto an external drive. I highly recommend using Macrium Reflect for this operation, as it includes under ‘Other Tasks’ the option to add a boot menu to Windows, plus create a recovery ISO. One can backup, clone & restore drives with the boot menu option, even if dual booting with Linux.

If offered by OEM, also create the recovery disk set (usually 3-4 DVD’s or 16GB USB Flash Drive, a 2.0 version). Often, when created with USB 3.0 drives, the recovery media doesn’t boot & I learned this the hard way. So any quality USB 2.0 drive will do for this, although I prefer optical media, even if have to use a portable one (slower, yet I know these will last for years, just number each before or after creation). This operation takes up to 90 minutes when using optical media, so plan accordingly. I have a couple portable DVD burners from no longer working laptops, there’s USB cables sold on eBay for $6 or less that’ll make it run & boot from USB.

As for Windows 10 (or 8.1 & 7) Enterprise, while these can be used for up to 90 days for activation & can be rearmed for up to 3 times, it’s not an upgrade option from Windows 7 or 8.1 Pro, only the Enterprise editions maintained by large scale industries. Many smaller businesses uses Pro, it’s it’s feature filled & usually all needed other than any software required.

Anyway, once computer is backed up (or imaged), one can upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 using the downloaded ISO while in Windows. Note that while Windows 8.1 has native mounting for ISO files, Windows 7 users will have to either create a bootable USB drive with Rufus (the easy way) on a 8GB USB Flash drive, or install the WinCDEmu app (freeware) to mount the ISO. There’ll be Setup option, this is where to begin the process. Be sure to read the WinCDEmu app’s instructions on their site, if choosing the option.

After upgrade, all of your personal files will remain intact, as long as upgrading from Windows while running. This option is unavailable if booting from the media & your copy of Windows won’t be activated. It must be upgraded first, then one can perform a clean install. Be sure to skip the input of COA during clean install afterwards, Windows will pick up the key after the initial activation. It’s up to you if you want to create a standard Windows 10 account or be signed into Windows (using your Outlook/Hotmail credentials) for your native email client included to work, plus OneDrive. Check out any tutorial on how to skip auto sign in if you want a Local account only.

Avatar J Peter Rushworth says:
Woops! You said Windows 10 Pro will cost $200 per year. I don’t need or want that. I think Pro is on my machine now but I’m not all that sure of that now. I can use the home version just fine. What do I do?
Avatar J. Peter Rushworth says:
I am no longer a company so I don’t need the Enterprise version. I will stay with Windows 10 Pro but I’m getting confused with what I’m seeing here on the screen.

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