Windows 10

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Hi All,

Windows 10 has been released over a year ago and there are still lots of people that don’t know what you can/cannot do with Windows 10, what edition, flavour, etc. they need to use. So, based on this, I’ve created this blog post and I’ll try to show you what is/is not available on each version and flavour of windows.

Windows 10 Editions
Windows 10 come with lots of editions, that are:

  • Home – as the same says, it is for home users
  • Professional – it has some extra features for business but they are for small business companies, normally companies that don’t need (or cannot afford) buying enterprise. Most of the time they buy PC’s with this version. This should be used for that start-up and not enterprise
  • Professional Education – as the same already says, this is for education sector.
  • Enterprise – This is the top version to use in the enterprise, all features included in the Professional plus many enterprises only, like AppLocker, etc.
  • Education – It is the same as enterprise version, but this is designed for the education sector.
  • Mobile – To be used on smartphones and tables.
  • Mobile Enterprise – same as the mobile, but should be used on the enterprise as it adds some enterprise only features, including Continuum.
  • IoT – to be used on the Internet of Things scenarios.

So, now that we know a bit about the editions, we’ll focus on the Professional and Enterprise version, that are the versions being used in the enterprise today.

As a side note, Microsoft is trying to focus all business features on the enterprise and removing many options from the Professional. Some of the these “features” that are being removed are most seeing on the GPO, things you could do before you cannot anymore, but still able to do with the enterprise version. Also, with the current licensing via Office 365 and Intune, you can upgrade from Professional to Enterprise for a small price per user per month.

Anyway, the table below show a small comparison of what is available on the Professional version and the Enterprise version.

Feature Professional Enterprise
Domain Join Y Y
Group Policy Management Y Y
Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) Y Y
Assigned Access Y Y
Remote Desktop Y Y
Client Hyper-V Y Y
Direct Access N Y
Windows To Go Creator N Y
AppLocker N Y
BranchCache N Y
Start Screen Control with Group Policy N Y
Easy Upgrade from Pro to Enterprise Edition Y Y
Side-loading of line of business apps Y Y
Mobile device management Y Y
Ability to join Azure Active Directory, with single sign-on to cloud-hosted apps Y Y
Add user state roaming with Azure Active Directory Y Y
Windows Store for Business Y Y
Advanced granular UX control N Y
Dynamic Provisioning Y Y
Microsoft Passport Y Y
Device Encryption Y Y
Enterprise Data Protection Y Y
BitLocker Y Y
Credential Guard N Y
Device Guard N Y
Trusted Boot Y Y
Conditional access Y Y
Windows Update Y Y
Windows Update for Business Y Y
Current Branch for Business Y Y
Long-Term Servicing Branch N Y
App-V (included in the Update Anniversary) N Y
UE-V (included in the Update Anniversary) N Y

Windows 10 Versions
You saw that Windows 10 come with many editions, it also come with 3 different versions as per bellow:

  • CB – Current Branch – Consumer focused. Microsoft releases this version to all versions, except enterprise
  • CBB – Current Branch for Business – Once Microsoft confirm the quality of the CB for Enterprises, it marks the CB as Business Ready and it will become the CBB. A CBB is the CB + Hotfixes and are available few months after the CB release. It is released to all editions, including enterprise
  • LTSB – Long term servicing branch – Enterprise only and does not bring updates so often. It also does not have edge, Cortana and windows store.

So, now that you know a bit of these 3 versions (or flavours), let’s see what is available on each one of them:

Feature Long Term Service Branch (LTSB) Current Branch (CB) Current Branch for Business (CBB)
10-years support cycle Y N N
1-year support cycle N Y Y
Need to constant rebuild client machines N Y Y
Nested Virtualization N Y Y
Edge Browser N Y Y
Enterprise State Roaming N Y Y
Windows Store for business N Y Y
Windows Update for Business N Y Y
Windows Store N Y Y
Universal Office and Some Universal apps N Y Y
Cortana N Y Y
Support for Universal Windows Platform Y Y Y
Azure Domain Join available Y Y Y
Automatic default printer Manager N Y Y
Critical Updates and Security Fixes Y Y Y
New features every 4-6 months N Y Y
Single MSI Deployment via MDM channel N Y Y
Single MSI Deployment via MDM channel (update anniversary) Y Y Y
Migration to CB/CBB without Full Rebuild N Y Y
Migration to LTSB without Full Rebuild Y N N
Windows Servicing for Updates N Y Y
Consumer Focus N Y Y
Enterprise Focus Y N Y
Accessible via Software Assurance Only Y N N
Enterprise Edition Only Y N N

Conclusion:
Professional or Enterprise? This is the easy one to answer, if you’re reading this blog, you mostly work in an enterprise world and should be using enterprise. Professional is for home users and small business shopping that do not need all the rich and security features that an enterprise requires.

LTSB, CBB, CB? Which one should I use? This is a bit more complex to answer and you should try to understand what is required. As a dumb rule, I use the following to help my customers to decide:

    • When using CB/CBB, all machines need to be upgraded/rebuild at least once a year, is this possible? If not, LTSB
    • Can you upgrade SCCM every few months so you can deploy and manage the latest version of Windows 10? If not, LTSB
    • Do you have dedicated staff to look after the building process and test every single build with SCCM? If not, LTSB
    • Do you have enough network bandwidth to upgrade your environment to the latest version of windows? If not:
      • Can you have a Distribution Point on every single location? If not:
        • Can you use 3rd party content manager (like 1E Nomad)? If not LTSB
    • Do you have enough 1st line support to help people when they have problems? If not LTSB
    • Do you have enough storage space to perform migration of user data/settings (assuming you don’t have settings management software like UE-V and AppSence nor using One Driver for Business/SharePoint/Folder redirection for data)? if not, LTSB
    • Do you need to use any of the CB or CBB features? If not, LTSB

As you can see, you may be running CB/CBB quite easily on your environment if you can manage them, have time, etc. however, let me add another question, this could be only for a specific department.

Is this set of machines performing specific tasks that don’t require often upgrade? If yes, LTSB.

What I mean by this question? A computer that is in places where you don’t need to change the OS often because they use a specific software and only that. Withdraw machines, medical machines (managing the X-ray machines, etc.).

So now that you know a bit more about Windows 10, happy deployment (hopefully with SCCM).

Note: i’ve done lots of research, however, sometimes some information may not be relevant or has changed. if the tables above are not correct, let me know.

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