Windows 10 Home vs Pro vs S: What\’s The Difference?

There are many factors worth considering when buying a new PC, with one of the key ones being software. 

One of the first decisions to make is which software to go with. While macOS and ChromeOS have grown in popularity in recent years, Windows is still overwhelmingly the most popular operating system on the planet.

Given that it\’s five years old at the time of writing, Windows 10 is probably the one you\’ll go for. However, you might have noticed there are now three different versions. Windows 10 Home, Pro and S each have their merits, and are targeted at very different users. 

If you\’re unsure which one is the right one for you, we\’ll guide you through each in an attempt to simplify that big decision.

Windows 10 S

The simplest and perhaps most controversial version of Windows 10 is S. While you will find it offered on some of Microsoft\’s latest devices, such as the Surface Go, its restrictive nature means it doesn\’t have mainstream appeal. 

Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro

The Microsoft Edge browser is also available on both versions, offering a stripped-down Reading Mode to declutter articles online, an Instapaper/Pocket style Reading List for saving articles you don’t have time to read there and then, plus the ability to annotate and share web pages. 

A welcome addition in Windows 10 is a fully integrated version of Virtual Desktops. This feature has been around in past iterations of Windows, but always required additional software to get it going. Now you\’ll be able to create different workspaces on your PC very easily thanks to a new Task View option. You can also drag and drop open applications onto different desktops, making the whole process smooth, fast, and simple. To learn more about this helpful feature read our guide to using virtual desktops in Windows 10.  

Alongside these are mobile compatibility with Android phones so you can access photos and texts on your PC, parental controls, security features such device encryption to protect your data, Windows Defender anti-virus, firewall, and secure boot, plus touch-support and Windows Hello facial recognition on devices that have these capabilities. 

Verdict

Windows 10 Home will suffice for the vast majority of users who just want to browse the web, do a little work, and manage their media files. The benefits of the Pro version focus on security and compatibility, but of course the value of these features will come down to whether you actually intend to use them or not. Most users simply won\’t, so save your money and go for Home instead. 

If you go for a device with Windows 10 S then we recommend switching out to Home or Pro unless you have a good reason to leave it.

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